Today Congressman Valadao introduced H.R. 1842 The Indian Health Service Health Professions Tax Fairness Act of 2015, which amends the tax code to provide healthcare professionals who receive student loan repayments from the Indian Health Service the same tax free status enjoyed by the National Health Service Corps.
H.R. 1842 would help recruit and retain health professionals to serve in underserved American Indian communities throughout the nation. Our Urban Indian communities in California could greatly benefit from this legislation, particularly those in the Fresno American Indian Health Projects and the Bakersfield American Indian Health Project service areas.
This bill is extremely bipartisan with support from Republicans and Democrats in the House, Senate, and language from the Executive Branch.
Allows funds from the Indian Health Service Professions Scholarships Program to be excluded from gross income under Section 117(c)(2) of Internal Revenue Code and allows participants in the IHS Loan Repayment Program to exclude from gross income loan amounts forgiven by IHS under Section108(f)(4) of IRC.
Legislation would bring the Indian Health Service in line with National Health Service Corps and the Armed Services Health Professions scholarships which are currently tax exempt.
Currently, there are over 1,550 health professional vacancies in the Indian Health Service. Making IHS loan repayment tax exempt would free up $5.71 million, funding an additional 115 health professionals.
Each Indian Health Service medical professional in the program will bring in significant added revenue through 3rd party billings.
Bipartisan support in the 114th Congress both House and Senate
Bipartisan support in the 113th Congress
Presidents FY16 budget supports this approach
American Dental Association
American Academy of Pediatrics
National Indian Health Board
National Council of Urban Indian HealthTags: Federal, Legislation, Workforce