Kiggans, Colleagues Introduce Legislation Aimed at Improving Healthcare Workforce Shortage

Aug 14, 2023
Healthcare
Press

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) announced she has introduced the Nurse Corps Tax Parity Act of 2023 alongside Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), and Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-04). This legislation will improve the national healthcare workforce shortage by amending the Internal Revenue Code to ensure tax-status parity between the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and Nurse Corps programs. Senators Jeff Merkley (OR), Roger Wicker (MS), Patty Murray (WA), and John Boozman (AR) have introduced companion legislation in the Senate. 

“It’s our duty to explore every avenue to address the healthcare workforce shortage facing our nation,” said Congresswoman Kiggans, Vice Chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus. “As a geriatric nurse practitioner, I’m well aware of the level of dedication it takes to work in healthcare. Discouraging aspiring professionals who are willing to step up and serve their communities as healthcare providers is the last thing we should do. I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce this bipartisan, bicameral bill which will tackle these barriers and improve patient care across the country!”

“Nurses are dedicated, diligent caretakers in our communities, and we owe it to them to prioritize their ability to obtain financial benefits promised to them by Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) programs,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “Our bipartisan, bicameral Nurse Corps Tax Parity Act fixes an unnecessary disparity between two widely-utilized scholarship and loan repayment programs, and I am proud to lead this effort to support nurses alongside my colleagues.”

“Nurse Corps members working in underserved communities provide life-saving care to people experiencing some of the greatest health disparities. They deserve the same benefits offered to the National Health Service Corps members they work alongside each day,” said Congressman Higgins. “I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation expanding income tax exemptions to Nurse Corps scholarship and loan repayment programs. It is a commonsense bill that will create greater income equity among the frontline workers serving our most vulnerable communities.

“Nurses are the front line of our health care system. We should do everything we can to encourage people to pursue a career in this indispensable field – a field currently facing severe shortage,” said Congressman Thompson. “This commonsense bill eliminates a totally unnecessary tax penalty on people entering the nursing profession, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance the bill this Congress.”

“As the husband of a nurse, I know frontline nurses are the backbone of communities, helping patients and families through both joyous and challenging times,” said Senator Merkley. “Nurse Corps members build healthier communities in the areas of greatest need, and it is terrible public policy and frankly offensive that nurses are singled out for extra taxation as compared to other health professionals—it’s long past time to put an end to this.”

The bill is endorsed by the American Nurses Association (ANA), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA), the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), the Association of Public Health Nurses (APHN), the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Commissioned Officers Association of the USPHS (COA), Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR), and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS).

Read the text of the bill here

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