Indian-American Physicians’ Role Praised by US Lawmakers

Ami Bera praised Physicians for their hard work and the constant efforts to make healthcare affordable. (Associated Press)
Ami Bera praised Physicians for their hard work and the constant efforts to make healthcare affordable. (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON:  US lawmakers have lauded Indian-origin American physicians for their role in passage of a bill by the Congress that reformulates the way physicians are reimbursed for a government health insurance for seniors.

Several US lawmakers – including Nisha Desai Biswal,Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, and Ami Bera, the lone Indian-American physician in the US Congress –  praised them for their hard work and their constant efforts to make healthcare affordable.

“We are extremely delighted and grateful to the US Congress for passing this historic measure,” said Ravi Jahagirdar, President of the Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) urging the US Senate to take up the bill and pass it without delay.

The legislation requires the Senate approval to repeal medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) currently in use and would reformulate how physicians are reimbursed for Medicare, a government health insurance for seniors over 65.

The passage of SGR bill came on March 26. The SGR formula places a cap on spending for physicians services, according to an AAPI statement.

“AAPI has been a tremendous organisation for what you do here in the United States and for what you do in India and for what you do to improve and extend the US-India relationship,” Biswal said in her keynote address.

Bera shared his own personal experience of growing up to be a physician and how he got elected in a district that has only 1 per cent Indian-Americans.

“My story is your story and our story is that of the entire nation,” he said, adding: “I want my legacy to be how the generation is going to take us all to the next level and have many more Indian Americans get elected to the Congress.”

AAPI is the largest ethnic organisation of physicians, representing over 100,000 physicians, fellows and students of Indian-origin in the US, who have been lobbying for the repeal of SGR formula for years.

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