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Iowa Lawmakers Trying to Solve Psychiatrist Shortage

Posted at: 03/16/2013 2:27 PM

 Iowa (AP) - With Iowa facing a psychiatrist shortage, one lawmaker thinks giving income tax breaks to psychiatry students will be enough to encourage them to practice in the state.

Republican Rep. Dave Heaton's bill was reviewed by the House Ways and Means Committee this week.

It would waive state income taxes for psychiatrists with school debt who choose to practice in medically underserved areas of Iowa.

Some lawmakers wonder if offering a tax break is enough to entice psychiatrists to stay.

Iowa's psychiatrist shortage comes in the middle of sweeping changes to the county-based mental health system.

Gov. Terry Branstad has proposed a $2 million plan to repay medical school loans for 20 doctors that practice in rural Iowa for five years.