ITHACA, NY, June 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dr. Scott Noren, candidate for U.S. Senate as a Democrat in NY State, has come out strong on student loan reform. He uniquely proposed a cap of student loan interest at 3% for all government issued loans but would like to see that extended to private loans as well. Dr. Noren says that "despite a 'thriving economy,' the life of many former students is burdened by overwhelming student loan debt". He adds that "the plans by some politicians to renegotiate interest rates has no teeth so to speak". The cap he proposes would save, in many cases, thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of the loan and allow the student to pat down the principal of the loan faster. The current government student loan rates are 4.45% for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Undergraduate; 6% for Direct Unsubsidized Graduate loans like for medical, dental and veterinary students, and 7% for Direct PLUS Loans (Graduate and Parents) loans. Renegotiating these rates, he says, would still be a far cry from a 3% cap overall.

Regarding the opioid crisis, Dr. Noren says the 800 lb. gorilla has still not left the room. According to the CDC, at least 51% of all opioid prescriptions are written by primary care. In most states, as in New York, the regulations that were recently imposed cover acute prescribing and do not cover the prescribing practices for chronic pain management. Dr. Noren, an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon in Upstate New York, prescribes narcotics in small amounts nearly every day for his surgical patients. In doing so, he uses the I-Stop system where he checks recent narcotic prescriptions of his patients by other providers over the last 6 months. He found that in an alarming number of cases, there were patients being prescribed up to 270 pills a month with no end point. This was by M.D.'s, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. One patient told him after asking her doctor for an MRI referral for her painful back that she should "pray to Jesus". He feels that many patients have been condemned to pills versus other treatment modalities. He is proposing a new gatekeeper model for prescribing for chronic pain. This would be pharmacists and American Board of Medicine Certified Chronic Pain Specialists. Currently there is no ABOM Certification for this; there is no Chronic Pain Specialists that go through an extensive residency, only a 1-year certificate program and most Internists and Family Medicine physicians do not go through this. As a U.S. Senator, Dr. Noren would petition the American Board of Medicine to add this specialty. He contends the gravy train of prescribing without mandatory, not suggested parameters of care in narcotic pain prescribing dooms the U.S. to more opioid dependence and deaths. 

Dr. Noren will be spending this summer touring New York and on social media campaigning with these and other important issues, such as dental/medical practice, veterans, equal pay, living wage issues and health care system revamps as his platform. It will be an uphill battle he says to get non-Party affiliated Democrats as well as others to hear his unique approaches to making improvements in people's quality of life. His website goes into other issues that can be found at www.norenforsenate.com.


Dr. Scott Noren

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