A group of veterinarians took to Capitol Hill Thursday to ask lawmakers to pass the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act. The group says the bill will help close veterinary access gaps by placing additional food animal and public health veterinarians in designated veterinary shortage areas. The bill was introduced in April in the Senate by Republican Mike Crapo of Idaho and Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. More than 170 members of the American Veterinary Medical Association met with lawmakers, conducting more than 200 meetings in congressional offices. They also asked lawmakers to pass the Association Health Plans Act of 2019, which they say would expand the AVMA-sponsored association health program for members to ensure more veterinarians are able to access high-quality, reliable health insurance. The events were planned in advance of the AVMA 2019 Annual Convention, scheduled over the weekend. The organization is self-described as the nation’s leading representative of the veterinary profession, representing more than 93,000 member veterinarians across the United States.