Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Health Care Reform Could Also Reform Student Lending

I don’t want to jinx it—I really don’t want to jinx it—but it looks like Congress is poised to pass comprehensive health care reform within the next few days. It’s not perfect (alas, Public Option, you were too beautiful to live), but the status quo is completely out of the question and this legislation will help provide insurance for 30 million Americans who would have gone uninsured without it.

On top of that, lawmakers are sweetening the pot by tackling predatory college lending—cutting out the subsidies for private lenders and instead lending directly to students. Win/win.

From NPR:

The vote on a health care reform bill could turn into a two-for-one deal. Democrats are planning to tack onto the bill an Obama administration plan to reform the federal student loan program.

The administration says the government could save tens of billions of dollars by cutting out banks and lending money directly to students. It’s a risky move that could revive — or sink — two of the administration’s top priorities.

A Potential ‘Twin Victory’?

Removing private lenders from the federal student loan program was never going to be easy. But why is this proposal now part of the up-or-down vote on the health care bill? Even Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he doesn’t know.

“But I know this is the right thing to do for our nation’s students. It’s the right thing to do for taxpayers,” Duncan says.

Duncan says bypassing private lenders and having the Education Department lend directly to college students would save at least $67 billion. That’s money that could be put back into much more financial aid for needy students and other education programs.

“This is excellent public policy,” said Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, speaking to reporters last week. “It’s also good politics for Democrats and Republicans alike.”

He helped craft the plan to attach the direct lending proposal to the health care bill.

“I also want to add that our bill would reduce the budget deficit — yes, you heard me right. Our bill would reduce the deficit by at least $5 billion,” Harkin says.

Harkin called this “sweetening the pot,” but that assumes it would attract the votes to pass both health care and major education legislation. Harkin says it would be a “twin victory.”

Listen Now

Related Articles:

Bullshit. *Charisma, Icon, Intelligence, Empty Sandwich

How does the word “bullshit” connect to Charisma, Intelligence and the notion of The Empty Sandwich?To find out the answer to this question we meandered through David Fleming’s Lean Logic. A dictionary unlike any other, Lean Logic encourages readers to actively and intellectually engage with its entries. These entries are often cross-referenced so that you […] Read More

From Farm-to-Table to Farm-to-Everything

No longer restricted to the elite segments of society, the farm-to-table movement now reaches a wide spectrum of Americans from hospital and office cafeterias to elementary schools and fast-casual restaurants.Nearly a century ago, the idea of “local food” would have seemed perplexing, since virtually all food was local. Today, most of the food consumed in […] Read More

The Three Cs of Farm-to-School

Most people know about the three “R’s” – reading, writing, and arithmetic. But, have you heard about the three “C’s”?If you, or your kid, is at a school that takes part in the Farm-to-School movement, then you may already know about them.October is National Farm-to-School month, and in their book Farm to Table, authors Darryl […] Read More

“Rules for Revolutionaries” Offers New Political Playbook for Activists

A riveting behind-the-scenes look at the “rules” used by the “revolutionaries” who helped harness the volunteer power that fueled Bernie Sanders’ historic, and insurgent, presidential campaign.Authors Becky Bond and Zack Exley led the Sanders campaign’s efforts to recruit and engage volunteers at an unprecedented level, which was crucial to the Vermont senator capturing 46 percent […] Read More

Born on Third Base: A Q&A with Author and Inequality Activist Chuck Collins

As inequality grabs headlines, steals the show in presidential debates, and drives deep divides between the haves and have nots in America, class war brews. Does it have to be this way?Can we suspend both class wars long enough to consider a new way forward? Is it really good for anyone that most of society’s […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By