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:


The Future Is Hopeless, So Give it Your All

The never-ending national election in the United States, the “surprise” pro-Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, climate change … the list goes on and on about how easy it can be to lose hope in the future.Like many of life’s frustrations, or overwhelmingly large topics, most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the […] Read More

How Carbon Farming Can Save the Planet

Carbon farming alone is not enough to avoid catastrophic climate change, but coupled with new economic priorities, a massive switch to clean energy, and big changes to much of the rest of the way our societies work, it offers a pathway out of destruction and a route to hope.Along the way carbon farming can also […] Read More

Look Under Your Feet for Global Soil-utions

For several years, Chelsea Green has been publishing books that look under our feet for solutions to some of the most vexing problems facing the planet – hunger, drought, degraded farmland and grasslands, damaged waterways, and much more. Those books focus on (mostly) one thing: Soil.  In 2016, we’ve published two more important books that […] Read More

Climate Change & the End of Stationarity

Just as predicting the rise of Donald Trump as a leading presidential candidate stumped even the best of political analysts (looking at you Nate “FiveThirtyEight” Silver), the advent of the Sixth Great Extinction due to climate change and an increasingly potent mix of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has completely upended how we predict the […] Read More

Use Simple Games to Better Understand Climate Change

How is it that emissions keep growing despite rising concern about the climate change they cause? It is possible to identify several reasons for the paradox, most of which lie outside the scope of The Climate Change Playbook. But one important reason is relevant here: people do not understand the behaviors of the climate system.And […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com