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:


BORN ON THIRD BASE author, Chuck Collins, to be interviewed by Bernie Sanders

On Tuesday, October 3rd at 11:30 a.m. EST, check out Facebook.com/SenatorSanders for a special Facebook Live event with Senator Bernie Sanders and Chuck Collins, Institute for Policy Studies, author of Born on Third Base, co-editor of Inequality.org. In case you miss the live broadcast, you can watch the replay on the Facebook event page. In […] Read More

Q&A with Kate Raworth about her radical new book, DOUGHNUT ECONOMICS

Q: First things first: Why did you want to write this book? A: I studied economics at university 25 years ago because I wanted to make a difference in the world and believed that economics – the mother tongue of public policy – would best equip me to do that. Instead, its theories left me […] Read More

Revisiting Naomi Wolf’s Call to Patriots–10 Years Later

Reading Naomi Wolf’s book The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot today is an eerie experience. Written in 2007, it detailed the ways in which the Bush administration was beginning to chip away at the freedoms of American citizens. It outlined the ten steps dictators or would-be dictators take when their […] Read More

Yes, America We Can Make It … Really

Uncertainty got you down? The political world may seem like it’s crumbling around us, but this we know: We can make it, America. Literally, we can make things. Houses. Gardens. Food. Below we’ve selected some of our classic how-to and DIY books (and some new favorites) to help you sustain your self, family, and community. […] Read More

Chelsea Green on Instagram: Our Most Popular Photos of 2016

What a year for Chelsea Green on Instagram! We began the year with 500 followers and are now fast approaching 4,000 photo-loving brewers, gardeners, cheesemakers, permaculturists, foodies, seed-savers, homesteaders, foragers, and more. Our most popular posts of 2016 say a lot about what makes you happy: mushrooms, innovative garden designs and techniques, tiny cabins, and […] Read More
+1
Tweet
Share
Share
Pin