Bill could reduce student debt for clinicians
A new bill would eliminate student debt for healthcare workers treating patients with 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19). And since cancer patients can be more sensitive virus, and many nurses see assignment offsets to treat COVID-19 positive patients, oncology nurses could be included.
New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney introduced the Frontline Healthcare Worker Student Loans Forgiveness Act in the House of Representatives. He was co-signed by 9 other members of the house, all Democrats.
Nurses, physicians, medical residents and interns, medical fellows, home health workers, and mental health professionals are all included in the bill, which describes frontline workers as “Certified under federal or state law to provide health services and who provides COVID-related services.” health services. ”Coverage also extends to medical or nursing students performing COVID-related services, laboratory workers, researchers and emergency medical service workers.
“Frontline health workers are providing care to the sickest patients and putting their own safety at great risk in order to continue doing their jobs,” Maloney said in a statement. “And in return, I think we have an obligation to ensure that they are released from the debt they have incurred to train for this essential job – in graduate programs or other certifications. professional. ”
If passed, the bill would allow qualified individuals to have eligible federal and private loans and interest relief. In addition, the amount of money paid for the loan would not be considered taxable income.
The bill proposed the creation of an intergovernmental working group of 9 members to determine who is eligible and perform the administrative tasks related to the execution of the loan cancellation. The group would be made up of:
- 5 members selected by the Secretariat for Health and Social Services, Department of Health and Social Services
- 2 members of the Ministry of Education, chosen by the Secretary of Education
- 2 members of the Treasury Department, selected by the Treasury Secretary
There are also skeptics about the bill. Some saying this does not benefit all frontline healthcare workers, such as those who came out of retirement to help with the crisis or who were trained by the military, and therefore have little or no debt student. Not to mention, since the bill lacks bipartisan support, its passage can be a long shot.
“Healthcare workers are worried about their own health and how it will affect their families. They shouldn’t have to worry about their financial security once the crisis is over. It is a burden that we can lift right now. And this bill will. It will help take care of the people who care for all of us, ”said Maloney.