New bill offers student loan forgiveness to healthcare workers on the front lines of COVID-19 fight

FILE – Medical workers stand outside NYU Langone Health Hospital as people clap to show gratitude to medical staff and essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic on April 29, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai / Getty Images)

Representative Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y., introduced a bill on Tuesday that would write off all federal and private student loan debts for frontline healthcare workers risking their lives to fight the deadly COVID-19 pandemic .

“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.” said MP Carolyn B. Maloney. “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. “

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The news came as Democratic lawmakers demand a risk premium for medical workers overwhelmed by the virus. Senator Chuck Schumer, of New York, call for up to $ 25,000 of “heroes” pay for frontline healthcare workers.

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It was not determined who would qualify for the loan forgiveness under the bill, but a press release from Maloney’s office said the forgiveness program would apply to “workers who have made significant contributions. to COVID-19 patient care, medical research, testing and strengthening the capacity of the health system to respond to this urgent crisis.

Another House invoice, which was proposed in March, included a blanket student loan forgiveness capped at $ 30,000, which some say is not enough, as medical students on average owe around $ 200,000 according to the Association of American Faculties of Medicine.

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Maloney’s legislation, however, aims to take the loan cancellation one step further by completely alleviating the crippling student debt of healthcare workers who used these loans for training that ultimately led them to deal with the health crisis. COVID-19.

“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, ”added Maloney.

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