Proposal: Cancel Student Debt for Medical Workers

May 6, 2020
In The News

Democratic lawmakers have introduced legislation that would forgive student loan debt for front-line medical workers.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y), is called the “Student Loan Forgiveness for Frontline Healthcare Workers Act.” Here’s what the bill would do:

 

  • The bill would forgive all federal and private student loans for medical workers who are directly working in settings where they are caring for patients suffering from COVID-19.
  • Covered professions would include front-line doctors, nurses, aids, medical residents, interns and technicians. 
  • The bill would also cover researchers who are working on treatments, cures, and vaccines for COVID-19.
  • The bill has no cap on student loan forgiveness.
  • Individual eligibility would be determined by a commission. 
  • The forgiven student loan balance would not be treated as “taxable income” to the borrower.

 

At a press briefing, Rep. Maloney said, "We have an obligation to ensure men and women are relieved of the debt they incurred to train for this critical work." Maloney went on to say that forgiving the student loan debt of front-line medical workers would alleviate fears that many such workers have about leaving their families saddled with their student loan debt if they become sick from COVID-19, or pass away.

This is just the latest proposal for student loan forgiveness offered by lawmakers. Senate Democrats have proposed across-the-board student loan forgiveness of $10,000 per student loan borrower in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. House Democrats went even further, pushing for $30,000 in student loan forgiveness. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has also come out with a plan for student loan forgiveness.