A new bill has been introduced to forgive student loan debt for health care workers treating patients on the COVID-19 front line.
Representative Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., explains that the bill, Student Loan Forgiveness for Frontline Health Workers Act, would eliminate student debt for health care workers on the frontlines fighting the coronavirus.
The Student Loan Forgiveness for Frontline Health Workers Act would relieve health care workers who are involved in the COVID-19 response of both private and federal student loan obligations related to their medical and professional education.
Rep. Maloney wrote on Twitter, “Student loan debt, which can total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, is a huge burden for doctors, nurses, and other health care workers. They shouldn’t be forced to worry about their financial well-being in addition to their health and the health of their families”
Maloney also explained that eligibility would extend to nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals responding to the COVID-19 crisis.
“Student loan forgiveness would help boost morale among nurses because it is vital that nurses feel their country cares just as much about them as they care about their country,” said Nicole Kirchhoffer DNP(c), MSN, RN, CEN. “Putting my life in imminent danger to provide care for those inflicted with COVID-19 while having graduate student loan debt looming over me and my family is psychologically distressing and distracting in a time where I need to be more focused than ever.”
Many healthcare workers are facing hundreds of thousands of dollars of student loan debt on top of fighting the global pandemic.
Last month, more than 500,000 people signed a MoveOn petition requesting that Congress should vote to include student loan debt forgiveness for doctors in the next stimulus bill.
The American Medical Association, along with many other health care organizations sent a letter to Congress asking for student loan forgiveness of at least $20,000 for residents and early graduated medical students whose debt averages over $200,000.