Proposed Bill Would Forgive Medical School Debt For COVID-19 Health Workers

A proposed bill introduced by New York Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney would eliminate the medical school debt of the healthcare workers currently working on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. The Student Loan Forgiveness for Frontline Health Workers Act would forgive both private and federal loans taken out by healthcare workers so they could attend medical school.

"Frontline health workers are delivering care to the sickest patients and putting their own safety at great risk in order to keep doing their jobs," Maloney said in a statement. "And in return, I believe that we have an obligation to ensure that they are relieved of the debt they incurred to train for this critical work -- in graduate degree programs or other professional certification."

The bill has support from numerous medical groups, including the Association of American Medical Colleges, which pointed out that medical students finish school with an average of $200,000 in debt.

"We owe more than thanks and cheers at 7 p.m.," Maloney said, referring to the nightly applause healthcare workers in New York City receive when they change shifts. "We have an obligation to ensure men and women are relieved of the debt they incurred to train for this critical work."

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