April 10, 2020
Joe Biden Calls For Student Loan Forgiveness, Medicare Changes
Democratic presidential presumptive nominee Joe Biden released a new plan Thursday to forgive and eliminate student loan debt for millions of student borrowers.
According to Forbes, Biden’s plan would forgive all undergraduate federal student loan debt for borrowers who attended public colleges and universities, historically black colleges and universities, and private minority-serving institutions (MSIs). Borrowers that make less than $125,000 would also be eligible for loan forgiveness.
“I would finance this new student debt proposal by repealing the high-income ‘excess business losses’ tax cut in the CARES Act,” Biden wrote. “That tax cut overwhelmingly benefits the richest Americans and is unnecessary for addressing the current COVID-19 economic relief efforts.”
Additionally, Biden also supports Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s plan to restructure the bankruptcy code allowing student loan debt to be easily discharged in bankruptcy. Currently, student loan debt is treated differently from other forms of consumer debt in bankruptcy. Many feel that it’s time-consuming and difficult to meet the difficult “undue hardship” standard needed.
Biden’s new plan goes further than a previous plan he released last year. Political analysts see the new plan as an olive branch to align supporters of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and to consolidate the Democratic base.
Biden also released a plan to lower the age of eligibility for Medicare from 65 to 60. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll from January 2019 almost 90% of Democrats and 70% of Republicans believe citizens as young as 50 should be allowed to buy into Medicare.
“It reflects the reality that, even after the current crisis ends, older Americans are likely to find it difficult to secure jobs,” Biden wrote of the plan. He added the plan would be financed “out of general revenues to protect the Medicare Trust Fund.”
Biden also supported a $10,000 federal student loan forgiveness plan as a response to the coronavirus outbreak. Senate Democrats proposed this idea, but Senate Republicans eliminated it from the final version of the CARES Act.
College students and the elderly are among the most impacted by the outbreak. College students were forced to rush off campus quickly and the elderly have been told in some states not to go outside. Luckily both have received some help. U-Haul provided free storage for students and celebrities have reached out to the elderly.