From Your Lobbyist: Functioning Relief, Medicare…For All.
March 19, 2021
Week of Mar 15-19
This Week’s Events:
- AYA Stands with the AAPI Communities Against Hate: Earlier this week, a white male domestic terrorist gunned down several salons in Atlanta, murdering 6 Asian women. Many Americans see these acts as racist hate crimes given the serious uptick in violence against the Asian communities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the extremely volatile rhetoric around the virus from the previous administration. The Association of Young Americans, on behalf of our 35,000 members, stands by the American Asian Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and offers our deepest sympathies to the families who lost their loved ones to yet another senseless tragedy. We condemn these hate crimes and want to see justice for our AAPI communities. Learn more about how to stop AAPI hate here.
- Department Streamlines Borrower Defense Determinations: The Department of Education announced that it will “streamline debt relief determinations for borrowers with claims approved to date that their institution engaged in certain misconduct.” This will make it MUCH easier for students who were defrauded by for-profit institutions to have their loans discharged en masse, rather than the painstaking process the previous Administration had in place, which made it very difficult for defrauded students to seek relief. This change is expected to help 72,000 borrowers receive $1 billion in loan cancellation. The new Department, under the Biden Administration, said this is just the “first step in addressing borrower defense claims and the underlying regulations” and that it will be issuing further regulations to help student borrowers in the near future.
Full relief under the regulations will include:
- 100% discharge of borrowers’ related federal student loans;
- Reimbursement of any amounts paid on the loans, where appropriate under the regulations;
- Requests to credit bureaus to remove any related negative credit reporting; and
- Reinstatement of federal student aid eligibility, if applicable.
Policies We’re Advocating For:
- House Democrats Reintroduce the Medicare for All Bill: AYA fully endorses the Medicare for All bill introduced by Reps. Jayapal and Dingell, which would transform our nation’s broken healthcare system if enacted into law. Right now, our system significantly over-relies on employers to subsidize healthcare coverage for workers. By tying coverage to employment, many young workers in particular are restrained from making career decisions absent from consideration of their healthcare needs. Furthermore, millions of Americans (including young people!) have recently lost their employer-sponsored health benefits due to pandemic-related layoffs. This has left many with no insurance coverage at all during the biggest healthcare crisis of our time. If passed, the Medicare for All bill would phase out our current system in favor of a larger national program that would be free to low cost for most while providing significant health benefits. This would save young Americans thousands of dollars and likely save lives as well by ensuring that regardless of employment status, healthcare needs can be met.
What’s coming next in Congress?
Implementation of the American Rescue Plan, Infrastructure & Jobs Bill: The Biden Administration is now tasked with implementing the American Rescue Plan, enacted last week. What does that mean? In this case, making sure the stimulus checks get sent out, modifying healthcare premiums to reflect the new law, and ensuring student loan deferment continues, to name a few. In addition to ensuring the ARP train continues to run smoothly, the Biden Administration is beginning to turn its attention to the next stimulus package to help get the country back on track (no pun intended). We can expect an infrastructure and jobs bill to be introduced in the coming months, as part of Biden’s Build Back Better campaign.