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Healthcare Reform's Strange Bedfellows

"That's two major victories in one week," is how President Obama described last week's dual triumphs in not only health care but also...


"That's two major victories in one week," is how President Obama described last week's dual triumphs in not only health care but also student loan reform.

Gone is the old way of doing things-namely where the federal government handed over billions of dollars so that banks would essentially act as middlemen, raking in profits by administering loans to students.

As of last week, the federal government will now be the direct lender. And thanks to $68 billion in savings, more money will be awarded for Pell Grants (federal aid for low-income students).

Starting in July of 2014, graduates be required to pay back their loans using only 10 percent of their income (versus 15 percent); after 20 years of loan repayment, all remaining debt will be forgiven (versus 25 years). Teachers, police officers, nurses and other public service workers will see debt forgiven after 10 years.

Miller-McCune has compiled a list of the 10 Things You Didn't Know Were in the Health Care Bill. In addition to student loan reform, strange bedfellows include: mandates that restaurants post calorie counts, taxes on indoor tanning services, space for nursing mothers to pump breast milk while at work, and $250 million for abstinence-only education, among other things.

Maybe a better question to ask is what didn't make it into the 2,000-page health care bill.

Obama is fond of saying that it "won't fix every problem in our health care system in one fell swoop." But for the two out of every three graduates that leave college with loan debt, where's the reform for the rest of us?

Talk about a pre-existing condition.

Photo via the White House's Flickr Photostream.


















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