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A Robust Public Option...for Colleges

Jeff Cohen @ Common Dreams - When President Obama signs the healthcare reconciliation bill on Tuesday, we can crow about a robust public option - en route perhaps to a more inclusive, cost-effective single-payer system. Soon, private profiteers (and subsidies to them) will be sidelined, and the government will save taxpayers billions by providing service directly to Americans in need.

We won!

I'm not hallucinating. We should savor this victory.

Unfortunately, it's not a healthcare victory.

Attached to the healthcare reconciliation bill is an unrelated college loan measure that goes in the opposite direction of healthcare reform. The loan measure sidelines private profiteers - the banks - and saves taxpayers money by making the government something of a "single-payer" which will soon be directly issuing most college loans in our country.

Direct lending by the government will cut out the middleman and save taxpayers, according to the Congressional Budget Office, $61 billion over 10 years - with $40 billion in savings being redirected to higher education in the form of more Pell grants, more aid to minority-serving colleges and more aid to lower-income graduates for paying off their student debt.

What a concept! Read more.

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