NEW YORK – A U.S. lawmaker has offered to forgive all student loan debts to healthcare workers on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19.

Representative Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, introduced the bill on Tuesday in response to doctors and nurses who rebuffed New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s suggestion that the federal government grant a 50% risk premium to these workers.

Many of them said they appreciated the risk premium sentiment, but stressed that the 50% increase would do little to help them get out of debt.

According to the Association of American Faculties of Medicine, young doctors leave medical school with an average debt of $ 200,000.

“I’m looking at a student loan debt of $ 318,000,” Dr. Manuel Penton III, 32, previously reported to ABC News. “That extra few thousand dollars, while it can make a big difference to some people, for me most of that money is going to go toward paying off my student loan debt.”

Health care groups, such as the American Medical Association, recently wrote letters to Congress asking for some kind of student loan forgiveness for physicians.

Maloney introduced the law on student loan forgiveness for frontline healthcare workers on Tuesday. If passed, the bill would forgive all federal and private student loans to medical professionals and medical researchers who work directly in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have more than thanks and cheers at 7 p.m.,” Maloney said at a media briefing on Tuesday. “We have an obligation to ensure that men and women are relieved of the debt they incurred to train for this essential job.”

In March, Representative Ayanna Pressley, D-Massachusetts, proposed a bill that would forgive up to $ 30,000 in public student loans for any profession.

Maloney said his targeted approach to forgiving loans to healthcare professionals was more likely to be successful.

In response to the coronavirus crisis, payments on most federal student loans are suspended, without interest, until September 30.

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