Lobbyists get Florida to value loan payments over medical skills for doctors

healthcare

The state of Florida is facing a healthcare crisis of epic proportions after the state Board of Health bowed down to student loan companies by stripping licenses from 1,000 medical professionals for being unable to repay their student loans.

It’s not enough that most Americans can’t afford healthcare in this country, they also can’t afford to pay student loans. But Florida upped the ante recently by passing a law allowing the suspension of professional healthcare licenses of those who can’t pay back their student loans, resulting in a double whammy that should be detested by all Americans.

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According to WTXL in Tallahassee, 900 individuals have had their licences taken away from them thus far, robbing them of their job and ability to pay on the loan, but also robbing Floridians of trained healthcare professionals, which will put a strain on facilities across the state.

The move to suspend health care licenses comes after federal student loan companies spent years lobbying states to adopt laws to punish those who default on student loans by taking away their professional licenses.

The state can garnish up to 100 percent of wages before a health care worker’s license can be reinstated…And under Florida law, once the state suspends a license for student loan default, the only way to get it back is to pay a fine equal to 10 percent of the balance, plus state investigation costs.

University of South Florida economics professor Gabriel Picone warns that striping licenses from medical professionals will also result in more taxpayer dollars being spent on welfare programs because they will be forced to use food stamps and other government aid to survive.

“It’s trying to take too much away,” Picone said. “This person may end up on Medicaid, receive food stamps. All this is more money that we will have to pay.”

Christie Arkovich, a student loan attorney, pointed out that stripping licenses is not the best way to get people to pay back their student loans. It’s like a loan shark murdering someone they gave a big loan to for not paying it back. Dead people don’t pay their debts, and neither do people who don’t have a job.

And what’s scarier is that Florida isn’t the only state with such a law on the books. Alaska, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas all have laws allowing the state to do the same thing to healthcare professionals if they fail to repay student loans. So, if you think this can’t happen to you, think again.

If anything, healthcare professionals should be able to automatically get their student loans forgiven for being in the medical field. Americans, like everyone else in the world, need healthcare professionals now more than ever.

But now we have two major financial rackets in this country bleeding people dry, the for-profit healthcare industry which includes Big Pharma and student loan companies that are greedily doing anything to get money at all costs even if it hurts those they are trying to get money from.

This grave injustice makes the case for student loan forgiveness. Student loans have already surpassed $1.2 trillion in this country with no relief in sight as Americans struggle to pay their bills while income inequality continues to widen. This is why we not only need socialized medicine and a living wage, it’s why the government should forgive all student loan debt and fund free higher education for all. It’s time to end these corrupt and greedy for-profit systems once and for all and let Americans do their jobs and live their lives without having to worry about a lifetime of debt.

Featured Image: Wikimedia