March 25, 2020

AFF Community

Weekly Writers Round-Up: What COVID-19 Means for Deregulation, Telehealth, and Student Loan Debt

By: Josh Evans

Each week, we’ll be featuring opinion pieces from the alumni and current participants of AFF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. Do you dream of having bylines like these? Applications for the summer session are now open!

Coronavirus Necessitates Regulation Reevaluation by Hunter Estes (Fall 2019) in the Daily Journal
As a deadly virus has spread across the nation, many of us have been forced to embrace alternative work and life patterns from those we previously occupied. Some of these strategies have been a bit alien, including remote work and the need for food delivery amidst self-isolation. Yet, in truth, we have been empowered to embrace innovation in this period.

The modern digital economy has given us the ability to craft unique approaches to work and consumption that never would have been possible just a few years ago, and it should not have taken a pandemic to embrace policies and regulatory changes that encourage this new age sharing economy…

Telemedicine will make us better prepared for the next coronavirus by Brenée Goforth (Fall 2018) in the Washington Times
It’s a lonelier time in America than usual. The coronavirus (COVID-19) has everyone keeping our distance from one another, and more people are entering quarantine every day. It appears we’ve reached the end of handshaking, and many Americans are avoiding human contact at all costs. That’s the smart thing to do right now. But eventually, most of us are going to need to see a doctor, and suddenly risks of contamination become much higher. For the foreseeable future, emergency rooms will be crowded and hospital beds in short supply.

Now more than ever before, it’s clear that the federal and state governments need to ease regulations on telemedicine…

No, Forgiving Student Debt Won’t Help Americans Cope With Coronavirus by Preston Cooper (Fall 2015) in Forbes
A stimulus bill to alleviate economic upheaval from the coronavirus pandemic failed in the Senate on Sunday after Democrats blocked it. Democrats’ objections were many, but among them was the perception that the bill doesn’t do enough for student loan borrowers. The alternative bill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled on Monday would have taxpayers cancel $10,000 in loans for every borrower, a proposal also endorsed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and likely presidential nominee Joe Biden.

The failed stimulus bill favored by Senate Republicans would pause student loan payments for six months, and interest would not accrue during this time. Democrats are on board with this policy, but demand at least $10,000 per borrower in loan forgiveness as well. As a policy response to the coronavirus pandemic, a moratorium on payments makes sense. Outright loan forgiveness does not…