Obama’s big push

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Obama’s big push

Marietta Times – College students might be joining the uninsured as most likely to benefit from the health care reform bill that's could soon arrive on on the president's desk.

That's because in order to get the votes needed for the bill's passage, House Democrats are considering pairing the reform bill with far-reaching student aid changes that have so far been quite popular with the party.

The student aid proposal would essentially eliminate the "middle man" between students and institutions of higher learning, said Kevin Lamb, director of student financial services at Marietta College. That would free up billions of government dollars, which would then be offered to more students through Pell Grants.

"The direct lending program takes the bank out of the middle. The subsidies (to the banks) would be saved since they wouldn't go to the banks to help fund the increases," Lamb said. "That (Pell Grants) certainly has made a big impact this year. I think in the short-term that will continue to make a big impact."

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, supports both the student aid measure and the health care reform bill, said Meghan Dubyak, Brown's press secretary.

"The senator is a strong supporter of passing student aid reform to ensure that more students who are struggling to go to college can afford it," she said.

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