— The text of H.R. 2976, the Deferment for Active Cancer Treatment Act
, introduced by U.S. Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), was successfully included in the bipartisan fiscal year 2019 Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The legislation would enable individuals who are diagnosed with cancer to defer payments on public student loans while actively receiving lifesaving treatment without interest accruing during the deferment period.
“This bill will help provide patients with desperately needed financial peace of mind while they wage their battle against cancer. It is also a common sense solution to address the rising number of student loan defaults amongst borrowers by empowering patients to continue repayment after they are back to full health,” said Perlmutter.
Currently, individuals are allowed to defer student loan payments for various qualifying reasons such as going back to school, joining the armed services, or looking for a job, but cancer treatment has not yet been qualified for deferment. Estimates show more than 70,000 young adults are diagnosed with cancer each year
“This bipartisan provision is a no brainer and choosing between paying your medical bills or paying your student loans is a decision no person should be forced to make. I appreciate the work of my colleague Rep. Ros-Lehtinen on this legislation and her work to provide this much-needed assistance to cancer patients throughout our nation. I also appreciate the work of Rep. McCollum (DLF-MN) for offering text of our legislation as an amendment during the appropriations markup process,” said Perlmutter.
The House Appropriations Committee came to a bipartisan agreement on several of the FY19 appropriations bills yesterday which are expected to pass the Senate and the House in the coming weeks, before the fiscal year deadline.