Joe Biden released plans Thursday to expand Medicare eligibility and forgive some student debt in a pair of proposals aimed at unifying the Democratic Party by appealing to supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who ended his White House bid Wednesday.
In a Medium post, Biden wrote he would lower the Medicare eligibility age to 60 and forgive student debt for low-income and middle class families who attended public colleges and universities, historically black colleges and universities, and underfunded minority-serving institutions.
"I believe that as we are being plunged into what is likely to be one of the most volatile and difficult economic times in this country's recent history, we can take these critical steps to help make it easier for working people to make ends meet," he wrote. "Sen. Sanders and his supporters can take pride in their work in laying the groundwork for these ideas, and I'm proud to adopt them as part of my campaign at this critical moment in responding to the coronavirus crisis."
He would pay for the student debt plan by repealing the "excess business losses" tax cut in the recently passed $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package. He said he would release further details for his proposals in the future, The Hill reported.
Biden might still face obstacles in winning over progressives, who have made clear the former vice president has struggled with the younger voters.
"Messaging around a 'return to normalcy' does not and has not earned the support and trust of voters from our generation," eight groups wrote in an open letter to Biden, The Hill reported. "For so many young people, going back to the way things were 'before Trump' isn't a motivating enough reason to cast a ballot in November.
"We need a vision for the future, not a return to the past."
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