As Health Care Workers Sacrifice Their Safety to Fight COVID-19, Casey Proposes that Anticipated Coronavirus Legislation Include GI Bill for Front Line ‘Soldiers’
Washington, D.C. – To support the Americans on the front lines of the battle against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is calling for a modern-day ‘GI Bill’ for health care workers who have made sacrifices to protect the Nation against the virus. As COVID-19 has placed our health care system under particular strain, health care workers across America have stepped into the breach, at extraordinary risk to themselves, to care for those sick with coronavirus and to prevent its continued spread into our communities.
“When the difficult victory in World War II was won, we showed our gratitude to the men and women who helped to secure that victory with the GI Bill. In the same way that we demonstrated our gratitude to our servicemembers, we need to begin a conversation about how best to show our thanks to the front line personnel who today are our soldiers in the fight against coronavirus,” said Senator Casey. “We need to plan for their needs in the same way that they are currently meeting the needs of a nation. In short, we need a new GI bill for health care workers returning from their COVID-19 service in the hospitals, health systems and nursing homes of America.”
In Pennsylvania, 5 percent of COVID-19 cases so far have been among health care workers. Senator Casey is exploring a range of options for health care workers, such as student loan forgiveness, financial aid to help workers to pursue additional education and a financial reward for health care workers who spent months in the trenches. Last week, Senator Casey joined his Senate Democratic colleagues in introducing the COVID-19 Heroes Fund, Senate Democrats’ proposal consisting of two major components: a $25,000 premium pay increase for essential workers and a $15,000 essential worker recruitment incentive to attract and secure the workforce needed to fight the public health crisis.
Read Senator Casey’s proposal here.