Congress needs to keep a federally subsidized student loan program from lapsing at the end of June, but it shouldn’t pay for the subsidies by making reform of the nation’s health care or entitlement systems more complicated. To keep rates on new Stafford student loans from doubling on July 1 — from 3.4 to 6.8 percent — Republicans want to take $5.9 billion from a fund for preventive health care. Democrats would rather close a loophole that keeps some stockholders from having to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. Neither plan is in the public’s broader interest.
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