[VIDEO] Protesters outside White House demand Obama divest student loan profits from Obamacare

Josiah Ryan
Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Approximately 40 student activists marched outside the White House on Wednesday to demand that President Obama abandon his plan to divert $9 billion of profits from student funds to help pay for his landmark Affordable Care Act.

The protesters, who appeared to be students, said their cause took on new urgency on Monday when student interest rates on federal students rates jumped from 3.4 to 6.8 percent thanks, in part,  to the inaction of Senate Democrats.

“One, two, three, four, kick those high rates out the door,” they shouted. “Five, six, seven, eight, get your hands off our rate.”

WATCH: College students protest outside White House over doubling of loan interest rates

Several college age individuals walking by joined the protest and one counter protester attempted to shout down the students as they marched.

Mahsa Parviz, a graduate student at Harvard University, said she was “livid” that President Obama and members of Congress had not managed to come to an agreement on lowering rates.

"I have friends and family members who have struggled with 30-years of college debt and it just keeps piling on," she said. “To see the rates doubt last week…  I am livid that Congress and President Obama aren't stepping into do something."

Another, student, David Haas, who is a senior at Penn State University, suggested Democrats were exploiting students by robbing the student loan progam to fund the Affordable Care Act.

“We are not cash cows,” said Haas. “We are hardworking students. He [President Obama] is funding benefits we will never even see.”

The protest was spurred, in part, by a Campus Reform report last week on a little known provision in the Affordable Care Act that could cost students enrolled in the government’s loan program up to $8.7 billion in extra interest over the next decade.

According to the CBO, interest rates could immediately be lowered to  5.3 percent from 6.3 percent if the funds were not diverted to Obamacare.

The protest, which lasted for about an hour, was organized by Mike Armstrong, a well-known conservative organizer, based in the Washington D.C. area.  

Armstrong told Campus Reform that he believes it is crucial for students to understand how the government is profiting from their debt.

“It’s shameful that President Obama and congressional Democrats are willing to fund their radical health care agenda on the back of students,” said Armstrong. “ We are here today to demand the swift and total divestment of student funds from this failing venture.”

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Josiah Ryan

Josiah Ryan

Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
Josiah Ryan is a former editor-in-chief for Campus Reform, and former director of communications for LI's Campus Leadership Program. Previously Josiah reported on the U.S. Senate for The Hill newspaper in Washington D.C. and was the cofounder of The Floor Action blog, a live-stream on policy, politics, and procedure in the upper chamber.
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