The federal government spends more than $160 billion each year on subsidies for college, but nobody believes the country has come remotely close to meeting the goal of universal college affordability. By contrast, under the landmark 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the share of uninsured Americans has dropped by roughly one-third and is now at a historic low.
The number of Americans struggling to pay medical bills or forgoing care because of costs has also fallen. Increased college grant money during the same period, meanwhile, boosted the number of students receiving this assistance by roughly 2 million people. But it has failed to reduce the rate at which these students borrow, and the maximum award still covers less than a third of the price of a public four-year education. The price of attending college has also continued to rise.This article was originally published in Vox.