Warren: Cut Healthcare Costs, Focus on Jobs, Education

U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren joined us live on July 13 to answer your questions. Here's a short recap of the Q&A session.

U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren joined us for a live chat with Patch readers on July 13. Many of the questions submitted were about her position on healthcare, job creation and the affordability of higher education.

Check out the following brief recap, or browse through the . 

On Her Heritage

Patch: The first question came from a reader in Lynnfield. "Although there is a relatively small number of Mass. voters of Native American descent, do you feel you have addressed their concerns about your own statements involving your heritage?"

Elizabeth Warren: Growing up, my mother and grandparents often talked about our family's Native American heritage. As a kid, I never asked them for documentation--what kid would?

But growing up, I knew that my parents had been very much in love, but that my father's family said they couldn't get married because my mother was part Cherokee and part Delaware. So they eloped. We grew up with this all our lives. 

I never asked for--and never got--any benefit in school or in jobs. The people who hired me have said that they didn't even know about it when they recruited me--and it played no role in my hiring. 

So there it is. 

On Healthcare

From Dennis Naughton: "I am a senior citizen and am very concerned about the future of Medicare. Sen. Brown has made it clear that he supports the Republican ideas that would tend to privatize the system. I oppose that idea, especially given the collapse of the economy and what it did to 401k's. What is your position on the future of Medicare?"

Elizabeth Warren: I disagree with Republicans who want to privatize Medicare. Cutting Medicare won't keep people from having heart attacks or developing diabetes. In other words, people will still get sick and they will still need care. Pushing the costs of their care on families or emergency rooms doesn't change the basic calculation, and it certainly won't cut overall health care costs. 

The real issue is the rising cost of health care that is squeezing families. We need to work on cutting health care costs. The Affordable Care Act begins the process, but we need to do more to improve quality while reducing overall costs. 

If I can put in a plug for our local folks, some of the best research in the country and some of the most exciting innovations in health care delivery are happening right here in Massachusetts. We should support this work--that's how we move forward.

On Jobs

From Johnny: "What job programs do you support to aleviate unemployment? Would you be in favor of lowering capital gains to make it more appealing for companies to have business here?"

Elizabeth Warren: Last fall Scott Brown and all the Republicans voted to block three jobs bills in a row. We had nearly a quarter of a million people unemployed here in Massachusetts. The first jobs bill would have supported about 22,000 jobs here in MA, the second would have prevented layoffs of teachers, firefighters and police all across the Commonwealth, and the third would have supported nearly 11,000 jobs mostly in construction in transportation. 

These jobs bills could have made a real difference in the lives of thousands of families and helped our economy recover faster. I support any and all of them.

On Education

From Karl Johnson: I'm a school committee member from Dover. I know you're a supporter of holding the line on college interest rates. While this is an admirable band aid to nominally mitigate student debt burdens it doesn't address the underlying need for reducing the out of control growth in college and university tuition costs vs. household income growth. What would you do to encourage and/or force structural changes in the college/university cost structure to truly make higher education affordable to middle and upper middle class families? 

Elizabeth Warren: College costs have gone through the roof. A young person today going to a state university will pay (adjusted for inflation) more than 350% of what a student would have paid thirty years ago. Investment in public universities has declined, and that has forced more costs onto the students. 

Universities and students are trying hard to make progress and changes. They are trying to save money, improve graduation rates, and improve job placement rates. They are working hard to innovate. I recently visited Bunker Hill Community College. Classes start at BHCC at 7:00 AM and the last class STARTS at 11:45 PM. The students, teachers and the school are struggling to use their facilities to their fullest extent so that they can deliver a quality education to as many people as possible.

We need to support students who are trying to get an education--and that means supporting the schools that are trying to educate them.

Those are just a few of the questions Warren answered during our 45 minute live chat. Check out the . 

JT July 16, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Our country is headed down a socialist path--not what it was meant to do, not what MOST Americans want. Even if you put Warren's self-inflicted lack of credibility, lack of experience, and hypocritical views aside (do the fact-checking--it's all out there), her progressive/socialist policies do not belong in the United States government, not do they benefit its people. MOST Americans still WANT their FREEDOM--and Warren does NOT represent that. The fact that Senator Brown is credible, has a proven track record of standing up for American freedom, actually listening to "we the people" & voting with them AT LEAST 85% of the time, speaks VOLUMES even without the details (also available if you take the time to fact-check). Americans need to do their "due diligence" before voting this November AT EVERY LEVEL, and decide whether their country will survive as the unique democratic republic with the ability of ALL citizens to grow and prosper with their "inalienable rights" in tact, or if they want to continue down the path of socialism the "progressives" offer under so many new names, titles & programs--the same SMOTHERING system "in new clothes" that most history books you read--and certainly ANY living person you talk with who has escaped such a system--will tell you, is the sure road to a depressing destination that will strip you of your rights and make you a slave to government whims for life.
Herman July 16, 2012 at 09:05 PM
BAV you are indeed drinking vast quantities of kool aid from your brain dead leaders. You and your minions have bashed Bush for the past 11 years and someone beats you to it and you whine, typical. By the way I have been alive for all the Presidents you named and Obama is the worst EVER. Keep voting America into the toilet pal.
BAV July 16, 2012 at 10:04 PM
We each get one vote. I'll vote for Obama. Vote as you please (but remember that Bush is not running, though you can still write him in). Enjoy your evening!
haddanuff July 17, 2012 at 12:55 AM
A vote for Obama, or any of these liberal socialist loons, is a vote for the destruction of everything that made this country great. HOW do people, and Warren NOT see that? LOOK and LISTEN do your candidates, Warren and her pal in the white house. No reasonable, sane person would vote for four more years of this no matter how bad the alternatives look.
Roger S July 17, 2012 at 02:15 PM
So true. I will not vote for her or Obama. I can see what is happening to our country and four more years of this is an insult to those who died for this great nation.


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