Warren: Cut Healthcare Costs, Focus on Jobs and Education [Live Chat Recap]

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 short 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. Senator 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. You can read the . 

Karl Weld July 16, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Warren has her own Wall St. benefactors. http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/296227/elizabeth-warrens-wall-street-money-machine-kevin-d-williamson?pg=1 "In fact, the list of Warren’s top donors is practically a roll call of lawyers up to their ears in the arcana of structured finance, mortgage-backed securities, and general Wall Street shenanigans. The first guys to securitize credit-card debt? Elizabeth Warren donors. Big banks back Brown, you say? What about the world’s largest and most influential investment firm? Yes, BlackRock backs Professor Warren." "Practically all of the exotic structured-finance products you hear about exist as a direct response to regulation. That being the case, they are not the product of financial engineers only: They are the result of a collaborative effort between financial engineers and Wall Street lawyers. Professor Warren gets some financial support from the former and a hell of a lot from the latter. While I very much doubt that the ghost of Leo Gottlieb or the guys at Mintz Levin would be calling the shots behind the scenes were Professor Warren elected to the Senate, until she is willing to extend the same assumption of good faith to her opponent, she should be held to the standard she sets for him. In which case, we must conclude that the candidate of Occupy Wall Street is also the candidate of Wall Street — which, given the left-leaning, pro-Democrat, bet-hedging nature of the Manhattan-based financial world, is no surprise."
Prof Warren July 16, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Barry, I'm sending you a signed copy of Pow Wow Chow. It contains many of my family's original recipes. Elizabeth Warren Cherokee
Prof Warren July 16, 2012 at 11:46 PM
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. Unlike Sen. Brown, I haven't nor would I read any of the bills. I would just vote for them because the Dem. leadership told me to.
Laura Savage-Carr July 18, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Thanks Barak, I mean Barry. Good try. Divert attention from the facts by falsely accusing someone of a crime.
Laura Savage-Carr July 18, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Ellen, try decaf. Her own financial disclosure forms show she's worth as much as $14.5 million and lives in a $5 million house. Yup, you're right, she's looking out for the working man.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »