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CHAT RECAP: Warren: Cut Healthcare Costs, Focus on Jobs and 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. 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. Check out the . 

Bill Carson July 14, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Professor Elizabeth Warren started her campaign last year arriving by limo at the Broadway T stop and said she'll be actively courting the "hick" vote in Boston. Elizabeth has a net worth of almost 8 million dollars and a large stock profile. She associates herself with the general public with her Indian background. At several news events Gov. Patrick had to help her answer questions.The professor has taken as long as three months to answer questions from the news media. -NO vote for me.
Mark July 14, 2012 at 11:37 AM
In 2011 this State under the watchful eye of Deval Patrick and the rest of the Democratic Party on Beacon Hill, this administration gave away $93 Million hard earned "Middle Class" tax dollars to Illegal Immigrants for Health Care. Millions of "Middle Class" tax dollars are going to employ interpreters in cities like Everett to educate Illegal Immigrants. While legal Americans with special need children are left to fight for every last dollar. Illegals are a drain on our police, fire, courts and prisons. They are murdering legal Americans by being allowed to drive on our roads. Ms Warren likes to claim she's for the Middle Class! She's a snake oil salesman just like Deval and Obama! She's for herself and the rest of the liberal elite! Send the carpetbagging Communist packing!
mark patterson July 14, 2012 at 01:50 PM
The Affordable Care Act is a liberal house of cards.To quote Nancy Pelosi "You have to vote for it to see whats in it". What? That is absolutely delusional!Contrary to the recent vote by the Supreme Court the Government has NO right to force this on anyone.Apparently the SCOTUS wants to make their own laws while disregarding the U.S.Constitution.Part of 'Obamacare' actually allows the Feds to go into your personal accounts.I thought in America we had freedom of choice but I guess Obamao and his Fascists won't be satisfied until they completely destroy this country. I have just one question for "Democrats". Would you have voted for Benito Mussolini in 1943? Yes means you are a fascist. If you say No,and vote for Obama,apparently you don't realize that the so-called Democratic party was hijacked by Socialist-Fascists a long time ago.It's most definitely not the Democratic party that my father was proud of 50 years ago when he was a Union carpenter.Oh,and by the way Ms.Warren,if the cities and towns weren't so cash-strapped they could afford to keep police,fire,libraries,etc.The so-called "state aid" is a shell game.We give the state out tax money,they distribute unevenly to 'poor'cities like Lawrence,Lowell,etc. and then give us back pennies as if the are our benefactors.
mark patterson July 14, 2012 at 01:58 PM
At least in France the Socialist Party calls itself the Socialist Party.It is not the job of the federal government to provide "aid" to states and cities and towns.The government creates taxes,not jobs.It's our money,not theirs.Its high time taxpayers realize that a vast amount of federal spending is illegal.The Depts.of Energy,Education,and agencies like HUD,Fannie Mae,Freddie Mac are mentioned nowhere in the Constitution.The feds have no right to fund these programs.The federal government's powers are finite.All other powers and rights belong to the states and the people.Start reading the Constitution folks,and demand the same of YOUR elected officials.I've tried to get Rep.Markey to respond to my inquiries in the past and get some dumb form letter back that was generated by computer.Time for him and many others to retire.
Paul Rotondi July 19, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Ms Warren’s support on the Jobs Bill puts short term political advantage over long term negative impact to the financial stability of our Cities and Towns. The jobs plan will provides temporary money to hire teachers and policemen without any consideration on how these jobs can be sustained after the federal money goes away, or how they will impact the health and pension liability that comes with the jobs. Stoneham is presently wrestling with a $92 million unfunded health insurance liability and a $30 million dollar unfunded pension liability; the temporary infusion of more employees will just increase these liabilities, and after the funding stops, the local governments will be burdened with additional unemployment costs. The present downturn has forced local governments to balance their staffing to levels that can be sustained within their revenue limits. These levels can be increased in a managed way as local recurring revenues increase. Short term federal dollars to increase those levels will put them out of balance and require more layoffs once those dollars disappear. It is time for our politicians to start thinking what is in the best interests of our country, not what is in the best interests of their own political interests.
Russ July 19, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Paul, You have precisely identified one of the key issues that can destroy this town if we do not act. Yet another reason not to invite those from our southern town borders to move to our town thereby yielding a significant increase in our infrastructure that the town can ill afford. We cannot afford another de facto "project" with the associated increases in crime, services and tax increases.
Mark July 19, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Paul, do have links to the unfunded pension and health insurance information? I don't think town employees realize this. I don't see this getting better anytime soon.
Paul Rotondi July 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Mark: I am unaware of any links. There have been Studies done by the Town.

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