Elizabeth Warren talks healthcare, student loans at town hall

By Douglas McCulloch | Aug 23, 2017
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks at the town hall event on August 23.

Senator Elizabeth Warren has a message for everyone on the South Coast and across the country who sent emails, took to Facebook, marched in rallies, and made their voice heard on healthcare: thank you, but don’t stop now.

Speaking at a full University of Massachusetts Dartmouth auditorium at a town hall event on August 23, Warren told the crowd that halting the effort to repeal former President Barack Obama’s healthcare law was in part due to messages sent by voters and those who wanted to see the law stay as it is.

“As people across the country kept talking about the bill, more and more people started talking about what healthcare means to them,” Warren said. “As a country – Democrats, Republicans, independents – we came together and said healthcare is a basic human right.”

She warned, however, that bills are still being filed to chip away at the healthcare law, and urged supporters to stay up to date on the issue.

During a questions-and-answers session, Warren received several questions from college-aged students and older adults on student loans. She recalled her own college career, which cost her $50 a semester.

“I graduated from a college that I could pay for waitressing part time on weekends,” Warren said. “Why? Because America invested in kids like me to create that kind of opportunity.”

As students and graduates across the country are faced with a student loan burden of $1.4 trillion dollars, Warren reiterated her commitment to lowering student loan interest rates, reducing the cost of college, and opening up bankruptcy for student loan debt.

When Warren received a question from a woman in the audience asking what she can do to feel safe in light of a Donald Trump presidency, she advised women to speak up and refuse to tolerate unacceptable behavior.

“What Donald Trump did was wrong, and when other people do anything like that – the idea of bragging about molesting women – it’s just wrong,” Warren said. “We have to speak up and we have to use our voices and we have to call people out.”

She also received a question about net neutrality, the idea that all Internet traffic should be treated equally by Internet service providers. The Federal Communications Commission is debating the fate of the principle, which prevents Internet providers from selling “fast lanes” for companies to deliver their content faster than other websites.

“If we want to have an America with lots of startups and lots of innovation and lots of real growth, then we have to be careful to protect the onramps to building those businesses and building that competition, and for me net neutrality is the heart of it," Warren said.

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