Biden talks student impact
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 01:09
At a campaign stop in Eau Claire, Wis., Vice President Joe Biden discussed the key differences he sees between his and President Barack Obama’s campaign and Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan’s campaign. Biden focused on issues that could affect young voters–the job market, education costs and healthcare reform.
Local fire officials estimated the crowd to be nearly 3,000 people, most of them students. The campaign was expecting 1,700.
Wisconsin became a target for the Obama campaign when Romney selected the state’s Republican representative, Ryan, to be his running mate.
Wearing a blue polo and standing in front of a “FORWARD” banner at the University of Wisconsin’s Zorn Arena, Biden said the key to the United States remaining the No. 1 economic force in the world is its education system.
“We have to be the single best-educated nation in the world in order to be able to do that,” Biden said. “That is not hyperbole. We must be the single best-educated nation in the world.”
Biden cited some programs that he and Obama supported in order to fund secondary education.
He mentioned the American Opportunity Tax Credit, a $2,500 credit redeemable for students whose households make less than $80,000 or $160,000 for married couples filing a joint return.
Biden said that he and Obama increased funding for Pell grants, a move that had personal implications.
“The President and I know neither one of us would be standing where we are today were it not for help we received in scholarships and loans to get our education,” he said.
Jordan Finch, a student at the Eau Claire University of Wisconsin outlet campus, said she would be voting democrat because of Obamacare, the healthcare overhaul that the administration supports.
“It sounds a lot like it’s going to be free healthcare for everyone,” Finch said. “I don’t know much about the Republican plan, but it sounds like its going to be tiered a little bit.”
Before Biden spoke, he asked the crowd to take a moment to reflect on the situation in the Middle East. He said that diplomats and aid workers are just as courageous as the soldiers they accompany.
“The only difference is they’re not wearing a uniform,” Biden said.
Biden spoke about the differences between the Republican plan for healthcare reform and what Obamacare has set out to do. He said his opponents have not been upfront about their plans for Medicare.
He cited a Harvard study that compared congressman Ryan’s plan to Obamacare. Biden said the study concluded that someone who is 48 years old now could expect to pay $125,000 more than seniors pay now for the same healthcare.
The study, published in the Journal of American Medical Association in August, shows that the Ryan plan could decrease the cost of health insurance. The study also explores whether the Ryan plan could keep the quality of healthcare up while cutting costs.