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News & Politics News & Politics

Student Loans, Obama, the GOP, and Preventative Health Care

Posted by on Apr. 28, 2012 at 11:45 AM
  • 9 Replies
White House: Obama would veto GOP student loan plan - CNN.com
By Deirdre Walsh , Brianna Keilar and Tom Cohen , CNN
updated 2:56 PM EDT, Fri April 27, 2012
CNN.com
 
Obama speaks about the student loan issue at the University of North Carolina this week.

Washington (CNN) -- The White House said Friday that President Barack Obama would veto a Republican measure passed by the House to extend lower interest rates on federal student loans because it takes money from a health care fund that benefits women.

A White House statement said Obama's senior advisers would recommend a veto if the House measure, which passed 215-195 on a largely party-line vote, were to win Senate approval and reach the president's desk.

"Women, in particular, will benefit from this prevention fund, which would provide for hundreds of thousands of screenings for breast and cervical cancer," the White House statement said. "This is a politically motivated proposal and not the serious response that the problem facing America's college students deserves. If the president is presented with H.R. 4628, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill."

Obama favors extending the current lower interest rates on student loans but would seek a different way to pay the $6 billion cost.

A proposal by Senate Democrats would pay for the measure by ending some tax loopholes for corporations, a move opposed by Republicans. The House plan would instead take the money from the health care fund, which is part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act detested by Republicans.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, proposed the GOP's student loan measure this week in the face of a high-profile campaign by Obama that rallied college students -- a key component of the vital youth vote in November -- to pressure Congress to extend the lower student loan rates.

Student loan interest rates to rise

In addition, certain Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney pinned Boehner and congressional Republicans in a corner by coming out in favor of the lower rates this week.

House Republicans previously backed a budget plan that called for letting the lower interest rates on student loans expire on July 1.

In an emotional floor speech Friday, Boehner labeled the issue a fake fight mounted by Democrats for political advantage.

"People want to politicize this because it is an election year, but my God, do we have to fight about everything?" Boehner said, at times pounding the podium. "And no, now we are going to have a fight over women's health. Give me a break! This is the latest plank in the so-called war on women entirely created by colleagues across the aisle for political gain."

Calling for a review of "the facts," Boehner said Obama's proposed budget called for reducing the same health care fund, which he labeled a "slush fund."

"You may have already forgotten that several months ago, you all voted to cut $4 billion out of this slush fund to pay for the payroll credit bill" that extended a payroll tax cut, Boehner continued, shouting, "So, to accuse us of wanting to gut women's health is absolutely not true."

On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, took exception to Republicans characterizing the health care fund as something inappropriate or sinister.

"You call preventive care a 'slush fund'? I mean, they should be ashamed of themselves," Reid said. "This is saving people's lives, saving the country huge amounts of money."

Asked about the payroll tax vote at a Friday news conference, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said Democrats weren't happy about taking money from the fund for the payroll tax measure at the time and now want to ensure that the rest of the money stays in the fund.

On the House floor, Pelosi said House Republicans were forced by Obama's publicizing of the issue to reverse their previous opposition to keeping the interest rates on federal student loans at the current 3.4% instead of letting them double to 6.8% on July 1.

She said the House budget proposal by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, called for allowing the interest rate to double in July, and that House Republicans had backed the plan as recently as last week.

The new House measure would eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund, Pelosi said, accusing Republicans of protecting tax subsidies for the oil industry while wanting "mom and children to pay the price."

On Wednesday, Obama took on Boehner by name, telling students at the University of Iowa a spokesman in the speaker's office believed the president's focus on student loans is an effort to "distract people from the economy."

The president told a rowdy audience, "Now think about that for a second, because these guys don't get it." He told the cheering crowd, "If you do well, the economy does well. This is about the economy. What economy are they talking about? You are the economy."

A few hours later, Boehner announced a Friday vote on the House measure and hit back at the president saying, "This week the president is campaigning and trying to invent a fight where there is none and never has been on this issue of student loans."

On Tuesday night, Democratic Sens. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Tom Harkin of Iowa and Sherrod Brown of Ohio introduced the Democratic proposal. It would freeze the current interest rate for one year and pay for it by closing a loophole on "S corporations," a tax structure Democrats say can be used to avoid paying Social Security and Medicare taxes.

The Republican proposal in House also extends the current rate for one year, but it covers the cost by dipping into the health care fund intended to promote wellness, prevent disease and protect against public health emergencies.

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by on Apr. 28, 2012 at 11:45 AM
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Replies (1-9):
_Kissy_
by on Apr. 28, 2012 at 11:49 AM
1 mom liked this
do it Mr. President.
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LIMom1105
by on Apr. 29, 2012 at 12:45 PM
1 mom liked this

I never understand skimping on preventative medicine--I have had health insurance plans that would cover me if I got a disease, but would not cover the basic doctor's visits that might help prevent the disease in the first place, or catch it before it's a big expense.

We'll only wind up spending more on health care in the long run if preventative services are not available.

bluerooffarm
by Silver Member on Apr. 29, 2012 at 1:37 PM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting LIMom1105:

I never understand skimping on preventative medicine--I have had health insurance plans that would cover me if I got a disease, but would not cover the basic doctor's visits that might help prevent the disease in the first place, or catch it before it's a big expense.

We'll only wind up spending more on health care in the long run if preventative services are not available.

 Okay this is going to sound absolutely heartless and I know that, but I'm going to tell you a disgusting thing that a high up employee of a BIG insurance co told me.  Preventative care does not save the ins co money because it (prev care)insures that people lives longer and then becomes sicker later in life.  The ins co is actually betting that you get sick and die quickly without them paying out too many benefits.  They are really hoping for the person who hardly ever uses their health insurance as a younger person, gets older and doesn't really want to see a doctor, finally feels sick enough to justify a doctor's visit and then finds out they have something VERY bad, gets 2-3 months of care and dies. 

I know it is awful, but that is the bet that the ins co is making each time that they take on a customer.

lga1965
by on Apr. 29, 2012 at 11:00 PM

 http://www.ushistory.org/franklin/quotable/quote67.htm

Preventive health care is essential. If we need to decide which to pay for, I say pay for preventive health care for everyone instead of lower interest rates on student loans. If you don't have good health, you have nothing. Preventing diseases saves money.  But why not do both? Preventive health care AND lower student loan interest rates. And stop waging wars in the middle east....we can save billions that way and spend money on health and education instead.

29again
by Gold Member on Apr. 29, 2012 at 11:17 PM
2 moms liked this

He will veto it because it will play into the narrative of the Repubs as evil.  That is the only reason why.  O doesn't really care how it is paid for, he doesn't even care if it is passed in the first place.  This whole drama is just for the sake of being able to say no to the Repubs.  And that is if it even gets through the Senate, which is doubtful.

Citygirlk
by on Apr. 29, 2012 at 11:25 PM
1 mom liked this
It sounds like this bill was passed especialy so that he would be stuck between a rock and a hard place. it really doesnt matter what he decides to do cause he will be attacked on his choice anyway.
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Citygirlk
by on Apr. 29, 2012 at 11:30 PM
To me it looks like they need somthing to go after him on. Cause if he passes it he is causing the war on women if he vetoes it he doesnt care about students being able to afford college like he says its a lose, lose sitituation.

Quoting 29again:

He will veto it because it will play into the narrative of the Repubs as evil.  That is the only reason why.  O doesn't really care how it is paid for, he doesn't even care if it is passed in the first place.  This whole drama is just for the sake of being able to say no to the Repubs.  And that is if it even gets through the Senate, which is doubtful.

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29again
by Gold Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 10:23 AM

They don't need to come up with something NEW to go after O on, there is already PLENTY to use out there!!!  And there IS NO WAR ON WOMEN!  I don't think it will even make it through the Senate in the first place.

Quoting Citygirlk:

To me it looks like they need somthing to go after him on. Cause if he passes it he is causing the war on women if he vetoes it he doesnt care about students being able to afford college like he says its a lose, lose sitituation.

Quoting 29again:

He will veto it because it will play into the narrative of the Repubs as evil.  That is the only reason why.  O doesn't really care how it is paid for, he doesn't even care if it is passed in the first place.  This whole drama is just for the sake of being able to say no to the Repubs.  And that is if it even gets through the Senate, which is doubtful.


lga1965
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 10:41 AM

 laughingIgnorance is bliss, or so they say.

Quoting 29again:

They don't need to come up with something NEW to go after O on, there is already PLENTY to use out there!!!  And there IS NO WAR ON WOMEN!  I don't think it will even make it through the Senate in the first place.

Quoting Citygirlk:

To me it looks like they need somthing to go after him on. Cause if he passes it he is causing the war on women if he vetoes it he doesnt care about students being able to afford college like he says its a lose, lose sitituation.

Quoting 29again:

He will veto it because it will play into the narrative of the Repubs as evil.  That is the only reason why.  O doesn't really care how it is paid for, he doesn't even care if it is passed in the first place.  This whole drama is just for the sake of being able to say no to the Repubs.  And that is if it even gets through the Senate, which is doubtful.


 

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