Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Judy Feder at AARP Forum

Yesterday, Judy Feder attended an AARP in Leesburg. Here's an account of what she said, courtesy of Leesburg Today.
When it was Feder's turn, the two-time candidate for Wolf's 10th District seat quickly said the election turned on "choice about the future-more of the same or to move in a new direction."

After talking with voters for three years, Feder said it was clear on all the issues the country couldn't afford to go on as it has been. "It's too risky," she said.

Seniors were facing an economic crisis, and Feder said her aim if elected would be to provide oversight of the legislation that bailed out bad investments, and to protect taxpayers.

"We also need stronger limits on executive remuneration," she said, and more accountability on the mortgage crisis, with the ultimate goal of letting people stay in their homes. Restructuring people's mortgages or changing bankruptcy laws would bring stability to the housing market, Feder said.

To rebuild the country, "we need to bring back the $10 billion it takes every month to rebuild Iraq-to rebuild here and invest in transportation, roads and rail transportation needs, such as rail to Dulles."

Clean air, energy efficiency, with incentives for renewable solutions such as wind and solar, plus creating green jobs, were among Feder's goals.

But, nowhere is the call greater than in health care, Feder said. Guaranteeing that every American has benefits, a choice of plans and doctors when they're sick is an imperative, Feder said. If they're not happy with their choices, they should be able to choose between private and public plans.

Getting rid of preexisting conditions should be a top priority as well as improving Medicare, Medicaid and long-term healthcare. Wolf's bipartisan commission, she said, would not solve the problems.

"I want to make a health care system for everyone, avoid duplication, do wise investing, so we can deliver what works," Feder said, saying she has fought for affordable healthcare for "everyone" for years as dean of Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute.

Asked about the future of Medicare, Feder said it was a good, strong program, but could improve in certain areas, such as paperwork and access. She noted that "a much bigger problem than Social Security is the financing of Medicare and Medicaid, and the problem of rising healthcare costs."

The much touted private drug benefit plans that went into effect in 2003 with the purpose of making drugs cheaper because of competition have had the opposite effect of undermining Medicare, she said, and should not continue.

"There's no evidence the competition worked," Feder said.

Just because the economy is in dire condition and the country facing a $10-$11 trillion debt doesn't mean it should stop investing in areas such as clean energy and moving to renewables to protect the environment, she said.

"We in Loudoun have the capacity to be a critical technology center and to develop green jobs," she said.

Feder pointed to deregulation as the main source of the financial crisis, saying financial institutions and markets are not bad, but they need regulation so they're not "investing in stuff that has no value." Similarly, she said, it should have been obvious that things are interlocked, and when one thing goes down, so does another.

Feder also said she'd like to see the county go back to ideas like the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. "We do have the capacity to engage young people in service in ways we may have failed to do," Feder said.

By the way, Frank Wolf was there too, pretty much repeating the same ol' same ol' about his supposedly "bipartisan approach" (could have fooled me!), how he got Metro to Dulles (he did?), etc. Read about what Wolf had to say and note the clear differences between the two candidates. On November 4, the choice is clear: Judy Feder for Congress and "Farewell Frank!" :)

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