Biden’s Visit: Education and Medicare put supporters in line

By Tiffanie Reynolds |
Photos by Ryan Buffa
Out of the 955 people that stood in line outside of the Ketterlinus Elementary School Gymnasium, many said Obama’s policies on education and health care are what is spurring their support.

Kara Corkran, a reading teacher at Flagler Palm Coast High School, said that under Romney’s plan, she’s afraid that less money will be going to public education.

“I’m not really a big fan of charter schools, and from my research it seems that’s where a lot of our public money is going to be going, into the charter schools, and that’s what really frightens me. Public education should stay public education,” she said.

During his speech on Saturday, Biden talked about education, among other issues such as the economy and budget cuts under Romney’s plan.

Plans in education also cover much of the concern with student loans for college. Kristin Heard, from Jacksonville, said that the decrease in the interest of her student loans has helped her pay for college.

“Initially, when I had to go to school I had to take out student loan, because financially I couldn’t afford it, and I wouldn’t have been able to afford the monthly payments if it wasn’t for the efforts they made in that part for me,” Heard said.

She received her undergrad in business management and is going back to college for medical coding and billing.

Another subject among supporters was the Affordable Health Care Act, or “Obamacare,” which has helped Americans keep Medicare and Medicaid. This is what locked in Loraine Cokran’s vote. A retired teacher in Palm Coast, she has just gotten on Medicare and wants Obama to keep supporting it for her retirement.

“I do believe that particular program needs to be supported and not done as a voucher system for senior citizens. And, Medicaid for the senior citizens who happen to be in nursing homes needs to be protected because that was the generation that has supported us and now we need to help them,” said Cockran.

Biden said these programs will be kept under the Obama administration, saying that cutting the budget for Medicaid and Medicare under Romney’s plan will affect millions of American senior citizens.

“That means 19 million people are not qualified for Medicaid, including 1 million seniors who in the middle class and working class rely on to be able to get themselves to the point where they are able to be in a nursing home,” said Biden.

Shaine Carter, from Fort Myers, said that she has experienced the difference of health insurance under the Affordable Health Care Act.

“I’m 25 years old and I’m still on my parents insurance because of the health care reform. And that’s very beneficial, because that big piece of money isn’t coming out of my paycheck,” said Carter.

On the other side of the street from the Biden speech stood supporters for Romney and Ryan. Vance Kivelay of St. Augustine was one of them. What brought him out to protest against Obama and Biden isn’t the promises that they have made for the next four years, but the promises that he believes weren’t met.

“He made promises of what he would accomplish. Gave us benchmarks of what he would accomplish when he became president. He has failed to accomplish any of them as far as I can see,” said Kivelay.

This is Biden’s ninth visit to Florida in 2012. Florida, a key swing state in elections, is one that both Biden and Ryan are touring in hopes to win over the state just before election day.

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