Saturday, December 01, 2007

Heartland Presidential Forum: Hillary Clinton

As I posted earlier, I was unable to attend the Heartland Presidential Forum due to the winter weather that is hitting the area. So I am sitting comfortably at home and will be blogging from my couch.

Hillary Clinton is the next candidate. Due to the situation at her New Hampshire campaign headquarters yesterday and the bad weather in Iowa closing the airport today, Clinton is unable to be at the forum. However, she is participating via satellite.

The first question is about people who do not have health insurance. Clinton says we must have a better government safety net, provide care for preventative care, and cover pre-existing conditions. She doesn't want to leave any American out. Clinton outlines her plan for universal health care plan. Says she believes in competition and will change the way insurance companies do business.

Bret McFarland, a doctor at Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines, asks why we shouldn't expand public programs instead of providing money to greedy private insurance companies. Clinton says she agrees with the Dr.'s diagnosis and says her plan does just that.

The next group of questions is about immigration. The first community leaders is a young immigrant who came to the US with her mother when she was 6. Members of her family have been trying to get legal for 10 years. She graduated high school in the top 10 percent of her class, has 2 AA degrees, and wants to get her bachelor's degree in education, so she use her talents, but immigration laws prevent her to do so. Larry Ginter, a family farmer from Iowa, says it is time to stop treating immigrants as common criminals. He asks if it is time to rethink trade agreements that force people off their lands and come to our country. Clinton says we need comprehensive immigration reform and must consider trade agreements with our neighboring countries to the south.

Clinton was asked if she would work towards creating a path to citizenship in her first 100 days as President. Clinton says a key part to comprehensive immigration reform is providing a path to citizenship, but Congress has a role in it and she will do what she can. The crowd didn't appreciate this and some boo.

The audience doesn't seem to like some of Clinton's answers on immigration and you can hear some boos. She doesn't get anywhere close to the applause that Edwards and Kucinich got when they were done speaking.

Here is more information from Clinton's appearance.

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