Yo Mr. Vice President: Call John and Elizabeth Edwards
I think it is a good idea and VP Biden is a good person to chair it. However, I take a small exception with something the POTUS said about the poor. He said they would be front and center as a part of it, but only if they are willing to work for it. That sounds like Rethug (or what I term the "biscuits and gravy crowd"--who often say they didn't need welfare when they were downright poor in eating gruel everyday) rhetoric to me, as though poor people are lazy and only want to collect welfare.
But perhaps our POTUS doesn't understand the working poor who need to be put front and center. They have been working their hearts out for years and can't get anywhere as it is, and now, they are sliding further into the ditch. Bankruptcies are up due to health care emergencies requiring lengthy care in the hospital, and often due to out of pocket expenses, even if the person is insured, according to the National Coalition on Health Care:
- A recent study by Harvard University researchers found that the average out-of-pocket medical debt for those who filed for bankruptcy was $12,000. The study noted that 68 percent of those who filed for bankruptcy had health insurance. In addition, the study found that 50 percent of all bankruptcy filings were partly the result of medical expenses.
- Every 30 seconds in the United States someone files for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious health problem.
- A new survey shows that more than 25 percent said that housing problems resulted from medical debt, including the inability to make rent or mortgage payments and the development of bad credit ratings.
- About 1.5 million families lose their homes to foreclosure every year due to unaffordable medical costs.
Here's VP Biden's Speech about the TF:
Biden says protecting the middle class lifts up the poor. I would argue John Edwards' position of lifting up the poor into the middle class strengthens the middle class, and it starts with EFCA, doing something about the abuses by lending predators, extending health care to all, affordable college or training for those who seek further education, incentive pay for urban and rural teachers, and of course, Head Start, which is in the Recovery Act.
VP Biden, I know you already have an executive director, Jared Bernstein. He's learned, has lots of statistics, but I'm not certain he knows how to talk to the working poor or common man if he cannot illustrate an affinity. But I implore you to also ask either Elizabeth or John Edwards to be part of the Task Force as they understand the common man and issues of poverty better than anyone. Remember, JRE grew up from a working class family that was poor when he was born.
JRE took a poverty tour during the campaign, one that the M$M (yeah, that includes the Internet media too)largely ignored, but nonetheless an important listening tour. Here is a clip from the Cleveland stop:
JRE knew a train wreck was coming thousands of miles before it happened. He had solutions long before the other candidates did. Why anyone didn't listen to him in the campaign is beyond me, but most weren't, and that's why he dropped out of the race a year ago yesterday. But it's not too late to utilize John's expertise, or if the Administration is concerned about JRE's political reputation, then invite Elizabeth to meet the TF and ask the hard questions, especially in the area of health care.
We don't have a minute to waste. President Obama, are you listening? If there is a sense of urgency, don't worry about how JRE appears politically at the moment. He is ready to serve if you would give him a chance.