Healthcare and tuition were among the hot topics at Tuesday’s Speak Up, Speak Out forum, just a week before the Nov. 6 election.
The forum, entitled “Domestic Policies of the Candidates: Two Americas?” was held in the Bovee University Center Auditorium and covered topics concerning the election such as tax cuts, healthcare, women’s health issues and the differences between the Republican and Democratic parties.
The forum featured a panel of four people from the Central Michigan University community, including Jason Taylor, professor of economics; Edward Clayton, professor of political science; College Republicans representative Mike Palmer, and Plymouth senior Megan Blue, a political science major. The forum was facilitated by Ken Sanney, associate professor of finance and law.
Tuition rates and student deficit were discussed when one member of the audience asked if either Obama or Romney plan to put a cap on tuition.
The panelists agreed neither candidate has a plan to cap tuition rates because that is a matter handled by the individual state.
“When states are asked to take on responsibilities that should be run on the federal level, you’re going to lose money,” Clayton said.
Taylor said when states have more access to federal money, it is easier for them to take advantage of it.
“When it’s easier to give out financial aid, it’s easier to raise tuition,” he said.
When the topic of the forum moved to healthcare, Palmer said he is against Obamacare because it limits a person’s ability to choose their medical insurance provider.
“It set out to have a good agenda, but the problem is it limits a person’s choice and ability to go toward the private sector and their own insurance,” he said. “It’s not perfect, even though it set out with good ideas and good intentions in mind.”
Blue said she supports Obamacare because people like her family, who struggle with employment, would be able to receive healthcare regardless of employment status.
“It gives people coverage that would not normally be covered in any way,” she said.
Blue also said she considers herself a Democrat because she feels strongly about women’s rights.
“I don’t think the candidates have the right to tell me what to do with my body,” she said.
Taylor said the topics of abortion and contraception are a Supreme Court issue and the candidates don’t have much say in the matter.
“I don’t think we will go back to having abortion being illegal again,” Taylor said. “The issue is if taxpayers should have to pay for it.”
Andie Ost, Kalamazoo freshman, came to the event because she was hoping to learn something new about politics.
“The panelists were really nice and respectful when it came to the differences in opinion,” she said.
MacKenzie Simpkins, Holland sophomore, and Chicago sophomore Kelly Cafferkey came to the event to learn more about both sides of the issues present in the election.
“I think that I’m not always exposed to both sides of the issues,” Simpkins said. “It really opened my mind to different things.”