Joe Biden: ‘We Have to Go Spend Money to Keep From Going Bankrupt’
July 16, 2009 - 4:47 PMVice President Joe Biden told people attending an AARP town hall meeting that unless the Democrat-supported health care plan becomes law the nation will go bankrupt and that the only way to avoid that fate is for the government to spend more money.
“And folks look, AARP knows and the people with me here today know, the president knows, and I know, that the status quo is simply not acceptable,” Biden said at the event on Thursday in Alexandria, Va. “It’s totally unacceptable. And it’s completely unsustainable. Even if we wanted to keep it the way we have it now. It can’t do it financially.”
“We’re going to go bankrupt as a nation,” Biden said.
“Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’” Biden said. “The answer is yes, that's what I’m telling you.” (Listen to Audio)
The event, sponsored by the AARP – which supports the Obama administration’s plan – was attended by mostly AARP members who were bussed in for the meeting. Biden told the group that the Obama health plan will not eliminate people’s ability to choose their health care insurance and that people who cannot afford insurance will be covered by the plan.
“They’ll be a deal in there so there’s competition, so what you’ll have in there is you’ll have the ability to go in there and say, ‘Now look, this is the policy I want. This is the one,” Biden said.
“And those people who can’t afford to get in there, up to a certain income, we’re going to subsidize them, you get in there and we’ll help you pay for it,” Biden said.
After opening remarks by Biden and AARP CEO A. Barry Rand, the audience asked questions, which were fielded by Biden, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Nancy Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform.