HEMPSTEAD, NY—According to reports from Tuesday’s presidential debate at Hofstra University, every member of the town hall audience has a spouse who is battling late-stage cancer, the treatment for which they cannot afford because all of them have lost their health insurance within the past year. “My name is Marjorie Cochran, and my husband Robert was diagnosed with stage IV lymphoma just days after being dropped by his HMO,” said an audience member, who, like the individuals seated to her left, right, front, and back, has been laid off from her job, is worried she won’t be able to afford to send her daughter to college, owns a home that has gone into foreclosure, lives in a school district that has enacted painful budget cuts, and has a child currently serving in Afghanistan. “My question to you is, how can I afford the life-saving procedures and medication my husband needs, considering I’m just barely able to keep my small business afloat in this terrible economic climate? Thank you.” Cochran, along with every other attendee at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex, then nodded in solemn agreement when a woman asked a follow-up question about how the candidates expected her to support her young child with special needs on a single salary.
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