November 28th, 2007
10:55 PM ET
10 years ago

Candidates shy away from health care

(CNN) - The issue of healthcare has sparked some of the most heated debate this campaign season on the Democratic front, but the Republican presidential contenders seemed to all but ignore what is considered a major priority for many voters.

Recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation polls show healthcare reform is consistently at the forefront of voter concerns along with the war in Iraq and the economy.

Candidates often find a way to include their talking points and campaign priorities in debate answers regardless of what the question posed to them actually is. Since no question was posed to the candidates about their healthcare reform plans, they all but ignored the issue choosing instead to emphasize their stances on illegal immigration and the war in Iraq.

–CNN's Emily Sherman

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. nate, denver, CO

    How come I watch the debate and think it went smoothly and then read the headlines and get the impression that it was a catastrophe?

    November 28, 2007 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  2. Lee, Mays Landing NJ

    The Republican Party has bankrupt us so badly with this catastrophic Iraq adventure that they know that we cannot afford to improve anything substantial in our own country.

    And they cannnot even broach the subject of taxes for ideological reasons as dive deeper and deeper into debt.
    They cannot discuss this huge health care issue because frankly they cannot and will not fix it.
    So they will ignore it and stoke the fires of fear and xenophobia so that the voter will pay attention to a fear or hate issue rather than solving a real problem for most middle class families and their employers.

    November 28, 2007 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  3. Brad, Philadelphia, PA

    Until elected officials are forced to subscribe to the same health plans and retirement packages that their consituantes must utilize we can never expect to see proper reform.
    Make the senators and presidents live off of a social security check and see how often they borrow against our future.

    November 28, 2007 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  4. Ryan, Frederick CO


    For the Republican Candidates to be able to respond to health care, they have to be asked about health care questions. CNN obviously didn't choose to air a Health Care related question - Emily, please place partial blame on your employer (CNN) for GOP Candidates not have the chance to respond.

    So far, Mitt Romney is the only Government Leader (City, State or Federal) that has passed legislation to get everyone private health insurance.

    The question has to be asked for them to respond though...

    November 28, 2007 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  5. Atlanta

    Education reform was not brought up either. Maybe this should have been a two part debate one on social issues the other on foreign policy.

    November 28, 2007 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  6. Wes, Nashville, Tennessee

    The candidates did not shy away from healthcare. There was simply no questions asked by CNN on the subject. I hate it when the candidates start talking about a subject that is completely unrelated to the question asked. Just answer the question! Don't talk about your healthcare plan if the question is about gun control.

    Only CNN would purposefully not ask a single question on healthcare and then complain when the Republicans did not address the issue. How does that make any sense?

    November 29, 2007 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  7. Kent, Little Egg Harbor, NJ

    None of the BoobTubers ASKED about health care!! THAT'S why the candidates didn't address the issue! DUHH! WAKE UP, you morons!

    November 29, 2007 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  8. aj huntington ny.

    Major issue? It is not a function of the federal government to provide health care for people. If enough people decide they want the gov't to buy them a new car, then I guess it becomes a "major issue."

    November 29, 2007 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  9. quyen tran, rosemead, ca

    free universal health care is the wrong way to go. if you look at canada for example, yes they have free health care, but the quality of it is very poor. can you be satisfy seeing a doctor when you are really sick less then 5 min. and wait in line for 2-3 hrs? thats how it is like in canada. health care should have a price, but a price that is reasonable that meets the citizens needs.

    November 29, 2007 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  10. Thomas Bell, Eden North Carolina

    Dugggghhhhh CNN asked the questions so of course they focused on the questions you asked. The debate was a pathetic liberal agenda that covered for being honest. I really think your polls are corrupt and so is your station.

    I will never flip my channel to CNN for anything again. I hope your station is exposed and sued by the RNC for the fraud it committed in the handling of this debate. Questions were rigged and the moderator focused on a few people(Guliani and Romeny).

    November 29, 2007 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  11. Lee, Mays Landing New Jersey

    The republican Party has bankrupted us so badly with this catastrophic Iraq adventure that they know that we cannot afford to improve anything substantial in our own country.

    And they cannnot even broach the subject of taxes for ideological reasons as we dive deeper and deeper into debt. They cannot discuss this huge health care issue because frankly they cannot and will not fix it.

    So they will ignore it and stoke the fires of fear and xenophobia so that the voter will pay attention to a fear or hate issue rather than solving one of the most important problems for most middle class families and their employers.

    November 29, 2007 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  12. mark wilkes barre pa

    theres nothing the republicans have to say in favor of national health care, we should all know that by now or we are not paying attention. Why would they waste valuable air time on somthing they dont believe will work. why did the host not ask them what there ideas on the subject are if they thought it was important ?

    November 29, 2007 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  13. Tom H, Palm Valley, FL

    As mentioned already, there were no healthcare questions asked. Why is this article even written? There were no questions about energy or the environment either. CNN controlled the debate and the questions asked (some by Sen. Hillary's, big blunder), so lets no criticize over something that wasn't brought up. Come on CNN you can't be that biased are you?

    November 29, 2007 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  14. sadfacesallIsaw ny ny

    If a healthcare or education question was asked of themm, they wouldn´t know HOW to aswer it...PERIOD

    Empty suits on stage, no African American or Woman...

    The circus was in town..pity on them

    November 29, 2007 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  15. Mary Hartman, honolulu, hi

    What could be worse than the insult to we, the viewers, than CNN criticizing the Republican candidates for not addressing a (healthcare) question that was never asked?

    Well, the injury of having to sit through 2 hours of debate, in support of Dr. Ron Paul, and have to see 2 videos- 1) accusing him of making up ideas such as NAU (north american union- for the sake of CNN journalists who are not familiar) and the NAFTA super highway; 2) a statement that we all know this and that about republican nomination and will he run as...!!!!

    CNN, this was THE WORST debate of all. One of the chief reasons the Republican YouTube questions so vastly outnumbered those of the Democratic debate was because Dr. Ron Paul dominates YouTube! You had thousands of excellent questions to choose from, even provocative ones, on policy, issues, yet you chose the most absurd and outlandish.

    You have zero credibility and the polls you are attempting to conduct reflect what we now call BLOW-BACK. And this is despite your extremely weak website. Yes, weak, I tried (ONCE) to vote yet nothing happened. I tried (ONCE) to click on results of poll yet nothing happened and I tried twice to click on view the post debate video of Dr. Paul and nothing happened.

    I didn't DARE try twice for fear that you would trash the results by virtue of false claims of 'spamming' by Paul support.

    Shame on all of you!

    November 29, 2007 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  16. Lynn, Artesia, NM

    My husband and I talked after the debate last night, and our #1 consensus was that CNN would have an article posted by the time we woke up this morning that the Republican candidates didn't address healthcare or education. Of course, they wouldn't mention in their article that CNN chose the questions and obviously left these issues out.

    But it was more important for CNN to pick questions from the divisive arena, (gays in the military, including giving a known gay activist the microphone and time for a speech on natl TV), instead of giving Americans the opportunity to hear what these candidates had to say on healthcare.

    CNN is so obvious.

    November 29, 2007 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  17. Alan, San Angelo Texas

    Why didn't the sponsors choose a debate question about health care? Here the Republicans have no clothes. Just resigned Al Hubbard served on the board of directors of WellPoint, a huge health insurer alongside President Bush's Uncle Bucky and Susan Bayh, the wife of Democratic Senator Evan Almighty.

    The Bush/Hubbard fiction of "first dollar coverage" went away for most people in the 1980's. Republicans want to dismantle the health insurance benefit provided by employers. HSA type health plans are the first step, by essentially having the employee self insure for their first few thousands in annual health care expenditures. But they don't want to stop there. The whole enchilada is coming the American workers way.

    There are dozens of challenging questions that could the candidates way on a critical issue and this debate whiffed. Shame on you!

    November 29, 2007 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  18. NDROCKER Fargo ND

    The question that Howard Dean submitted regarding healthcare should have been used! This is one of the crucial issues of the campaign and was totally ignored! Healthcare should have been addressed instead of that one about the Bible

    November 29, 2007 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. Heather, Chicago IL

    Well...considering they have had a doctor on the stage for all of the Republican debates so far, would you believe that when the question of healthcare has come up in past debates he has usually never been allowed time to answer it? Even while the other candidates get to? Don't you find that a little bit odd?

    November 29, 2007 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. RightyTighty

    CNN stuffed the debate full of worthless non issue questions on Confederate flags, gays in the military and what would Jesus do on the death penalty instead of the important issues Americans have been asking like Health Care and Social Security reform. Last night was nothing more than another transparent political agenda from CNN. Unfortunately for Hillary, the Republican candidates shined above CNN's bias and showed who has true experience in their corner..

    November 29, 2007 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  21. yancy, Lawrence KS

    honestly it does not matter whether or not a battery of questions about health care reform was asked, this is a major issue that directly involves everyone in this country, save the upper crust of our government. these idiotic candidates SHOULD have the werewithal to say "we have been talking about this war in every single related discussion without missing a beat. when are you going to address real concerns of the people?" maybe those running for office should shoulder some responsibility for a change instead of shying away from making a decision they could -and should- be held accountable for. everyone in this nation has a lust for passing the buck and placing blame on others, but we all want any and every accolade possible for nothing accomplished, true most of all whithin our "governnment".

    November 29, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Emily Sherman, did you actually watch the debate? CNN chose specific questions which were presented to the candidates. None of those questions chosen by CNN discussed health care. When candidates tried to discuss other issues Anderson Cooper would ask them to stick to the topic.

    Nice try CNN to spin the republican debate when you chose the questions that were asked.

    November 29, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  23. J. Stiles, Trenton, NJ

    It's simple why they shy away from the health care issue: They don't care about people without coverage! Period.

    November 29, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    CNN, you lost all credibilty by your actions during your last Democratic debate, futher emboldened that by your actions during this debate with the loaded and purposeful planted questions by Democratic operatives.

    Now you have he gall to post this blog as some insightful attempt at hammering the Republicans, when you alone had control of the questions, the format and the moderation.

    This is not 1992 where all technologies and users were new and the MSM controlled "how we think".

    Those days are long gone and so is the mind control and mind games.

    People may forget that Fox news came about because of these type of tactics and what happened to your audience since then..............

    Nuff said.

    November 29, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. Jay, Plymouth Mn.

    Are you serious CNN? YOU chose the questions, YOU chose the theme of the debate. YOU failed miserbly again. And Miss Sherman, maybe you should have watched the debate. I'm sure it would be difficult for a democrat such as yourself, but you would be in a better position to whine if you do watch.

    November 29, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
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