September 18th, 2013
08:17 PM ET
12 months ago

Debating O’Malley, Perry on healthcare: ‘putting more people on the Titanic’

Washington (CNN) – Red state-blue state governors Rick Perry and Martin O’Malley debated job creation and healthcare on Wednesday, with Perry equating adding people to Medicaid via Obamacare with “putting tens of thousands on the Titanic knowing how it’s going to turn out.”

Both men are thought to be contenders for the White House in 2016 and on CNN’s “Crossfire,” they aired out some of the key issues that are likely to define their campaigns should they run.

Perry has been noncommittal about his plans to pursue the Republican nomination for a second time after the Texas governor’s campaign imploded last year. He showed none of the hesitation of 2012 on Wednesday night however, hammering home points about Texas job creation through limited government policies.

Ex-advisers hint at future as Perry announces exit as governor

When challenged on the disproportionately large number of minimum wage jobs created in Texas along with the large number of Texans without health insurance, Perry stuck to his talking points.

“We’re about giving people freedom,” Perry said, the freedom to have a job and the freedom to choose whether or not they have health insurance.

Perry continually cited the businesses that have set up shop in Texas, including Amazon, Facebook and Toyota.

“They didn’t come there if they were worried about whether or not there was not going to be a skilled workforce, or people were going to have healthcare,” Perry said.

Perry and O’Malley clashed most sharply over jobs, in large part spurred by Perry’s media outreach aimed at poaching Maryland businesses.

In response to Texas’ business-friendly environment, O’Malley fell back on job-creation language coined by President Barack Obama.

Rather than Texas policies that seem to disproportionately create minimum wage jobs, Maryland has chosen to focus on “building an economy from the middle out,” O’Malley said, via things like improving education.

2016 watch: O'Malley New Hampshire bound

O’Malley, a Democrat, told Perry that Texas is “not an economy that is actually lifting up the middle class.”

The two came at their different positions with radically different statistics and perspectives.

O’Malley spoke of talent creation and entrepreneurship encouraged in Maryland while Perry trumpeted improving education standards and the various options Texans have for healthcare, although he didn’t elaborate.

Texas and Maryland have also taken polar opposite views on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature legislative achievement better known as Obamacare.

O’Malley has continued to hold up Maryland’s early adoption of Obamacare while Perry has refused federal money to expand Medicaid via the healthcare law.

Perry argued that expanding Medicaid and embracing Obamacare would ultimately end up costing Texas $100 billion.

Putting “tens of thousands of people on a system that is broken,” Perry said of adding them to Medicaid, is akin to “putting tens of thousands on the Titanic knowing how it’s going to turn out.”

In turn, O’Malley argued that the flexibility of the Obamacare healthcare exchanges that get underway next month, regardless of the inevitable hiccups in the system, will offer Maryland workers a competitive advantage – allowing them to move from job to job without worrying about losing their health insurance.


Filed under: Health care • Martin O'Malley • Rick Perry
soundoff (371 Responses)
  1. Leftcoastrocky

    Texas is in the bottom quartile for health access, affordability, prevention and treatment.

    September 19, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. Data Driven

    @Rudy NYC,

    "Let's hear it, then. The left has been waiting for a solution from the right wing for decades."

    Setting aside the fact that Obamacare is the right-wing solution as originally laid out by the Heritage Foundation, have you heard the newest one? More gibberish about buying healthcare plans "across state lines" (whatever that means), tax incentives to buy insurance (er, so the government's going to pay for it, anyway?), and other cherished right-wing boondoggles. Someone put this out yesterday in the House, I think. Not scored by the CBO yet, of course.

    They have nothing on healthcare, and never will. When was the last time you saw a Republican running for a President touting a national healthcare plan? It took majorities of Dems in both the Senate and the House, along with a Dem President, to get a national healthcare plan accomplished. Healthcare has never been a priority for conservatives - they think it's a privilege, not a human right. They are wrong.

    September 19, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    So, Perry, who has spent virtually his entire adult life in government service, is going to lecture people on the virtues of the free-enterprise system? Perry, who used billions in Stim money to balance his state budgets for several years retroactively, is going to say that a plan that requires people to get health insurance is the economic equivilant of the Titanic? The only reason he says that is that his state leads the country in uninsured people. We are subsidizing his poor decisions, and, because this plan puts the onus on TX to set up an exchange so people can obtain private insurance, that is somehow a bad thing? Only if you are one of the employers in TX who are too cheap to give insurance to their employess, and, as a reult, force them to work part-time. Isn't it great that the GOP has such a fine spokesman, a man with no real private sector experience, telling us what is good for us?

    September 19, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. Malory Archer

    Hogan's Goat

    "Obama is going to make it to were after a certain age, lets say 70, (generally older) will be cut back from certain medical treatments. " Are you nuts? Nothing like that is going to happen. That's the way they do it NOW. Once you've cost the insurance companies a certain amount, they start trying to cut you from the rolls.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Unless you're on medicare and bed ridden, wracked with brain cancer, incapable of making decisions for yourself – then you can get a new hip, and your family can sign a "resuscitate at any cost (to the taxpayer)" order.

    September 19, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. yeah it's me again

    guese what?
    naval yard shooter was on ssri drugs just like all the other mass shooters were.
    cnn will not cover this story and no other network news will either because big pharma pays their bill with billions in advertising dollars each year.

    September 19, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. Geosuicide

    @Randy – you said:
    "
    If the insurance programs set up under exchanges are so great, why did Congress exempt themselves from the law?"

    They're not. Please get your facts straight.

    September 19, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair

    "You were subsidizing the cost of other people's health care before the law was passed anyway. You should have thought of that before you began listening to the politicians and pundits bashing Obamacare."

    Uh huh... so I suppose that since we are no longer subsidizing other people's health care after Obamacare is implemented, we can all expect our insurance premiums to go down by the amount built into the premium that subsidizes other's people care? Care to go on the record with that statement?
    -----------------------------
    There you go again. Taking words completely out of context, or totally missing the point of what is said. I had pointed out that you would be paying for other people's health care both before and after the ACA is fully enacted, Fair. I am obliged to point out that you've made a fool of yourself again.

    September 19, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Malory Archer

    Rudy NYC

    It does not mean that you pay for the first $5000 of your annual health care expenses. Annual checkups and preventive care would be absolutely free of any out of pocket expense. If you needed to have a outpatient surgical procedure, most of the cost is covered by your insurance, You would pay upt to 20% of the cost, with a maximum limit of $5000 annually, which is pretty good for a family of four.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Honestly Rudy, how do you expect the rightwing kneejerks to remain ignorant if you keep plying them with facts?

    September 19, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  9. Lauradet

    Republicans have no right to cry about The Affordable Car Act when each of them were invited to discuss it. For nine hours they sat in a room and Obama asked them for their input and all they did was complain about the length of the pages. The GOP does nothing to move the country forward at all.

    September 19, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  10. NYKnows

    The Titanic was an excellent ship, top of the line, built to last for decades. If not for high speed to win a crossing record, it would probably have survived hitting the iceberg (if it had hit at regular speed). So comparing the Affordable Healthcare Act to the Titanic is a big compliment. It does make us think of the stupidity and greed of the GOP, a bunch of bought idiots who prefer to remain in the checkbooks of lobbyists rather than lift one finger to help the American people. If only the GOP had the brains of a typical iceberg, they could be dangerous, but they lack that high an IQ. What we really need is universal healthcare for all, and we are gladly and firmly now on that path, hopefully we will get there soon.

    September 19, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  11. ghostwriter

    RC, you assumptions assume that a person is spending that entire $5000 in out of pocket costs. Since they only kick in if you need something outside of normal care, you would probably owe way more than $5000, so you are saving money.

    September 19, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. Tabeth

    America America America

    The first country and powerful non earth.

    But not able to give health care to its citizen....Better shut Government, defund Obamacare
    My ego is too strong than the welfare of the people. destroying ourselves every day!

    September 19, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  13. tommy

    You know, I dont normally talk to Obama supporters but when I do, I always order "large fries"...

    September 19, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. Frank S

    the GOP yammering about heath care is not only a waste of time, but dangerous to any US citizen that does not have health care. The solutions they speak of are not solutions at all, but simply perpetuate the current broken system in the grip of the health care lobby, and make it worse. Obamacare barely passed as it was, and now the congressional gridlock is worse. So if it is killed, there is no way any comprehensive health care solution will ever be enacted in our lifetime. That works for the healthcare lobby. I don't know how millions of otherwise sane people have bought in to the anti-obamacare frenzy whipped up by the tea party, but they have a knack for killing health care proposals going back to HilaryCare. We are all hosed, except if you are a congressman, they have good healthcare.

    September 19, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. tommy

    You know, I dont normally talk to Obama supporters but when I do, I always order large fries...

    September 19, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. Herman Kirwin

    Data Driven

    @Rudy NYC,

    "Let's hear it, then. The left has been waiting for a solution from the right wing for decades."

    Setting aside the fact that Obamacare is the right-wing solution as originally laid out by the Heritage Foundation, have you heard the newest one? More gibberish about buying healthcare plans "across state lines" (whatever that means), tax incentives to buy insurance (er, so the government's going to pay for it, anyway?), and other cherished right-wing boondoggles. Someone put this out yesterday in the House, I think. Not scored by the CBO yet, of course.

    They have nothing on healthcare, and never will. When was the last time you saw a Republican running for a President touting a national healthcare plan? It took majorities of Dems in both the Senate and the House, along with a Dem President, to get a national healthcare plan accomplished. Healthcare has never been a priority for conservatives – they think it's a privilege, not a human right. They are wrong.
    =================================

    here is a solution...take care of your own wants and needs. It isn't my responsibility. Should I feed, house, and educate you also? Your God given rights huh.

    September 19, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  17. iconoclast1

    Yeah, Texans have the freedom to die, go bankrupt or suffer needlessly from a serious illness because they lack health insurance. Freedom, baby!

    September 19, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. Herman Kirwin

    Ol' Yeller

    @Herman Kerwin-
    "maybe you should of thought about that before your needle work. By the way, I'm subsidizing your insurance and bad decisions."
    Really?!? Getting a blood transfusion is a bad decision? How do you know this given the information provided? It is one thing to debate the pros and cons of something, it is another to make astounding assumptions about a person who obviously has strong reasons to support the ACA.
    =================================

    LOL...when in recorded history was the last time someone got hep C from a blood transfusion???????

    September 19, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  19. Dori

    Mr. Perry's touting the high standards of Texan public education is just too, too funny. This, from the man who personally appointed people to the State Board of Education, including the Chairperson, who want "creationism" (a.k.a. fundamentalist Christianity) taught in biology classes.

    September 19, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. Herman Kirwin

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC

    Herman Kirwin wrote:

    maybe you should of thought about that before your needle work. By the way, I'm subsidizing your insurance and bad decisions.
    ---
    You were subsidizing the cost of other people's health care before the law was passed anyway.
    -----------------
    Now that Rudy cleared that up for you the question is who's subsidizing your public displays of stupidity and hateful comments on this board?
    =============================

    Proof once again that you can't fix stupid.

    September 19, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  21. athiestone

    Texas – secede already!!! We're all ready to see you go down like the Titanic!!!

    September 19, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. iconoclast1

    Thanks to Republicans, poor Texans have the freedom to die, go bankrupt or suffer needlessly because they lack health insurance. What's next on the agenda, promoting the freedom to starve?

    September 19, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  23. ghostwriter

    Data. I've been looking for a report on the new (read: exact same nonsense from before) GOP plan. Tort reform, selling across state lines tax incentives. One thing that was pointed out is that the tax incentives really only helps those well off enough to purchase insurance and can wait for the write off. Of course, it will also increase the number of those who don't pay federal income taxes, something republicans seem to not like before.

    I can't wait to see this plan. We will have a field day watching republicans complain that Obamacare is paying for other folks insurance while this plan........is paying for other folks insurance......

    September 19, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  24. Fair is Fair

    "There you go again. Taking words completely out of context, or totally missing the point of what is said. I had pointed out that you would be paying for other people's health care both before and after the ACA is fully enacted, Fair. I am obliged to point out that you've made a fool of yourself again."
    --------
    So explain it to me. We're currently subsidizing the uninsured with dollars built into our premiums. After Obamacare is implemented, we're going to subsidize the now-insureds premiums with tax dollars. Sounds like we're going to be double-subsidizing unless we see some cut in our premiums.

    By the way, in your own words, "once you start making personal attacks, you've lost the arguement".

    September 19, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. Gigiastro

    Perry did not create jobs, he just relocated them. The net result for the USA Is a negative. Texas is the China within our borders.

    September 19, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
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