September 18th, 2013
08:17 PM ET
10 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. Gary

    Giving people the "freedom" to choose whether or not they have health insurance is really just saying that people have the right to pay for their own health insurance or will they just let you and I pay for it when they have to go to the emergency room with no insurance. You gotta love the logic behind the party of "personal responsibility" when it comes to actually having any.....

    September 19, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. Rosslaw

    Perry's idea of job creatiion is pimpiing for his largest political contributor and setting up a radioactive waste dump in Andrew, Texas that will take in all of the nation's radioactive waste. With Perry's concept of "limited government", you can only imagine the lack of safety controls and oversight that his biggest fund raiser will enjoy "storing' radioactive waste. Oh, and its on top of an aquiver. Perry proves that cowboy boots cut off the flow of blood to the brain.

    September 19, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  3. Nate

    If the affordable care act is so great, why has congress and the President exempted themselves? The government cant even keep a balanced budget, why do I want them involved in my healthcare? Think America! If you support the ACA, you believe that the government can make better decisions for you than you are capable of making for yourself! Why are unions trying to get exempt? Why are health insurance companies opting out? Look at the impact on our economy due to this regulation- all negative! In the words of the Liberal Nancy Pelosi "We have to pass this to find out what is in it." I am able to make my own decisions. Once the government is able to make choices for you, they can always change their minds! Think about it!

    September 19, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Not Too Hard To Understand

    Is Perry trying to look smarter by wearing specs? If so, it's not working. That cat's outta the bag. It didn't work for Palin, did it now?

    September 19, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. pandora

    Niether party has any right to say anything about health care-they don't pay for theirs even though they're well off

    September 19, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. Lee

    Perry's message is a classic. "Giving people choices." The choice for a low wage job or the choice to buy your own healthcare. Omitted is the fact that low wage jobs and self purchased health care are functionally mutually exclusive.

    September 19, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Liberal in Texas

    ..."while Perry trumpeted improving education standards and the various options Texans have for healthcare, although he didn’t elaborate."

    Of course didn't elaborate because our options in Texas are employer-provided healthcare (for those lucky enough to be employed in a non-minimum-wage, full-time position), expensive HSAs that don't cover enough or just having none at all because it's too expensive. We have more uninsured citizens than any other state. He seems to be proud of that for some reason. And our education standards are dismal and certainly not improving. He's delusional. He's been spouting these same lines for more than a decade. I think he's told the lies for so long that he actually belives they're facts at this point. The day Guv Goodhair leaves the Governor's mansion can't get here soon enough.

    September 19, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. neastsider

    Perry knows all about sinking a state, he's been doing it for years. His terrorist policies are defunding state education which will result in a state of idiots , defunding Planned Parenthood so women can't get healthcare, defunding unemployment benefits, defunding nutrition programs, defunding job training programs, restricting voters rights. If you want death panels and to live like a sub-human go to Texas they already have it all set up ready to go.

    September 19, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. CB

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

    =============

    The United States did not institute universal screening for Hep C until 1992. Not that long ago. There are countries that still do not do it. It can also be transmitted through improperly sterilized equipment at hospitals and tattoo parlors. It can be transmitted from mother to unborn child. Does that properly answer your assuming, condesceding quesiton?

    September 19, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. knklhead

    Wow, watched the video at the of the page .. Perry got his A__ handed to him. Statements like "you can't keep your doctor" are FALSE! And he had no answer ... what DOES happen to people that do not have insurance? They DO go to the emergency room and get treated and the rest of us pay! For the 97% of you reading this post, your insurance will not change and you will now always have coverage if you have any existing health condition! While Obamacare isn't perfect (or free) it is a very good thing for America!

    September 19, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  11. 1alien1

    do not worry about perry, he is nothing but a distraction. the world knows he is dim

    September 19, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. Andy

    Obama care is a joke. Because of this bill my employer sponsor health insurance ran up 30% and PPO is no longer an option. I also have to keep my children on my health insurance until 26 when child support stops at 18. So, now I am the only person legally responsible for supporting my college kids until 26.

    I was once middle class and a home owner. In the last 2 years, my utilities, fees, insurance, gas, cost of living, taxes, and other cost rose 50% while my paycheck only rose 3%. I am now being forced to file bankruptcy. His policies are widening the gap between the middle and upper class. Soon there will be no middle class.

    September 19, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. Senator Ben Nelson

    Obamacare was doomed the minute Ben Nelson was handed everything to "sign-off" on this.

    September 19, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  14. Jim5k

    Dear Gov. Perry. What about our freedom not to pay YOUR frickin' healthcare??? I'm unemployed and paying my own health insurance AND my government official's healthcare (via property taxes which I can't avoid) AND their spouses & kid's healthcare. Look me in the eye and tell me that's fair. Anyone that has to pay for their own health insurance shouldn't have to pay for anyone else's first.

    September 19, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. Data Driven

    @ghostwriter,

    "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."

    An absolute KEY point. But the conservative poors will be convinced that this will benefit them somehow.

    September 19, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. ghostwriter

    Herman Kirwin, you probably don't realize it as it won't show up on Rush's approved talking points, but you were already paying for other folks healthcare. Funny thing.....under the republican idea, you still would be. So if that's your only complaint, then you should welcome this with open arms.

    September 19, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. Dan

    And what is his alternative? More Rhetoric. Thank god he is gone after the net election.

    September 19, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  18. pandora

    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???????"

    My step father, who died of liver failure in 2011. Jerk

    September 19, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. churchstate

    Wasn't Perry the one who did a tour at a gun making facilty the day the naval yard shootings happened?

    People say the potus had bad taste for giving a scheduled speech...what about this joker?

    We all know what Perry does when he gets stressed... he drinks. Pathetic loser who sways with the wind.

    September 19, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. Dan

    GOP. The party of personal responsibility doesn't support everyone paying for their own insurance. They want to get rid of the ACA, yet have absolutely nothing to replace it with. Sure.... lets go back to when the insurance companies could charge what they wanted. They could deny care. They could deny insurance coverage.... all decided by a corporation.

    So now the GOP threatens to destory the credit of the United States unless they get their way. I hope that the President does not give in. If he does, both sides will do this for everything that they want. Shame on the GOP

    September 19, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. CB

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

    =============

    The United States did not institute universal screening for Hepatitus C until 1992. Not that long ago. There are countries that still do not do it. It can also be transmitted through improperly sterilized equipment at hospitals and tattoo parlors. It can be transmitted from mother to unborn child. Does that properly answer your assuming, condesceding question?

    September 19, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Winston Smith

    It's humorous that the republican(s), are willing to go to the mat over healthcare, and yet there are those among us that believe it's the right thing to do. The same people against the Affordable Care Act, don't know why they are against it, they've just heard and are parroting their favorite AM radio hate monger. They have problems thinking for themselves. They also have problems with seeing through the rhetoric stirred by several wealthy propaganda purveyors.

    September 19, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. ghostwriter

    Fair, seriously? You act as though this hasn't been explained a dozen times. By getting folks insured, you keep them from having to resort to the ER for treatment. You also promote regular check ups that can ID issues before the get serious (and more expensive). You also get them covered so that we aren't getting hit with their bills.

    All cost saving measures Whether you agree that they will work or not, please stop pretending to be ignorant of the idea. You have been around too long to play that game. But if you really want a dollar for dollar trade off, I'd suggest applying the same logic to any tax cut. If giving the "job creators" tax cuts will generate more revenue, I want a guarantee that it will also be dollar for dollar. Can you guarantee that?

    September 19, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. Dan

    He offers only empty rhetoric. and no options. I see no problem with requiring folks to purchase health insurance, otherwise they go tot he emergency room or don't get treated at all. Once they are very sick the expect us to pay. Typical don't care attitude of the right wing.

    Time for Universal Health Care. We all go on it at age 65(Medicare). Including the Governor.

    September 19, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  25. Dan

    To Nate: Congress and the President have NOT exempted themselves from ACA. Where did you hear that nonesense about them being exempted?

    September 19, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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