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. Hogan's Goat

    It does show the problem, though: the GOP is completely opposed to an imaginary version of Obamacare that doesn't exist, and they keep attacking the real Obamacare instead. Are they hypnotized or something? Snap your fingers, everyone.

    September 19, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. cjb

    The GOP does want healthcare for the uninsured and their proposal is to do just that without dragging the rest of it down. the GOP is against the current Obamacare because it is so damaging to the economy and to the middle class. We will have just as many people uninsured under Obamacare because the rates have sky rocketed (mine went up 46%) and I had to change plans and doctors. Everything Obama said wouldn't happen. Also, one of the provisions allows for those making $20,000 – 30,000 to get subsidies to help pay for their insurance. That same provision does not apply to any children and those in that salary range will be required by law to pay full price coverage for their children through their employers. At my company that is about $600 a month and I doubt people in that salary range can afford it. AND, that is only the beginning. It is a monstrosity that will do more damage than good.

    September 19, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. somebody

    Christian Grey

    Why don't the unions want this law that they fought so hard to get passed? is there a democrat out there that wants to answer that?

    The answer to your question is the people who have been telling you the unions don't want the law are lying to you. Google search "afl-cio los angeles convention". You will find a link to the afl-cio convention in los angeles in 2013 (just a week or so ago). Go to the button for Resolutions and Amendments and you'll find a link to "AFL-CIO Convention Resolution on the Affordable Care Act" which shows the union wants some changes like stronger requirements for employers to cover employees but they fully support the law.

    September 19, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. Jack33

    Yes, clearly people going to emergency rooms is "access to medical services"...after all, emergency rooms entirely solve advance cancer (one of the top 2 killers in the USA), don't they?
    Not.

    September 19, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    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.
    _____________________________________________________________
    You said it, not us.

    September 19, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. Malory Archer

    Herman Kirwin

    LOL...enlighten us. What did the unions want.

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

    Sigh. Do I have to do EVERYTHING FOR YOU? Honestly, no wonder your ilk is so ignorant on the issue – you ABSOLUTELY REFUSE to even attempt to educate yourselves. They wanted something much more comprehensive, up to and including single payer.

    September 19, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. Malory Archer

    pandora

    It's not the secession question-I've thought for a while that it should seriously be considered. It was the hatefulness I objected too. Please don't judge all of us according to the too vocal right and the antics of Dick Perry. We're not all like that.
    Like any other state we have people who conform too much and others who don't conform at all. The majority of citizens here are very nice people

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

    I'm sure there are a few very nice people in texas, but when someone agrees with your governor that he should do what he threatens to do, you really should stand back and look at the big picture. Additionally, I fail to see the "hatefulness" in athi's post – can you point it out please?

    September 19, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Herman Kirwin wrote:

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

    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.
    ------------
    I wish to point out to you the "wisdom" of your words. Currently, currently, a person without health insurance must go to an emergency room somewhere to get health care, which raises the overall costs to people like you. They don't have health insurance and so people like you pay for theirs through higher charges from a doctor or a hospital.

    "here is a solution...take care of your own wants and needs." So, what is the problem with requiring that person without health insurance to "take care of" their "own wants and needs." In your infinite wisdom, you make the case for the individual mandate. Thank, for playing.

    September 19, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  9. Saboth

    And the Republican replacement plan that is better is.....? Our CURRENT healthcare system is the Titanic. Rates go up 10-15% every year, but average wages for Americans is flat or falling. How long can people afford something that goes up at 5x the rate of inflation? 10 years? 20 or 30 years?

    September 19, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. Jonah

    “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.

    Did Perry follow that up with arguing that if someone gets ill or is in an accident and doesn't have health insurance and doesn't have the money to pay for it, that they should die quickly (or we should kill them) so they don't become burdens on the rest of us freedom-loving Muricans who would be forced to pay for their health care costs?

    September 19, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  11. KrjMc

    Should we really listen to anyone who gets free health insurance from the government with regard to how good or bad the healthcare act is. This person knows nothing as she does not need to figure out how to afford medical care nor does she have to worry if she can afford it. Then to top it off she gets to see the best of the best physicians and go to the best hospitals. If you are wealthy you should just stay out of the discussion as it doesn't effect you.

    September 19, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  12. Eric

    Obamacare is like a huge ocean liner with segregated classes?

    September 19, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. pandora

    Malory Archer

    pandora

    It's not the secession question-I've thought for a while that it should seriously be considered. It was the hatefulness I objected too. Please don't judge all of us according to the too vocal right and the antics of Dick Perry. We're not all like that.
    Like any other state we have people who conform too much and others who don't conform at all. The majority of citizens here are very nice people

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

    I'm sure there are a few very nice people in texas, but when someone agrees with your governor that he should do what he threatens to do, you really should stand back and look at the big picture. Additionally, I fail to see the "hatefulness" in athi's post – can you point it out please?

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

    What was hateful? Maybe wishing we'd all sink like the Titanic. That equates to wishing most of us would die. Such a nice thing to say.
    I don't care who agrees with him or who doesn't, to each his own. I simply responded to what amounted to an attack on the population-that's personal, it doesn't have anything to with whether you do or don't agree with the politics.
    In other words, by no means are we all a bunch of stupid rednecks.

    September 19, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. Jack33

    Rick Perry is like the titanic. His popularity is at an all-time low in Texas, with a majority wanting him out of office, and after coming off as so ignorant in the debates last election cycle, the rest of the nation has even less respect for him than that.

    September 19, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  15. Hogan's Goat

    "You forgot Solyndra" We remember it was Bush's idea, and that it would actually have worked if China hadn't eaten its lunch. I know, makes your head hurt to hear facts, and it's hard to face a world in which most decisions of government aren't partisan or biased, but this is where the grownups talk, and you need to face grownup facts or else get your milk and cookie and go nap.

    September 19, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  16. Bob

    The GOP have no plan. If Obamacare is so bad, then fix it. What we had before is what was bankrupting the company. It was Socialism for insurance companies. Insurance companies got to collect fees and the second someone actually had to make a claim that cost them money, they would drop them and dump them onto Medicaid. So the Insurance companies got to keep all the profits and the taxpayers accepted all the risks. That's not capitalism, that's socialism. If you want to be in the insurance business, you have to accept ALL the risks. If insurance can't do that, then we should get rid of them and go to a single payer system (what most people want and Obama wanted originally before the GOP whiners kept filibustering). Every country that has a single payer system has lower costs and higher quality health care and their citizens live longer. These are undisputed facts (unless you live on the Fox/Saudi News Network).

    September 19, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    cjb wrote:

    The GOP does want healthcare for the uninsured and their proposal is to do just that without dragging the rest of it down. ...
    ---------------------
    Just what exactly is the GOP proposal? That idea that the Heritage Foundation came up with about a decade or so ago?

    September 19, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. kirk

    Oh I dont know Herman, when is the last time someone got menengitis from the hospital/ pharmaceutical company?

    September 19, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. Malory Archer

    Herman Kirwin wrote:

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

    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.

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

    Funny how the same group who are up in arms over "Obamacare" are also screaming about how wrong it is that the Federal Government will no longer be able to subsidize their Federal Flood Insurance program because the program is broke and no longer able to subsidize homeowners. Well, it WOULD be funny if weren't so hypocritical.

    September 19, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. Malory Archer

    pandora

    Malory Archer

    pandora

    What was hateful? Maybe wishing we'd all sink like the Titanic. That equates to wishing most of us would die. Such a nice thing to say.

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

    Riiiiight, because lying about "Obamacare" and comparing it to a reservation on the titanic in an effort to scare people into dismissing it isn't hateful. M'kay, got it. (rolls eyes)

    September 19, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. Fair is Fair

    ghostwriter

    Fair is Fair

    ghost – yeah, seriously. One of the pet arguements in support of Obamacare is that we're subsidizing, via higher premiums, uncompensated care. I get that. I understand that. Now under Obamacare, there should be no more uninsureds. Right? No need for, no such thing as "uncompensated care". Should that not be reflected, therefore, in reduced premiums? If not, why not?

    There will still be some uninsured. That's not new. But less uninsured than we have now. And yes, it will be reflected in reduced premiums. Will it be dollar for dollar? Probably not. Not a zero sum game. But yes, it should result in lower premiums.
    --------
    One would think so, right ghost? Guaranteed it doesn't happen. Guaranteed. And that was my original point – those that currently pay their way (and by default pay the way of the uninsured) via their insurance premiums will continue to do so, only with the additional burden of increased taxes of Obamacare. When the government "funds" anything, it HAS to get the funds via taxes. There's no other way.

    September 19, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  22. Etta Mae

    So long as you keep repeating the misinformation, and keep repeating it, and keep repeating it, the more you reinforce the misinformation in peoples' heads. So many people are easily manipulated. Look at how many millions of people were preparing for the end of the world on 12/27/2012. This plays to fear, it plays to stupidity.

    Here's my recent Medicare statement:
    Office Visit: $310 You may be billed: $31.33
    Diagnostic lab: $90 You may be billed: $0
    Heart Ultrasound: $1300 You may be billed: $0
    Blood tests: $942 You may be billed: $0
    Annual Wellness Visit (OB-GYN): $485 You may be billed: $0
    New patient visit: $356 You may be billed: $31.33
    Eye exam: $246 You may be billed $28.62
    TOTAL: $2739 TOTAL: $91.28

    I'll pay that $175 premium monthly (United Health Care) and the $97 dollar premium monthly (Medicare) over the cost of tests and services any day. Only a complete and total brainwashed moron can't see how valuable insurance can be, if all you do is use a doctor's office once or twice a year, and God forbid you get sick and need to be hospitalized.

    September 19, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. Malory Archer

    pandora

    Malory Archer

    pandora

    It's not the secession question-I've thought for a while that it should seriously be considered. It was the hatefulness I objected too. Please don't judge all of us according to the too vocal right and the antics of Dick Perry. We're not all like that.
    Like any other state we have people who conform too much and others who don't conform at all. The majority of citizens here are very nice people

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

    I'm sure there are a few very nice people in texas, but when someone agrees with your governor that he should do what he threatens to do, you really should stand back and look at the big picture. Additionally, I fail to see the "hatefulness" in athi's post – can you point it out please?

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

    What was hateful? Maybe wishing we'd all sink like the Titanic. That equates to wishing most of us would die. Such a nice thing to say.

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

    What I find even more hateful is your governor lying to people about the ACA in an effort to scare them.

    September 19, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  24. Etta Mae

    Hi. I'm a democrat and I think I can answer the question: Why don't unions want Obamacare.

    The reason unions don't want Obamacare is because presently their health care is entire free. Their employers will drop free health care to their employees, forcing them into exchanges where they will have to (a) choose which plan they want, knowing their current plan is on a par with the highest cost Obamacare plan, and (b) they will have to pay some portion of the cost, whereas now it's free. No one who gets something for free wants to have to pay for it, even when everyone they know has to pay. So the union sends its representatives to Congress to get them to exempt unions, or to cuts unions a special deal, and if the congress refuses, the unions threaten to work to repeal Obamacare.

    It has nothing to do with the affordability or effectiveness of Obamacare. It has to do with the "exceptionalism" of the unions in this country. Final point: THERE IS NO DOWNSIDE TO THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT.

    September 19, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  25. Mike Smith

    If I had to choose between living in Texas and Maryland, it wouldn't even be a contest. You couldn't pay me to live in Maryland. What a dump! Why anyone lives there is a mystery to me.

    September 19, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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