September 18th, 2013
08:17 PM ET
7 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. Bob from Accounting

    We don't need no debt ceiling you Tea Heads... whatsa debt got to do with anything anyhoo? Ain't nobody got time for that!

    "Between 2009 and 2012, the federal government recorded the largest budget deficits relative to the size of the economy since 1946, causing federal debt to soar."

    Dang it Bush! You had a supermajority in Congress too! You could have done something

    "Federal debt held by the public is now about 73 percent of the economy’s annual output, or gross domestic product (GDP). That percentage is higher than at any point in U.S. history except a brief period around World War II, and it is twice the percentage at the end of 2007."

    But.. but... but... who cares!? Raise the debt ceiling already!

    "If current laws generally remained in place, federal debt held by the public would decline slightly relative to GDP over the next several years, CBO projects. After that, however, growing deficits would ultimately push debt back above its current high level. CBO projects that federal debt held by the public would reach 100 percent of GDP in 2038, 25 years from now, even without accounting for the harmful effects that growing debt would have on the economy"

    Source: CBO

    Man whatever... at least I got my Obamaphone an Obamacare an gurbment job

    "The 2010 Affordable Care Act will put some 2.3 million workers at the greatest risk of reduced hours, the February study found. That group represents roughly 1.8 percent of the workforce and consists of people who do not have insurance through their employer, work between 30 and 36 hours per week and earn incomes 400 percent below the federal poverty line for firms with 100 or more employees." Source: Huffington Post

    September 19, 2013 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  2. ItSoNlYmE

    Rick Perry? Seriously? He's an authority on NOTHING.

    September 19, 2013 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  3. Fred Evil

    "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,”
    No, of course not, they got the cheapest workforce they could find. Minimum wage, and too desperate for work to care about healthcare. This isn't 'job creation' Mr. Perry, it's poaching, it's flagrant theft.
    Go back to Texas, save your travel expenses and pay your firefighters Governor.

    September 19, 2013 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  4. steven dahl

    Two more that need to go to jail.

    September 19, 2013 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  5. Mike

    Here's the deal. If the AHA (Obamacare) is so bad, come up with an alternative. I, for one, would be willing to consider it. But, stop whining and STOP PRETENDING THERE ISN'T A HEALTHCARE CRISIS IN THIS COUNTRY.

    September 19, 2013 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  6. Jackie Rawlings

    People are required buy law to pay taxes and cover the health care of lawmakers and their families but denied the same. This is about Obama and the people are the ones suffering. First the President ask for a budget to stimulate the economy and Republican/Tea Party demand a Sequester and now the Congress will not fund a law passed because they don't like the fact Obama signed it into law. Millions of people cheered a lower premium and having all citizens pay into a health care. Tea Party ordered Boehner to refuse it and he caved in. President Nixon formed this Health care plan that both Obama and Romney used. If a Republican President had signed this health care into law there would be no discussion. President Bush even formed it in Africa. The Tea Party lunatics are now in charge and the country will go to hell in a hand basket.

    September 19, 2013 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  7. Phaerisee

    With the intra-party skirmishes and disagreement between the Senate and the House Republicans, I would daresay that the Titanic analogy is far more applicable to the state of the GOP than Obamacare.

    September 19, 2013 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  8. jimmy

    the dumbest president in history was dubya. he would be the next dumbest if perry was ected.

    September 19, 2013 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  9. Skarphace

    Perry is still trying to remember the third federal department he would close as President.

    September 19, 2013 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  10. Jack33

    Nobody respects Perry anymore, including most Texans. He has gotten fact after fact incorrect so many times, that he's even made fun of overseas these days. History will remember him as just another short-sighted, ignorant & greedy boomer, with nothing but base selfishness as his only motivation in life; a man that did nothing to improve the world he lived in, with the time he had.

    September 19, 2013 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  11. josh

    He is definitely right about the flexibility of obamacare, seeing as the president keeps changing the law. Kind of like how he delayed the mandates for businesses. Also, there is the flexibility of the people getting less hours at their jobs, so that will free more of their time up. So yeah I would say there is a lot of flexibility the affordable care act has offered so far.

    September 19, 2013 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  12. Mark

    Watching Gov. Perry debate is like what it would be like to watch Clark Kent debate if Superman was really stupid. You get the feeling that at any minute Perry is going to fling off his normal guy suit, fly through the roof, and bring the whole building down killing it's occupants.

    September 19, 2013 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  13. Tracy

    Here's my Rick Perry impersonation: "Oops".

    September 19, 2013 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  14. Kona

    Rick Perry in a debate? Sorry I missed it.

    September 19, 2013 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  15. Jim M

    Gee, Rick, the law allows states to opt out if they find a better way. Since your state has almost 25% of its citizens without health insurance, how about finding a better way?

    September 19, 2013 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  16. Chris

    The real question is why is the GOP so desperate to do everything in their power to stop Obamacare? If it was such a train wreck waiting to happen, all they'd have to is stand back, let it crash and burn, and say "I told you so!" At this point, if Obamacare turns out to be only a mediocre plan, it would still completely destroy the right wing doomsday prophecies connected with it and make the whole Republican party have egg on their face.

    The true reason why the Republicans want to stop Obamacare is not because they are worried it will fail – they are worried it will succeed.

    September 19, 2013 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  17. Pensimmon

    I do not understand what every other country in the developed world has universal healthcare and we don't? They have cheap college education too. Maybe that's why they're streaking ahead of us.

    September 19, 2013 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  18. Brad

    “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."

    Yeah, pay for food and shelter or buy health insurance. If you have a health problem you'll die from lack of any of the three.

    September 19, 2013 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  19. Marie MD

    To the oops governor, too bad your great grandparents/grandparents were NOT on the Titanic. Look how much trouble texas would have avoided.

    September 19, 2013 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  20. Denise S. WOOD

    Obamacare should be repealed. Not well estimated to begin with. DISASTER FOR STATES.

    September 19, 2013 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  21. memo

    Swear, I have never seen so many grown people cry about one thing in my entire life. Other countries have done this successfully mind you for years, it is a positive thing, get over it. Stop the whining, grow up, where are all your christian morals now to help your fellow brother / sister.

    September 19, 2013 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  22. da

    Seems to be working out well in MA-not distress calls from romneycare, so why do insurance companies hate it so much? If they can't keep 25 cents out of every dollar they collect-then they don't want to play anymore?

    September 19, 2013 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  23. WES

    Obamacare is neither all good (as the Democrats say) or all bad (as the Tea Partiers say). If the Unions (the biggest Democrat sujpporters) don't like it, it's definitely flawed. Nancy Pelosi said, let's pass the bill then figure out what's in it. Guess what, everything in it isn't good. Why can't honorable people from both sides of the aisle sit down, NEGOTIATE ( I know that's a bad word in Washington these days, and FIX IT! By the way, Texas is creating jobs, Florida is creating jobs, both Republican governors. You can argue all you want about the "quality" of the jobs. They are being created. Hertz moved from New Jersey to Florida – compare the state taxes. Maryland isn't creating jobs – they talk about the "long term" – Invest in education so a 10 year old can have a job when he's 21. That doesn't do too much for a man trying to help support his family NOW.

    September 19, 2013 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  24. revolting peasant

    Is Perry really being considered a candidate for 2016. Seems to me that he had his shot and quickly convinced the American people that he is a clown.

    September 19, 2013 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  25. humtake

    Just another example of how Liberals are ruining the middle class by concentrating on problems that haven't been completely fixed from the recession. During the recession, unskilled jobs were the hardest hit. Look at the unemployment numbers and you will see skilled, educated workers were not hit nearly as hard. So now that rebuilding is occurring, Liberals want to ignore the fact that the unskilled workforce is still struggling far beyond any other labor force, but they want to make sure those jobs aren't refilled just so somehow we can magically come up with skilled, educated jobs that DIDN'T EXIST EVEN BEFORE THE RECESSION. Liberals want everyone to make a million dollars a year, even if they work fast food jobs with no education. Such a shame.

    September 19, 2013 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
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