September 18th, 2013
08:17 PM ET
11 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. Rudy NYC

    Houston wrote:

    I live in Houston and every day I see more and more out of state license plates mostly from California, NY, and Michigan. The economy is thriving in our state due to low taxes and less cumbersome government regulations.
    --------------
    Do you think every cloud has a silver lining? Did it ever occur to you that they just might be buying guns to take to other states?

    September 19, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. 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. They try to deny me every time since I've had surgery. Insurance companies are spending a lot of money trying to get you scared of Obamacare.

    September 19, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. Thomas

    Rick Perry is going to run for president again.

    The guy is a dumb as a doornail , with one heck of a political machine .

    September 19, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. mike electrician

    So I guess the GOP is like the iceberg. Sitting there and waiting to sink it.

    September 19, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. anne112

    Rick Perry is dumber than a box of rocks.

    September 19, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. ztarbod

    Democrats talk a lot about the "middle class", but they don't really put forth policies that build or strengthen opportunities for the middle class. Give aways and welfare do not help get folks into the middle class. Appropriate education and job opportunities help folks get into the middle class and beyond. Democrats are too tied to teachers unions and big government, obstacles to appropriate education and job opportunities.

    September 19, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. JHL

    If there is karma, please let Perry run again. He can be the lead clown this time. Let's see if we can draft Cain, Santorum, Bachmann, Palin, Romney, et al: let's get the Team back together! It's Show Time!

    September 19, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. ghostwriter

    Seriously, were any of Perry's points accurate? Texas is free to come up with their own plans. However, if you simply choose not to, the fed plan is available. Just one of his many falsehoods.

    September 19, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. John P

    No. The GOP is like the "brave" men who jumped into the lifeboats and pushed the women aside.

    September 19, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. Rob

    You can have the freedom to not have health insurance as soon as hospitals have the freedom to not treat people that choose to not have insurance....as soon as everyone with insurance no longer has to cover the costs of the people that choose to not have insurance....

    September 19, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. 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.

    September 19, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Hector Slagg wrote:

    Some of you may want to Re-visit the Aesop's Fable of the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg. There are better ways to have Health Care for the Un=Insured
    -------------------------
    Let's hear it, then. The left has been waiting for a solution from the right wing for decades. Finally, the right wing comes up with a solution, which said everyone must purchase health care insurance. Massachusetts, under a Republican governer, puts the plan into effect. It was known as Romneycare. Democrats saw that it worked fairly well, embraced the idea, and passed a national law to implement it. Suddenly, the right wing is against all of it, but they have yet to present an alternative idea or plan.

    I ask again. Let's hear it. Please do not recite the "cross state line" talking point. That argument pretends that you can buy health care insurance as if it were a loaf of bread. Your cost of health insurance is based upon your personal history and circumstances. Crossing state lines is not going to change your personal history and circumstances.

    September 19, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  13. Natrldiver

    I love how everyone think that Texas gets its wealth from oil. The reality is that there are companies all over the place here who are hiring from Bell Helicopter, GE, Weber Aircraft, Motorola, Samsung etc. We are also in a steel fabrication boom along with a construction boom. Technology is flourishing here and Texas holds the only factory in the US where smart phones are assembled.

    Sure poke fun at our hospitality and our perceived low wages but our cost of living is much lower than the rest of the US. I should know, I left New England where I have a home that is worth nothing thanks to the economy and housing bubble. Here I bought a home for 2/3 what I paid in NE and it is twice the size and three times the land.

    Simply put, haters are going to have but in reality they are jealous of Texas' success and resiliency to the recession.

    September 19, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  14. rc

    Affordable Care Act what a joke. Take a look at the bronze plan and the $5,000 annual out of pocket costs and let me know how that is affordable. So if you make $50,000 year and are paying $3,000 in premiums and then another $5,000 in out of pocket costs nearly 25% of your after tax income goes towards healthcare. By the way, anyone actually see a reduction in their healthcare premiums? We in NJ sure as hell haven't.

    September 19, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    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. They try to deny me every time since I've had surgery. Insurance companies are spending a lot of money trying to get you scared of Obamacare.
    -----------------–
    Exactly. That's exactly why we have Medicare today.

    Health Insurance companies would drop people after a certain age, despite the fact that the person paid premiums for decades. Once dropped, no other company would pick them up. Seniors used to spend their entire life savings, bankrupting themselves to pay for health care either themselves or a spouse. They wound up in poverty and homeless, or moving in with their children and eventually bankrupting them, too.

    September 19, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. Tony

    Some Republicans fantasize about Obamacare collapsing under its own weight. It is not going to happen because Obamacare does not pay your medical bills. If you choose not to buy private insurance and pay the fine, Obamacare does not give you insurance. Insurance companies are not going to collapse because Obamacare requires people to buy private insurance. The only thing that will collapse under its own weight is the Republican campaign to make Obamacare fail. Republicans have spent millions of dollars in a media campaign to create a perception that the program is failing, but how does a program fail when it requires you to buy private health insurance? It is like expecting your state government to fail because it requires you to buy auto insurance. Guess what? Your state does not pay your bills; your insurance company does. When people find out there is no government takeover of health care, because you still buy insurance from insurance companies, they will know that the whole Republican campaign against Obamacare has been a colossal lie. Then the Republican Party will really be dead.

    September 19, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. works4me

    I believe I've run into Cypress knees that were smarter than this male Palin.

    September 19, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  18. 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?

    September 19, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    rc

    Affordable Care Act what a joke. Take a look at the bronze plan and the $5,000 annual out of pocket costs and let me know how that is affordable. So if you make $50,000 year and are paying $3,000 in premiums and then another $5,000 in out of pocket costs nearly 25% of your after tax income goes towards healthcare. By the way, anyone actually see a reduction in their healthcare premiums? We in NJ sure as hell haven't.
    -------------------
    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.

    September 19, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. 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?

    September 19, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  21. Leftcoastrocky

    I would like in Maryland over Texas any day of the week.

    September 19, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  22. Bubba

    Texas is a mess. Take away their OIL, and they have nothing worth mentioning. Despite their tough stance on crime, Texas is home to some of the most violent cities in America, and some of the poorest living conditions in the rural areas.
    Yet somehow, we hold Texas high. As if their success is due to hard line racist views instead of "dumb luck".
    Perry could not win when America was smoking the GOP rhetoric, and now that America is sobering up, Perry is a sad angry man, catering to sad angry people.

    September 19, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. Leftcoastrocky

    2012 Health Rankings by State
    Maryland - 19
    Texas – 40

    September 19, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  24. john

    Both of the governors (and their states) have major ideological and functional problems. Texas has plenty of jobs but they are basically "muscle" jobs, jobs with little or no opportunity for advancement, no future and little or no benefits like health insurance. Maryland on the otherhand (like Connecticut) has problems with chasing higher tech jobs out of state with their policies as well as their attitude towards citizens rights. And embracking Obamacare will also cost them.

    The idea of universal health insurance sounds like utopia BUT under Obamacare (at least in some states like CA) will be unaffordable for working middle class families and for those who can only affod the lowest level plan (if any) the benefits will be VERY MINIMAL with the out of pocket costs for subscribers very high. It seems that the only people who beneifit from Obamacare may be the very poor and the rich who really don't need it anyway, everyone else suffers with higher cost and lower benefits.

    So, Texas vs Maryland (and similar state choices): do you want to work where there are plenty of jobs but they are moving pallets around in the Coca-Cola warehouse with few benefits or do you want to be where jobs have more future if you can find one but you may be priced out of the Healcare market?

    September 19, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. mojoscooter

    Having Rick Perry in the WH would be the a disaster of biblical proportions or like hitting an iceberg at mach 1.

    September 19, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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