• Post-debate thoughts

    As always, I’ll stick to my strengths. For more passionate ramblings on other topics covered in the debate, follow me on twitter at @aaronecarroll.

    • I’ve heard medical malpractice blamed for many things, but Governor Perry found a new one tonight, when he said reforming it would allow small businesses to hire people. Where was the follow-up question to that one?
    • I’m sorry, but claiming that the ACA will prevent people from getting preventive care for colon cancer is an outright lie. It’s almost as absurd as people claiming that Stephen Hawking would have been allowed to die under a government health care system. I’m appalled that candidates aren’t challenged on statements like this.
    • I bet that Rep. Bachmann is wishing she hadn’t gone out so far on the HPV vaccine now. I also wish that candidates could discuss an opt-out vaccine program correctly. It doesn’t prevent a parent from exercising their rights.
    • It was nice to see Chris Wallace accurately represent that Texas has exerted its state-level control to make its Medicaid eligibility standards among the most stringent in the nation, leading to higher levels of uninsurance. Disappointing to see Governor Perry complain that it’s not enough.
    • Rep. Bachmann claimed that UBS isn’t hiring because of the ACA? Really? Even though almost all of the law doesn’t go into effect into 2014? You don’t think UBS might be hurting because a “rogue trader” lost them $2 billion?

    Overall, I’m finding the questions and debate on health care rather wanting. You may not like the ACA, but at least all of us understand what it’s supposed to do. Remember when it was all about “repeal and replace”? Where’s the “replace”? Why will no one talk about that? The one question posed by a young adult asking if they’d take away his coverage was almost completely dodged. We have record numbers of uninsured, calls to cut Medicaid, and a weakening private insurance market. People with chronic conditions can’t get coverage. Too many can’t afford it even if they can get it. What will the candidates do other than get rid of the current law? How will they answer the fundamental problems of access, cost, and quality?

    I’m still waiting to hear.

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    • Could there be a more convincing demonstration that Republicans on the absolutely despise the middle and working classes?

    • Well said Aaron. There were some good questions asked (Wallace’s to Perry about Medicaid, and a few by Megyn Kelly that I don’t remember off the top of my head), but for the most part the candidates were able to avoid answering them, and were not pushed with follow-up questions when they dodged or said something ridiculous.

      I’m also glad they forced Bachmann to own up to the vaccine-retardation connection, even if she did try to make an excuse rather than admitting she was wrong.

      Perry’s continued insistence on a connection between malpractice reform and jobs made it even harder for me to take him seriously, and he looked very bad during a number of key discussions throughout the debate.

      Romney seemed like the clear class of the field after the debate, though unfortunately we won’t get to hear his real ideas on health care until after he wins the nomination (when he has to be more moderate and technocratic and worry less about pandering to the right).

    • Where was the follow-up question to that one?

      The thing to keep in mind is that you have a debate with a good moderator who asks good follow up question no candidates will show up. You need someone who is, from our point of view, a very bad moderator because he is then a good moderator for the candidate and it is the candidates that draw the audiences not the moderator.