By Lynne Ide
Health care was not addressed with any depth. Overall, the topic was treated like a bumper sticker slogan – light on substance and big on broadcasting which “side” you are on.
Only two direct questions were asked about health care.
One question was for John Kasich (Current Governor, Ohio), who was asked whether he could be trusted not to invoke God on behalf of other efforts to help those in need, as he referred to his Christian faith in support of Medicaid expansion in Ohio.
Kasich did not run away from his decision to expand Medicaid – and went on to make the “good economic sense” argument that it brought in federal resources and saved taxpayer dollars to help deal with mental health and drug addiction, especially among the incarcerated population. He also said it helped the working poor.
The other was for Donald Trump (Businessman) that noted his past support of single payer health care, such as in Canada.
Trump back-pedaled on anything he may have said years ago about single payer. He did say that such a system worked in Canada and may have worked here in a different time. Then he quickly declared that Obamacare must be repealed and replaced. He went on to say that we need a private system that transcends state borders and we should take care of those who can’t take care of themselves through a different system.
That’s as deep as the health care discussion got.
The rest of the debate featured even less substance on health care:
- Jeb Bush (Former Governor, Florida): Replace Obamacare with something that doesn’t suppress wages
- Scott Walker (Current Governor, Wisconsin): Repeal Obamacare
- Chris Christie (Current Governor, New Jersey): We need a detailed plan on entitlement reform, including Medicare
- Mike Huckabee (Former Governor, Arkansas): We robbed $700 million from entitlements to fund Obamacare
In the end, all we really got was a bumper sticker slogan from the Republicans: End Obamacare.