New Hampshire debate’s format was flawed

During the New Hampshire presidential debate last week, a lady named Sylvia asked, “What would the Republicans do about health care if they repealed Obamacare?” Her question never got answered. I even pointed that out to the CNN host, John King, and offered to answer her question, but he never got back to me.

If I could have answered the question, I would have told her about patient-centered and market-driven solutions. Most of these ideas are contained in H.R. 3400, which was introduced in 2009, though virtually no one has heard about it.

I don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel. Nor do I believe in re-inventing good ideas. If I could have answered her question, I would have offered some of the following ideas to replace Obamacare:

  • Individuals choose their health insurance (no mandates)
  • Deductibility of health insurance premiums regardless of who pays
  • Employers provide flexible insurance options to employees
  • Federally subsidized vouchers to help low-income individuals (up to three times the poverty level) buy health insurance
  • Health insurance for high-risk and pre-existing-condition individuals, which could be handled through Medicaid, high-risk insurance pools or other options
  • Sale of health insurance across state lines (more competition!)
  • Increased deductibility amounts for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
  • Association Health Insurance Plans
  • Medical lawsuit “loser pay” laws

These ideas would allow individuals to make their own decisions about health care and health insurance rather than a bureaucrat, and they would allow the free-market system to bring down the costs of both. Obamacare does not do that, which is why over 1,300 companies have asked for and received waivers from the law.

It may shock the liberals out there in la-la land, but if Obamacare would have saved those businesses money, they would have implemented it in a heartbeat. It won’t!

Answering Sylvia’s question probably would have answered the same question that millions of Americans were asking. But I could not squeeze the answer in during the presidential sound-bite derby.

The health care question was not the only question that did not get answered during the presidential debate that night, because the format for questions and answers left a lot to be desired. Nevertheless, I will be right back in there slugging it out at the next debate.

Next time, I hope we get a genuine chance to express our respective points of view on the big issues. That way, viewers will be able to learn something and discover the differences that distinguish the candidates from each another.

  • Fred2

    @Jasmine Clark

    I agree that the debate format hampers Cain and the other GOP candidates in displaying their differences and political beliefs. An idea blogger John Nolte came up with is to move the debate online and ignore the Liberal ruled mainstream media outlets.

    An excerpt:

    “GOP, you had better wake up before it’s too late and in my opinion it will be too late in September when the double-threat of MSM corruption known and NBC/Politico hosts a debate. NBC and Politico are not honest brokers, they are our undeclared political enemies and any one of our candidates who walks into that rigged game deserves to have their judgment questioned. A wise GOP field would pull out of any and all debates hosted by the MSM, because NEWSFLASH: Primary debates shouldn’t be designed to cater to the media or to the public at large. They should be staged to help primary voters make a difficult choice, to make our side look as good as possible, and — wait for it!, wait for it! — to do as much political damage to President Obama as possible.

    Why not arrange for a regular series of debates with tough, intelligent questioners from our side that represent the full right-of-center spectrum, people such as Jonah Goldberg, Thomas Sowell, Mark Steyn, Morrissey, Tammy Bruce, Mary Katherine Hamm, Erick Erickson, Dana Loesch, Brit Hume, Hugh Hewitt, Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Prager and on and on?

    What’s the downside? That the MSM will get pissy and badmouth us for not playing their rigged game? They’re out to destroy us anyway and we have a much better chance of avoiding that destruction if we fight instead of cave.”

    Read the rest of Mr. Nolte’s column here:


  • Scrap Iron

    Next time, Mr. Cain, please refuse to answer to stupid questions posed to yo9u , like deep dish or thin crust.
    Who cares?
    Some of us like BOTH!!
    Keep talking about your ideas (or whoever’s they are) about health care, and keep talking up the Fair Tax.

  • UncleJimmy

    Good thoughts Mr Cain. I also was disappointed that you never got a chance to answer that question. Please continue pushing….we’re behind you. As an afterthought, please think twice before appearing again on O’Reilly’s show. That man is too busy sucking up to Obama to give you a fair chance. He started trying to marginalize you during your appearance…and has been discounting you on his show since then.

  • mariaream

    The federal government is lowering premiums for a taxpayer-subsidized plan that provides health insurance for those with pre-existing conditions check “Penny Health” website

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jasmine-Clark/1785223171 Jasmine Clark

    good essay here!! and yes, i agree the debate was flawed. there were too many people there on one stage, making it so that there wasn’t much time to answer questions! good thing you answered more thoroughly here.