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Question from last night's CNN GOP debate in Jacksonville, Florida:
My name is Lynn Frazier and I live here in Jacksonville. And for the Republican presidential candidates, my question is, I'm currently unemployed and I found myself unemployed for the first time in 10 years and unable to afford health care benefits.
What type of hope can you promise me and others in my position?
No job, no health care. These are the two most critical concerns for average Americans....not the critical concerns of many conservative politicians....but of average Americans.
Ron Paul: Well, it's a tragedy because this is a consequence of the government being involved in medicine since 1965.
But your medical care should go with you. You should get total deduction on it. It would be so much less expensive. It doesn't solve every single problem, but you're -- you're suffering from the consequence of way too much government and the cost going up because government has inflated the cost and we have a government-created recession, and that is a consequence of the business cycle.
See an answer in any of that? Paul tells the woman that government has caused the woman not to have health insurance, or something....reminding her of something she already knows....health care is expensive.
No kidding Doc. I have no idea what "your medical care should go with you" even means. The problem being that health insurance and health care costs more than tens of millions of Americans can afford. Offering an unemployed person the idea that she can take her health insurance along with her if she can figure out a way to pay for it...or that she should be able to deduct all of her health insurance costs on April 15th....is one of the least compassionate and most out of touch answers I've heard the Old Doc give.
Gingrich: The largest challenge of this country is to get the economy growing so she can have a job so it's easy for her to have insurance.
So far, so good. Get that economy growing. How would Newt go about doing that?
We need to have a program which would start with, frankly, repealing Obamacare, repealing Dodd-Frank, repealing Sarbanes-Oxley.
Gingrich would get the economy going again for people who lost their jobs and health care by adding millions more people to the uninsured rolls through repealing ObamaCare (something a president cannot actually do). Strange answer, I thought....but Newt is a strange character....much, much more advanced in thought than your average American.
Repealing regulations that, at the very least, make a stab at trying to rein in the richest white collar crooks this nation has ever seen in finance and accounting....is Newt's solution to getting that "economy growing again", so the unemployed woman can find a job. Again....a very odd answer. Encouraging white collar crooks to continue cheating to further enrich themselves by stripping the meager regulations now in place to keep them in check....equals....new jobs and a growing economy.
The solution to a woman in Jacksonville losing her job and health care, according to Newt, is to set free big time accountants and money shufflers in Manhattan to do what they want without oversight while nixing the only national program we have to expand medical insurance to more Americans.
Romney agrees with Newt...
..we know what it takes to put people back to work..... -- lowering corporate taxes, lowering regulations, opening up all of the above in energy,....
Lowering taxes on the powerful even further........stripping back layers of regulations from behemoth corporations, some of whom actually created our current downturn...and drill, baby, drill....are Romney's solutions to putting people back to work. Romney wants to go back to, yes, the "failed policies of the past" to find solutions for the future. Like rummaging around at the landfill to find materials to build a new home.
But here's one that has been bugging me.
...if an individual wants to own their own insurance, they're not part of a big group, and so as a result they get a very high rate. What we should do is allow individuals to own their own insurance and have the same tax treatment as companies get. You do that and people like this young woman would be able to own her insurance. The rates would be substantial lower for her buying it individually than if she had to buy it individually today.
First....doesn't it seem odd to you talking about "owning your own insurance"? I have no idea what that even means. How can you own something which, in itelf, is intangible? But Romney's larger answer is where the cat gets out of the bag.
One person going to purchase health insurance pays a higher rate because, according to Mitt, she is only one person, and doesn't get that all-important bulk discount pricing that group plans offer. So Mitt would give individuals the right to purchase health insurance, individually, yet pay bulk pricing.....because a larger insurance pool of customers dilutes risk lowering costs.
If Mitt believes what he is saying...then it follows that the larger the health insurance pool....the lower the individual costs. That, my friends, is one of the arguments for single payer, government run health insurance. If a larger pool equals lower overall costs, then the LARGEST pool, all Americans, would be the most efficient way to insure for medical care, the most direct way to lower insurance costs.
Santorum went on to add "health savings accounts" as a solution. Giving an incentive to people who can't afford health insurance right now to save money to pay for their own health care. Not an answer for those who can't afford any of it, but a great new tax shelter for the already-rich who can.
So, what do you think? Did these 4 GOP candidates offer up genuinely reasonable, credible or practical solutions to our jobless recovery or unaffordable health care problems?