I didn’t watch the Tea Party debate
But Aaron Carroll did. He writes:
Let’s start here with the moment I screamed at the TV. I’m sorry, but the audience cheering the idea of letting a thirty-year old who got sick without insurance die is appalling. You can dislike the moral hazard, you can bemoan the fact that people don’t take enough personal responsibility, you can even wish that society wouldn’t have to be on the hook when uninsured people get sick. But don’t take pleasure in that fact. Right now, there are thirty-year olds who don’t have jobs, can’t find work, and can’t afford insurance. Letting them die if they get sick is not “good”. It’s not even “freedom”. Applauding that is depressing.
In the first debate I watched as nearly all the candidates raised their hands when asked if they would authorize torture. In the next debate I listened as the audience cheered the 234 people Rick Perry executed in Texas. And tonight, I missed the cheering of the hypothetical death of an uninsured American.
Now, to his credit, after this clip, Ron Paul says that private charities would handle the bill like they did back in the day when practiced medicine. I don’t think that’s true, but I think he believes it’s true. Back when Paul was a practicing doctor, healthcare was much cheaper. If we could get it that cheap again, maybe private charities could pick up these tabs. If we could get insurance cheap enough that people could all have it (and solve the preexisting condition problem) that would also help. But these are major hurdles, and solving them through government policy is reasonable.
Like I said, the Republican Party has lost its way. A lot of people came back to me in my last debate post saying “You liberals would cheer if you heard a bunch of babies had been aborted!” but this is just nonsense. Most liberals do want safe, legal abortions to continue unimpeded, but the goal of the pro-choice movement isn’t to abort as many babies as possible. It’s just to keep that procedure accessible and safe. I think most liberals would be absolutely thrilled if contraception and sex education led to a huge decline in abortions, and would cheer that in a heartbeat. I also think liberals might very well cheer expansion of access to women’s health clinics where abortions are performed. I would be very surprised to hear the same sort of hooting and hollering over a similarly phrased question in regards to abortion.
And besides, we also have torture and the death of an uninsured person to add to this pile. And while Democrats aren’t great on foreign policy, Republicans are even more hawkish. Rick Perry, the current darling of the right, is just as hawkish – if not more so – than his predecessor.
Oh, and it also looks like the audience booed Ron Paul tonight when he tried to explain that not all terrorism can be attributed to Muslims, and that the Palestinians are human beings, too!