Eight Republican presidential candidates on Tuesday discussed how health reform and other health policies have affected the nation's economy, the New York Times reports.
During the debate, which was held at Dartmouth College and sponsored by the Washington Post and Bloomberg, each of the candidates expressed their opposition to the overhaul and said the health reform law is a significant contributing factor to the nation's fiscal problems.
Romney, Perry discuss health reform
During one portion of the debate, candidates were permitted to question each other, and several of them targeted former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney about the 2006 Massachusetts health law.
For example, Texas Gov. Rick Perry asked Romney to respond to criticisms of the state overhaul, which Perry said drove up premiums. Romney defended his proposal by noting that unlike the federal health reform law, the Massachusetts plan did not raise taxes. He added, "One of the problems with ObamaCare is he doesn't just deal with the people without insurance. He takes over health care for everyone." Romney repeated a promise to repeal the federal overhaul.
Romney added that the Massachusetts law resulted in "less than 1% of our kids who are uninsured," noting that in comparison, "a million kids" in Texas are uninsured.
Perry defended his health care record by saying the state reduced health insurance costs by 30% during his tenure and passed sweeping tort reform in 2003. Later, Perry's campaign sent several press releases to reporters criticizing Romney and the Massachusetts reform law, according to CBS News.
Gingrich defends Palin's 'death panel' comments
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) said former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) was unfairly criticized for her suggestion that the federal health reform law would result in "death panels" having control over health care, the AP/Washington Post reports. Gingrich said although the panels are not part of the overhaul, the law gives the government too much control over allocating medical care (Zeleny/Parker, New York Times, 10/11; Memoli, Los Angeles Times, 10/11; Gardner/Rucker, Washington Post, 10/11; Condon, CBS News, 10/11; AP/Washington Post, 10/11).
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