Final Presidential Debate

Final Presidential Debate

Postby Nicene Creeder on Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:17 am

Of the 20 questions asked tonight, I think Bush won 14 to 6 over Kerry.

In the first debate Bush was out matched and out manuevered by Kerry. Bush looked tired, had too much makeup on and seemed defensive. Kerry looked and sounded confident and competitent. He was on the offensive

In the second debate I rated it a push. Bush didn't do any better, he just looked better, and sounded better. Kerry didn't answer questions.

Tonight Kerry committed a cardinal sin (and I have yet to hear a pundent pick up his quote) on the issue of health care and his "plan". See the quote from the transcript below:

KERRY:

"What we do is we have choice. I choose Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Other senators, other congressmen choose other programs.

But the fact is, we're going to help Americans be able to buy into it. Those that can afford it are going to buy in themselves. We're not giving this away for nothing."

http://www.debates.org/pages/trans2004d.html

Why do people not have health care insurance in the US? Because it is expensive. Blue Cross-Blue Shield is one of the most expensive insurance programs available. I don't elect this insurance (though it is offered to me) because it is expensive (I go with the inexpensive and less reliable Kaiser Permanente). Every person in the US has access to free medical treatment through the County hospital systems. It's not quick, it's not great, but it does service millions of people annually, all paid by the taxpayers.

Is Kerry going to make the "40 million" people pay up? "Those that can afford it are going to buy in themselves. We are not giving this away for nothing." Huh? People would rather spend $5,000 on cigarettes and alcohol than on health insurance, especially if they are young and healthy. Kerry has exploited the Democratic Party health care plan: there is no plan.

Bush also took on the issue that Kerry just floated in the New York Times that he would deal with terrorism like it is a nuisance. What? We are not going to become France (Algerians), Britain (IRA) and especially Israel (Palestinians). Kerry had some strong points, he knows how to use the entire time alloted to speak his peace, one area of debate that Bush has failed to watch closely.

I don't know if Bush's performance tonight can combat the down trend he has experienced since the first debate. He needs to hammer home on the terrorism as nuisance issue. Kerry seems to have a slight upper hand, an up tick if you will, and he needs to keep his mouth shut from here on out. Stupid remarks like his health care take can sink the ship.
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Postby Andy C on Thu Oct 14, 2004 9:06 am

America's insurance-based health system is great if you are rich; creates fear and stasis in the labour market if you are middle-class; and awful if you are poor. It's inefficient and expensive, and buys a huge amount of cost-inflation every year.

The county hospitals system is often ineffective in bigger US cities, NC. I don't guess you'd like to rely on one for treatment?

Alexandro Escoverdo's problems seem to me to illustrate the huge problems with the US system quite neatly.

Kerry's ideas on health care reform seem to be poorly considered, and certainly are not a reason to vote for him. But he has come back from six points down in the polls through the debates, and is now in with a chance of winning. I hope he does. Bush's reforms of Medicare and Medicaid are simply pork-barrel for the pharmaceutical industry that has supported his party generously.

Interestingly, Kaiser Permanente's chronic disease management programme is a big influence on UK health policy right now. Wider comparisons which have been made between Kaiser Permanente and the NHS are foolish, as Kaiser gets to select its risk and does not insure the very old or the very sick.
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Postby Georgia on Thu Oct 14, 2004 3:58 pm

Re: Kerry's health care strategy, as near as I can figure, he seems to be banking on being able to leverage the increased number of potential subscribers to drive down the cost of premiums. I'm sure this would work to some degree, but who funds the percentage that is typically covered by employers for those who are unemployed or for those uninsured through their employers? I have doubts about whether premiums could be lowered to the degree that they would be affordable for those people. For myself, I don't need it and I'm not likely to trust this plan enough to give up my current insurance, regardless of either's cost. If it were proven over several years to be a good deal both in terms of care and cost, I might reconsider it. I can't believe I'm the only person who would be skeptical at the outset, so I hope he's not depending on millions of well insured Americans joining the program to make it work. :?
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Postby scared on Thu Oct 14, 2004 4:02 pm

Bush seemed as fucked up as ever, like he'd just snorted a deficit-sized pile of coke and downed a few cat tranquilizers. I can't believe he's our president and that this race is so close. It's mind-boggling. Kerry's no great shakes either but at least he seems in control of his own mind and body.
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Postby Trumpetwool on Thu Oct 14, 2004 4:16 pm

Everybody should watch the two-hour Frontline doc on Kerry and Bush. Really gets to the core of both of them.
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Postby CMS on Thu Oct 14, 2004 4:48 pm

Trumpetwool wrote:Everybody should watch the two-hour Frontline doc on Kerry and Bush. Really gets to the core of both of them.

That documentary is wonderful. Another great show on Bush and Kerry is, now don't roll yer eyes, VH-1's "Presidential Bling Off" - a great piece on the fact these guys are not real people.

The problem I have with Kerry is that EVERY SINGLE QUESTION, he has an answer, he has a plan, he has the means to execute that plan as soon as he is elected president. No he doesn't. He's outright lying... ok, that's a bit strong. What he has been doing in these debates is reading his Political Christmas Wish List - there is no way he could get 3/4 of what he talks about passed, and even if he did, where is the money gonna come from? Taxing the wealthiest Americans? I don't think so. He's talking about program after program after program that will cost billions and billions and billions of dollars. Where is there room for "deficit reduction" or "decreasing the debt", when you are spending your brains out?

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Postby Trumpetwool on Thu Oct 14, 2004 5:01 pm

CMS wrote:
Trumpetwool wrote:Everybody should watch the two-hour Frontline doc on Kerry and Bush. Really gets to the core of both of them.

That documentary is wonderful. Another great show on Bush and Kerry is, now don't roll yer eyes, VH-1's "Presidential Bling Off" - a great piece on the fact these guys are not real people.

The problem I have with Kerry is that EVERY SINGLE QUESTION, he has an answer, he has a plan, he has the means to execute that plan as soon as he is elected president. No he doesn't. He's outright lying... ok, that's a bit strong. What he has been doing in these debates is reading his Political Christmas Wish List - there is no way he could get 3/4 of what he talks about passed, and even if he did, where is the money gonna come from? Taxing the wealthiest Americans? I don't think so. He's talking about program after program after program that will cost billions and billions and billions of dollars. Where is there room for "deficit reduction" or "decreasing the debt", when you are spending your brains out?

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So having a plan is bad? I can see why you side with Bush -- he didn't have a plan either.
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Postby CMS on Thu Oct 14, 2004 5:32 pm

Trumpetwool wrote:So having a plan is bad? I can see why you side with Bush -- he didn't have a plan either.

OH no! I didn't mean to come off as a Bush supporter! My point was you can have a plan, but not a plan that is so allencompassing that there is no way to realistically execute it. Kerry talks about all these great ideas/plans but doesn't tell how he will pay for it. He intends on staying in Iraq while ambiguously stating that it won't be "forever", that's gonna cost a helluva lot of money. The only area on the revenue side that he talks about generating more money is by taxing the wealthiest Americans. Sure that will raise more money to pay for additional programs, but not enough to pay for everything that he promises. I just think he's been very unrealistic.

Bush's fiscal policy is no different, he just spends and spends and spends on different things than what Kerry proposes. I do not support Bush's lack of restraint anymore than what I envision a Kerry presidency would exhibit.

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Postby Andy C on Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:00 pm

Thanks for the explanation Georgia. I can't see the Kerry scheme working, for many of the reasons you give.

In addition, the vast number of highly-paid actuaries that a health insurance system requires (so as not to bankrupt these companies with covering the highest risk people) are highly paid and very smart people. Even if Kerry could persuade people to join bigger plans or insurers to agree to amalgamate, wouldn't you say it's likely that healthcare cost inflation - which is way, way above real inflation in the USA - will continue, after perhaps a brief pause?

If the US wants to control spending on health care (currently almost 15% of GDP and rising), people should go back and consider the plans for which Hillary Clinton was tarred and feathered not so long ago.

When the risk is as big as that of serious ill health, it ought to be pooled among the biggest group possible so as not to disavdantage the chronically ill (biggest cost to any health system) and the old.
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Postby Georgia on Thu Oct 14, 2004 7:12 pm

Part of the opposition to the Clinton plan was that the states would manage it and the federal government would define what care was covered under it. People here just seem more comfortable taking their chances with the private insurers, as is, than putting their trust in the government to decide what kind of care their premiums entitle them to. And I don't think there is much confidence in the states' ability to manage such a system. I think the idea that government should be as small as possible (and thus cost as few of their tax dollars as possible to run) and intrude as little as possible into the private lives of citizens is still appealing to most Americans.

Re: lowering the overall rate of cost increase, I was surprised Kerry didn't jump all over Bush last night when he said we are working with Canada to alleviate the flu vaccine shortage. If Canada's flu vaccine is good enough for us, why aren't their cheaper prescription drugs good enough? :? The expense of prescription drugs is cited as a big problem on both sides, I believe. Golden opportunity missed, IMO.
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Postby Trumpetwool on Thu Oct 14, 2004 8:50 pm

Georgia wrote:I think the idea that government should be as small as possible (and thus cost as few of their tax dollars as possible to run) and intrude as little as possible into the private lives of citizens is still appealing to most Americans.


I wouldn't say calling for constitutional amendments to ban Gay marriage and abortion as exactly staying out of the private lives of American citizens.

If anybody wants to meddle with how we live it's George "I'm Ordained by God" Bush.
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Postby Georgia on Thu Oct 14, 2004 9:29 pm

Trumpetwool wrote:
Georgia wrote:I think the idea that government should be as small as possible (and thus cost as few of their tax dollars as possible to run) and intrude as little as possible into the private lives of citizens is still appealing to most Americans.


I wouldn't say calling for constitutional amendments to ban Gay marriage and abortion as exactly staying out of the private lives of American citizens.

If anybody wants to meddle with how we live it's George "I'm Ordained by God" Bush.


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Postby davefUSA on Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:58 pm

bush has not called for a pro-life constitutional ammendment
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Postby shaun on Thu Oct 14, 2004 11:52 pm

"americas mad as hell"richard ashcroft.

its a personal paradox,every american ive met has been bright,elequent and charming,but thats one bonkers country yes siree bob
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