November 2, 2006

Carcieri/Fogarty IV: Open Thread

Carroll Andrew Morse

Anchor Rising readers are invited to use the comments section of this post to give their own real time reactions to tonight's final Rhode Island Gubernatorial debate between Donald Carcieri and Charles Fogarty (WJAR-TV NBC 10, @ 7:00 pm).

Insightful comments, witty comments, and even comments that spin like Gamera preparing to take flight to battle a swarm of Gyaos monsters are all welcome, but personally insulting or crude posts will be deleted as soon as I see them.

The comments are open now!

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

In his closing statement, Lieutenant Governor Fogarty just gave a list of programs he wouldn't cut, then followed immediately by saying "I'll make the tough choices".

Classic Charlie Fogarty!

Posted by: Andrew at November 2, 2006 7:57 PM

Did I hear Dan Yorke accurately today? Carcieri has given Fogarty 12 debates this election season? 12? The man has chutzpah that's for sure. lol Didn't see tonights debate but I can't imagine these two have much fire left and certainly have nothing new to add in debate number 12.
Been a very interesting election season but I for one will be glad to move on from it.

Posted by: Tim at November 2, 2006 9:25 PM

I saw some of it.

Multiple times Fogarty accused Governor Carcieri of raising State spending by $500 million.

Charlie, it's the Democrat General Assembly that ultimately determines spending.

Then "Charlie" repeatedly represents (in effect) that he won't cut any "social service" programs.

Charlie, "social service" programs like RIteCare are why the budget is going through the roof (not to mention the union contract giveaways).

"Charlie's" performance is proof positive that the Democratic Party is the party of and for liars and morons - the Democratic officeholders like "Charlie" lie throught their teeth, knowing that moronic voters will swallow it.

Yeah, they're the party of "working families" - families working on attaining sentience ... someday.

Posted by: Tom W at November 2, 2006 9:45 PM

By the way, I haven't heard my favorite Charlie ad lately. The one that goes, "That's so ... Carcieri." Maybe they figured out that it actually sounds like something pleasant.

"What do you think of our new end table set?"

"I like it. It's very ... Carcieri."

Posted by: SusanD at November 2, 2006 9:55 PM


I've heard the ad you're referring to a couple of times on the radio. I found it so schoolboy and lame I started laughing when I heard it. Somehow I don't think that's the reaction they were reaching for.
By the way, saw the governor's new tv ad tonight. Just him talking into the camera. Very effective ad that hits the perfect note and tone to finish up this election advertising season.

Posted by: Tim at November 2, 2006 10:13 PM

Also saw the Carcieri ad this morning. VERY good ad!!!!

It was great that Carcieri was last in giving his closing comments. I think he got his point across.

Excellent job, Governor!

Posted by: John at November 2, 2006 11:30 PM

I missed tonights episode. Are we into reruns already? I'm so glad the season is almost over. I wonder what Charlie will do for his first real job since working for Almac's?

Keep after them Governor.

Posted by: Ben at November 3, 2006 12:09 AM

not for nothin, but ritecare is a good value. low admin. fed match.

Would it be better to increase the # of uninsured, kicking kids into ERs? Taxpayers and commercial rate payers foot that bill - to make it worse, ERs (uninsured care) are less efficient than RIte Care, which has primary care and prevention.

Other areas of medicaid have not won accolades as RIteCare has. if you want to criticize medicaid, take a look at the programs that are running less efficiently.

good debate

Posted by: brad fric at November 3, 2006 12:16 AM

I have nothing against RIteCare, per se, assuming that it is well managed, stays within budget, and acheives it's stated objectives -- which would put it at odds with almost every other government program in existence.

I thought the governor did a great job in tonight's debate (yes, 12!) of showing that "Charlie" is full of hot air. I'm glad he didn't take all the stuff that Charlie tried to throw his way -- he dished it back and then some. He critizes the governor for spending, but is full of pie in the sky promises to everyone, while not wanting to cut anything -- with no stated way of paying for anything he's proposing. It just plays into people's cynicism about politicians when they promise the moon, but deliver a wheel of cheese. It comes off just like it is -- ridiculous!

The governor's newest ad is just great. It covers all the bases and puts this race into simple terms that even Charlie's supporters might understand.

Posted by: Will at November 3, 2006 1:17 AM

Dear Tom W,

Welfare, while not a right is an investment issue. Unfortunately, here in Rhode Island, we leave folks on the system too long without requiring an investment in their own talents and abilities.

Healthcare is kind of an investment but single payer has serveral deterious effects. Somehow, we must be able to contain costs, provide a safety net for those less fortunate, and make sure the ingenuity incentive is still there.

Those who can afford it get better service, those who can't still have their needs met without the luxuries. For needs of science, we must continue to keep the free market engaged.

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at November 3, 2006 3:50 PM

Brad raises some good points. But there are others that are needed to complete the picture. Clearly, a national single payer health insurance system with competing private and non-profit service suppliers can efficiently deliver very good health care outcomes. Just look at Australia -- better health care outcomes at a lower share of GDP spending than the US on health care. But there's a catch. The taxpayer financed Australian system covers only basic heatlh care needs (and it has income scaled copays to limit overusage of it). Certain health care treatments are deemed luxury goods, and have to be paid for separately if you want them (hence Australia's thriving private health insurance companies). The analogy is to education -- taxpayers pay for K-12 for everyone, but college is, effectively, a luxury good.

To bring this back to the US, the most infamous blow up of a state Medicaid system was TennCare. Like RiteCare, it didn't offer an Australian style minimum coverage system; rather, it offered a package that was superior to most offered by private health insurance companies. Moreover, thanks to the litigation efforts of Tennessee's advocates, its coverage was constantly expanded, and copays blocked. Unsurprisingly, it attracted a lot of people and blew up the state's budget. As a result, TennCare was sharply cut back.

The comparison to RI is quite clear. RiteCare coverage is actually superior to individual policies you can buy from BlueCross -- a major reasons why some of RI's advocates have been looking for ways to allow people to stay on RiteCare rather than shift to RiteShare, in which the state helps pay for a portion of a low income worker's coverage via a company group health policy.

In RI you can also see the numbers of people on RiteCare growing, and little downward movement in their utilization rates for key services. Finally, despite the presence of our RiteCare program, RI also has the nation's highest taxpayer financed spending on uncompensated care per uninsured resident. This should come as no surprise to anyone. When you offer the nation's most generous welfare programs, and let people stay on them longer than anyplace else, you get rising demand for them. Even this might be sustainable if RI had one of the nation's most vibrant economies and was generating substantial amounts of tax revenue. But this isn't the case. When you combine high spending on state financed healthcare with high spending on a whole host of other inefficiently run programs, the result is high tax rates, poor services and a declining economy. And this is only compounded when you are becoming a bedroom community for people who commute to jobs (and pay most of their income taxes) out of state.

In theory and in practice (e.g., in Australia) a well designed national single payer health insurance program should be the solution to a lot of the healthcare problems facing the US today. RiteCare (like TennCare) could have been a model for the nation. Instead, thanks to the efforts of our advocates and their allies in the unions and the General Assembly, it has become just another part of the process that is bankrupting Rhode Island.

Posted by: John at November 3, 2006 8:21 PM

>>not for nothin, but ritecare is a good value. low admin. fed match.

First, I've yet to see in the U.S. Constitution anywhere we it states, or even implies, that healthcare is (or Consititutionally can be) a government responsibility. Ditto for welfare overall.

Second, John's comments above regarding the Australian system are well put.

The problem is, in this country, it would be the proverbial "camel's nose under the tent."

On the national and state level the "Poverty Institute" ilk will never be satisfied with a system in which basic / emergency health care needs are met by the public sector, but others (who invariably will be mischaracterized as "the rich") can "afford" "better" healthcare. It just isn't fair, you see.

They won't be satisfied until everyone is trapped into a low-quality, and expensive, 100% public-sector system (e.g., HillaryCare).

It's no mere coincidence that medical inflation didn't start to take off until after Medicare / Medicaid started kicking in. Already in de facto control of about 50% of the total healthcare market, the government has already screwed it up.

Just thinking about putting the same type unionized slackers who run the Registry of Motor Vehicles in control of healthcare is enough to make one ... ill.

Posted by: Tom W at November 3, 2006 9:56 PM