Carly Fiorina, one of the candidates hoping to be the presidential nominee for the Republican party, blasted health insurers and promoted the use of high-risk pools Tuesday during a Republican presidential candidate debate that focused mainly on domestic policy issues.
During the debate, which aired on FOX Business Network, Maria Bartiromo, a moderator, asked Fiorina, “How do we get rid of the regulations choking our businesses?” Bartiromo specifically mentioned the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) provision that requires large employers to offer health benefits or pay penalties.
See also: The PPACA employee-counting time sponge
Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio did not get questions about PPACA, but they made a point of mentioning, while answering other questions, that they want to repeal PPACA, which they call Obamacare.
Donald Trump, while answering a question about the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact, said the TPP text is “5,600 pages long.” “It’s so complex that nobody’s read it,” Trump said. “It’s like Obamacare; nobody ever read it.”
Fiorina used the Bartiromo question about business regulation as a chance to talk about PPACA at some length.
“First,” Fiorina said, “Obamacare has to be repealed, because it’s failing. It’s failing the very people it was intended to help, but, also, it is crony capitalism at its worst. Who helped write this bill? Drug companies, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies.”
Fiorina, the former chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard, said no one can understand PPACA “except the big companies, the lawyers, the accountants, the lobbyists that they hire to protect their interests.”
The solution is to give states the responsibility to manage a high-risk pool, or insurance arrangement for people with health problems, Fiorina said.
“We need to try the one thing in health insurance we’ve never tried,” Fiorina said. “Health insurance has always been a cozy little game between regulators and health insurance companies. We need to try to free the market.”
Later, Fiorina said, “I’m a cancer survivor, OK? I understand that you can’t have someone who’s battled cancer just become known as a pre-existing condition. I understand that you can’t allow families to go bankrupt if they truly need help. But I also understand that Obamacare isn’t helping anyone… So, let us allow states to manage high-risk pools.”