Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ladies and Gentleman, We Have a New Frontrunner

After Rick Perry's big announcement and the massive publicity he received shortly thereafter, Rick Perry is the new national GOP Frontrunner, and by a large margin.

It looks like Rick Perry's post-announcement bounce has been much bigger than many political observers, including myself, ever expected. According to Gallup, Rick Perry is the top choice of 29% of GOP voters nationwide while Romney comes in second at a 17%. Even Michele Bachmann, with her post-announcement bounce, didn't exceed Romney in national polling, and certainly not to the extent that Rick Perry has.

How long will this bounce last is anybody's guess. No doubt Rick Perry will come under greater scrutiny and criticism now that he is the Republican to beat. I personally think that it is Rick Perry's views on Social Security and Medicare that will do greatest damage to his popularity. Perry stated in his most recent book "Fed Up!" that Social Security is unconstitutional and should be abolished and that Medicare should never have been created. These are serious statements that most of the middle age and elderly, including Republicans, simply will not support.

In regard to healthcare, GOP voters will have to make a choice. Do you want to vote for a guy who unintentionally inspired ObamaCare but has vowed to repeal it and still wants to preserve traditional Medicare, or do you want to vote for a guy who would end not just ObamaCare but also Medicare entirely? I think the choice for most middle age and elderly citizens is an easy one.

Romney cares deeply about the healthcare crisis that American is in and wants to fix it. Perry on the other hand, seems to be content with repealing the healthcare of millions of elderly Americans despite their inability to pay for such coverage on the private market and has offered no credible alternative plan to replace Medicare.

It is worth noting that Texas has 22% of its children without medical insurance, while Massachusetts has less than 1%. Based on Perry's decade as governor of TX, does anyone believe that he has a plan to fix our healthcare system and provide healthcare for the children in this country? Not a chance.

Here are a few other facts quoted in a recent article about Perry's health insurance difficulties: "Of all 50 states, Texas has the worst rate of health insurance coverage, and mental health spending, and the second worst rate of low-income people covered by Medicaid and per capita spending on Medicaid. It has the lowest percentage of pregnant women receiving prenatal care. It ranks 44th in health care expenditures per capita." 

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