Debate covers health care

Debate covers health care

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6 candidates for governor on TV

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – The six major candidates for governor argued about health care Thursday, with the Democrats debating ways to increase coverage of the uninsured and the Republicans talking about how to control costs.

The debate was the second of three forums sponsored by UNC-TV. The Democrats — State Treasurer Richard Moore and Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue — went first. They were followed by the Republicans: Salisbury lawyer Bill Graham, Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, former Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr and state Sen. Fred Smith.

The candidates were asked about their plans to help the elderly, the young, the poor and the uninsured get affordable, quality health care.

On the Democratic side, Moore and Perdue agreed to ensure the state's children have health insurance, although they disagreed on how to achieve the goal.

Perdue proposes increasing health-care coverage for poor adults in order to cover their children. Her plan would phase in coverage of adults making up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level — about $41,300 for a family of four.

"The other candidates will say, 'No, no, no,' but if we're serious about covering the children, we must do this," she said.

Moore, who has previously argued that covering adults is too expensive, wants to do more to sign up uninsured children for existing programs.

"Children in this state aren't hiding from anybody," he said. "They're born in our hospitals, they show up in our schools, they attend our churches. We need to have a real strategic effort to go out and get them." (more…)