Scott Gottlieb and Megan McArdle are two of the must-read commentators on Obamacare. On January 15 they held down the pro side of a debate on the proposition: “Resolved: Obamacare Is Now Beyond Rescue.” McArdle wrote about the debate in her Blooomberg column here. Jonathan Chait (the inspiration for what I once dubbed “Chaitred”) and Douglas Kamerow held down the con side (no pun intended). Chait wrote about the debate on his New York magazine site here.
The debate took place on the Upper West Side of Manhattan before a liberal audience under the auspices of Intelligence Squared. The debate is hampered by the ambiguity of the proposition, but it is nevertheless of interest, particularly in view of the outcome. The winner was determined by which side persuaded more listeners in the audience over the course of the event, as measured by audience polls conducted before and after the presentations.
Gottlieb and McArdle won the debate in impressive fashion. Over at Hot Air’s Green Room, Guy Benson explains:
Prior to the exchange, just 16 percent (!) of the audience was inclined to agree with McArdle and Gottlieb’s position. (Here’s a sense of just how out of touch Manhattan’s elites are on this issue). By the debate’s conclusion, that number doubled to 32 percent. Convincing nearly one-third of an UWS audience to adopt a conservative-leaning viewpoint is, shall we say, a challenge[.]
AEI has edited some of the highlights into the brief video below.
The entire 90-minute debate is below. We’re going to be living with these issues for the foreseeable future. I think the whole shebang is well worth your time and commend it to your attention.
NOTE: McArdle’s recent column “Where have all the uninsured gone?” is characteristic of her contributions to the intelligent examination of Obamacare, as Gottlieb’s recent column comparing the metal levels of the health plans on the exchanges is of his.