Video: Obamacare critics defeat proponents in NYC debate
posted at 3:26 pm on January 24, 2014 by Guy Benson
Mary Katharine touched on this Megan McArdle piece last night, but I figured it’d be worth posting AEI’s handy recap video of the event described in her column. By way of background, two supporters of Obamacare (Jonathan Chait and Dr. Douglas Kamerow) locked horns with two opponents of the law (McArdle and Dr. Scott Gottlieb) in a formal debate on Manhattan’s Upper West Side last week. The proposition in question was whether the Affordable Care Act is beyond rescue. The winner of these “Intelligence Squared” debates is determined by which side persuades more attendees over the course of the event, as measured by audience polls conducted before and after the presentation. On that metric, the Obamacare critics won big:
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:
You’re looking at a map of how New York City’s precincts voted in the 2012 presidential election. Obama won the city in dominant fashion, carrying 81 percent of the total vote. Romney’s only strongholds were in Staten Island and certain neighborhoods of Brooklyn — plus a few tiny outposts in Queens and the Bronx. It doesn’t appear that the Republican won a single precinct in all of Manhattan. The Upper West Side, where this Obamacare debate was held, is that navy blue block just west of Central Park. Obama took many of these precincts with more than 90 percent of the vote. Gov. Cuomo’s purge wouldn’t take much effort in New York City, it seems.