Remember that neurosurgeon guy who said he wanted to run for President? If you work for one of the major cable news networks or the nation’s largest newspapers you probably don’t. I base this anecdotally on the fact that I was struggling this morning to recall the last time I saw an interview with him or coverage of a campaign event he held. It’s almost as if he’d already folded up his tent and gone home. That’s particularly strange in light of the fact that nationally he’s still tied with Huckabee for 5th, he’s a solid 4th in Iowa and 5th in New Hampshire.

But Carson is still out there on the trail, so it seems fitting to check in on him. The candidate did a Facebook “ask me anything” style exchange to reach out to younger, social media using voters, and he hit a variety of topics. He went after Planned Parenthood pretty hard, saying he was “sickened” by the actions of the organization, and called for an end to all government funding to them. Sticking with a health care theme, he also addressed Obamacare, which he still wants to cancel almost entirely… but not quite. (From Inquisitr)

Carson also recently attacked Obamacare saying the whole thing should be changed with the exception of one clause. And that is the one that prevents insurance companies from barring people with pre-existing conditions from joining health care programs.

The following was Ben Carson’s statement, according to IJ Review.

“Providing coverage to people who are sick is extremely important. When I work with Congress to repeal the law, I think we should keep this protection for the sick.”

These are the kinds of policy statements which give the health insurance industry nightmares and should set the teeth of customers on edge as well. The problem with Obamacare isn’t the individual items… it’s the entire package, and Carson should know that. We can divide the big ticket elements of the Affordable Care Act into two buckets to make things easy; the goodies and the baddies.

On the goodies side we find all sorts of great sounding stuff which people like. There’s the idea of people with preexisting conditions getting coverage which Carson clearly likes. Heck… I like it too! It sounds just great. There’s also keeping kids on your policy for longer, wellness initiatives and all manner of other things which carry great populist appeal. Then there’s the baddies. The mandates – both individual and employer – and the spectacularly unsuccessful attempts to “influence” prices downward, the anaconda style entanglement with Medicaid and all the rest.

The problem is, you don’t get one without the other. If Carson is willing to keep only the government mandate that people with preexisting conditions must be covered without penalty, the underlying system of insurance policies collapses. Why would anyone – particularly the young and relatively healthy – waste their money paying for insurance until they actually become seriously ill? Then, when you get the terrible diagnosis, you just pick up the phone and start your policy. Insurance companies would either go out of business overnight or jack up everyone’s rates astronomically to cover their losses. It’s pretty much the opposite of a win-win.

I’m glad to see Carson still out there mixing it up, but I think he needs to continue getting some tutoring on policy and stay awake in debate prep school. He’s a smart guy with a lot of good ideas, a solidly conservative stance on most of the subjects of interest to the Right and he has a winning personality on the stump. In short, he has most of the baseline boxes checked off for what you want in a potentially successful candidate. But he’s going to have to get all of his policy details down pat before he takes on the rest of the leaders in the current field. This exchange with his supporters was not encouraging.