Ben Carsons campaigns at DMACC

IMG_7833Republican presidential candidate, world-renowned neurosurgeon, and best-selling author Ben Carson spoke to a crowd of more than 300 people on Friday, October 2, in Albaugh Plaza, just outside of Building 24 on the DMACC campus.

At the event, billed as a healthcare town hall, Carson discussed his plans to replace the Affordable Care Act with a system that uses “Health Savings Accounts.”

According to Carson, these accounts would resemble a regular bank savings account and could be started at birth. He said they would be paid for with “the same dollars that we pay for traditional healthcare with” and would allow flexibility through shifting money between family members as needed. The balances could also be passed on after death.

Carson stated that the “whole family becomes your insurance company”, resulting in a drastic reduction in the cost of catastrophic healthcare. He explained that this plan could easily cover seventy-five percent of the population, and that things like Medicaid could cover the rest.

In regards to Medicaid, Carson says there are too many people contributing to it and that there is currently enough money in the system to supply an expensive “concierge” or “boutique” practice for each individual needing care through that program and still have money left over to purchase catastrophic insurance.

Carson took a few questions from the audience and when a woman asked what he thought should be done about the “eighty-thousand students unable to get into medical programs,” he seemed unable to provide a clear solution.

He stated that “it’s not an intake problem, it’s an exit problem” and that his plan he’d discussed would get rid of the issue.

Beyond the issue of healthcare, Carson also took some time to denounce the media as not being “on the side of the people”.

He also explained that a flat tax is the best way to create equality in the economy because taking more from the rich and less from the poor is “socialism” and that it “doesn’t work.”

In a quick, off-hand comment, Carson stated that “if there’s a Carson administration, there may not be an IRS,” which garnered one of the largest applause lines of the entire event.

Throughout all of the conversation around policy, Carson maintained a theme of personal responsibility and the importance of education. He cited his background as proof that everyone can achieve if they have the right attitude, saying, “The fact of the matter is, anybody with a normal brain is an exceptional individual, if you get the mindset correct.”

Those in attendance seemed genuinely moved and deeply connected to his message of “Heal, Inspire, Revive”, and his support in Iowa is evident, despite the many recent stumbles Carson has had.

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