LAS VEGAS – In the course of a dynamic, at times downright rowdy session on the final day of HIMSS 21, former governors Chris Christie, R-New Jersey, and Terry McAuliffe, D-Virginia, clashed on a selection of problems this kind of as the pharmaceutical business and the finer factors of COVID-19 response. But they broadly agreed on healthcare plan, techniques for revitalizing the healthcare workforce, and the value of cooperation and bipartisanship.

HIMSS CEO Hal Wolf moderated the session. Here is wherever the two aged close friends and political rivals landed on some key topics:

On pharma corporations

McAuliffe: I’ve bought to go soon after the pharmaceutical corporations. They have produced also significantly funds. Just during COVID-19, the pharmaceutical corporations elevated costs on in excess of 1,000 medicines. This is a time when you must be reducing costs, when you happen to be in a crisis.

Christie: Everybody likes to defeat the crap out of these people today, but then they’re like, “Where is it? Where’s my get rid of to most cancers?” And it can be all coming from the exact position. And it can be not occurring in China. And it can be not occurring in India. And it can be not occurring in Canada or Europe, wherever they resolve costs. We have this discussion: Health care is an expenditure. We’ve bought to devote in healthcare. But not in the pharmaceutical corporations, ’cause they’re rotten SOBs who make also significantly funds.

On Medicaid growth

McAuliffe: My most important combat [with customers of the state’s Republican legislature] was in excess of Medicaid growth. They just would not do it, and it generally bothered me. I have a company history. The idea that I ship 2.2 billion up to Washington, I get one hundred% again, I can get four hundred,000 people today healthcare, I can conserve rural hospitals that are closing and I can incorporate sixty five,000 work. They just would not vote for it. For the reason that it was Obamacare.

It seriously grinded on me. … They’d all occur to me and say ‘I’ve bought an opioid crisis, I’ve bought a psychological wellbeing crisis’. And I might say, ‘Well vote for it’. [They reported] ‘I cannot, I will get rid of my most important.’ … We last but not least bought it accomplished, and now folks, 537,000 people today, have wellbeing protection in Virginia [who] didn’t have it four years back. That’s a big offer.

Christie: I would not have reformed healthcare the way Obamacare did. But when I turned governor of New Jersey, I signed the executive purchase increasing Medicaid, since it was excellent for the condition. It wasn’t excellent for me politically. I took a lot of heat from customers of my party. … At the time, 90 % of the price tag was lined by the Federal govt, 10 % in condition funds.

You notify me how I’m meant to switch that down. You notify me how I’m meant to appear at these people today and say no. There was no one who could give me that answer. … And that’s what you do with political money when you happen to be governor. You get a possibility and you commit it to help people today.”

On healthcare staffing shortages

McAuliffe: I experienced this challenge with nurses when I was governor. So I adjusted my whole education and learning procedure to quickly-observe nurses in Virginia. I gave them tax breaks and I gave them scholarships. You want to be a nurse in Virginia, I will pay to get your nursing degree. I conserve funds in the condition.

We commit it now, we’re likely to get that funds again. We will need to do the exact detail with medical professionals. If I have a lack of [most important treatment] doctors, I’m likely to present totally free tuition. I’m likely to do whatever it usually takes to get people today out there to keep our metropolis risk-free.

Christie: What we did in New Jersey was we consolidated our procedure with our condition university and developed additional grant dollars and additional options to occur to clinical college, and gave them scholarships to incentivize most important treatment. States can do that, and it seriously will not price tag you that significantly. Your challenging expenditures at a clinical college are rather very well set.

On COVID-19 crisis response

Christie: What took place with COVID-19, with the Trump administration is the president was never able to acknowledge the severity of the crisis. He was only concentrated on re-election. And he figured if I can reduce what people today imagine about this it will never hurt me, when in the end the correct opposite method was desired.

If he experienced taken the opposite method, he’d still be president currently. You cannot say it can be likely to vanish. You cannot say it can be below complete handle. Individuals you should not want to listen to that unless it can be true, and in a crisis it can be never true.”

On combating vaccine hesitancy

McAuliffe: We have got 93 million Us citizens not vaccinated. This detail is ripping through our country. It will devastate our financial state. And we could get rid of this detail in thirty or 60 days if people would get vaccinated. We could get rid of it at the time and for all. … We have 93 million Us citizens currently and we will need to do as significantly as we maybe can. Right until we make it challenging for people today to get on planes and go to film theaters, people today just aren’t likely to do it.

Christie: Individuals you should not want to be indoctrinated, they want to be educated. They you should not want to be explained to, ‘You’ll get the vaccine, since we’re all having it. And you can get it and you can like it.’ Managing ads by politicians saying ‘We’re all in this together’? Individuals say ‘No you happen to be not. You’re not in it with me. What do you know?’

On correcting partisan gridlock

McAuliffe: If I can attract traces that make you earn no issue what, then the only position you can get rid of is in your most important. So that pushes people today to the remaining or to the appropriate, and you happen to be not likely to function with the other aspect. We have bought to get to a level wherever you happen to be pushing people today into additional aggressive common elections. It will force you to function with the other aspect. … It really is just poor. We have bought to resolve it for the sake of the country.

Christie: I’ve generally been an advocate of time period boundaries. … Glance at the people today in leadership on both sides. These people today have been there permanently. I cannot don’t forget a Congress without the need of Nancy Pelosi. Mitch McConnell bought elected to the Senate when I was a senior in superior college.

When Joe Biden bought elected to the Senate I was 10 years aged. I’m sorry, irrespective of whether it can be Biden, or McConnell or Pelosi, no one’s irreplaceable. No one’s indispensable. The people today who continue to be there for a lengthy time, they dig in, they don’t forget each and every slight, they keep score.