The men who want to be Georgia’s next governor clashed Saturday over tort reform, embryonic stem cell research and Medicaid funding in their first formal debate since the November ballot was set earlier this month.
Democrat Roy Barnes, Republican Nathan Deal and Libertarian John Monds appeared together for the first time in a debate sponsored by the Medical Association of Georgia at the Cobb Energy Center.
Given the sponsor’s focus, the questions were dominated by health care matters. Barnes and Deal agreed on much, including the need to create incentives to attract primary care physicians to rural parts of the state. But they differed on many other topics.
On tort reform, Deal decried a state Supreme Court ruling in March that struck down limits on jury awards in medical malpractice cases created by a landmark 2005 state law. The former congressman said the state should amend its constitution to re-create the limits.
Voters, he said, “would overwhelmingly say yes because they