The GOP debate: Who said what about healthcare?

Donald Trump stole the show at the Republican party's first debate Thursday evening in Cleveland. Of the 10 participants, Mr. Trump spoke the most, including statements about healthcare.

Here is a recap of who said what about healthcare during the debate.

1. Moderator Bret Baier asked Mr. Trump about Obamacare first, noting that the entrepreneur has called the healthcare reform law a disaster. "A complete disaster, yes," said Mr. Trump, affirming that it needs to be repealed and replaced.

Mr. Baier than brought up statements Mr. Trump made 15 years ago about a single-payer system, much like that in Canada. "Why were you for that then and why aren't you for it now?" he asked the presidential candidate. Mr. Trump said the single-payer system works in Canada and "incredibly well" in Scotland, and it would have worked in the U.S. 15 years ago, "a different age."

Mr. Trump continued to describe the ideal healthcare system and criticize insurance companies today. "What I'd like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state," he said. "I have a big company with thousands and thousands of employees. And if I'm negotiating in New York or in New Jersey or in California, I have like one bidder. Nobody can bid. You know why? Because the insurance companies are making a fortune because they have control of the politicians, of course, with the exception of the politicians on this stage."

2. Sen. Rand Paul, MD, (R-Ky.) took the opportunity to point out the GOP's longstanding distaste for the idea of a single-payer system. "News flash, the Republican Party's been fighting against a single-payer system for a decade," he said with his arms outstretched. He then looked to Mr. Trump: "So I think you're on the wrong side of this if you're still arguing for a single-payer system."

3. Moderator Chris Wallace asked former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R) how he plans to meet his promise of 4 percent economic growth and 19 million new jobs if he is elected president. His answer? Stop overregulation, including the healthcare reform law.

"We've created rules and taxes on top of every aspiration of people, and the net result is we're not growing fast, income is not growing," he said. "A 4 percent growth strategy means you fix a convoluted tax code. You get in and you change every aspect of regulations that are job killers. You get rid of Obamacare and replace it with something that doesn't suppress wages and kill jobs."

4. Gov. Scott Walker's (R-Wis.) viewpoint wasn't far from that of Mr. Bush. He too argued that the repeal of Obamacare, among other tactics, would create jobs. "I think most of us in America understand that people, not the government creates jobs. And one of the best things we can do is get the government out of the way, repeal Obamacare, put in — reign in all the out-of-control regulations, put in place an all-of-the-above energy policy, give people the education, the skills that the need to succeed, and lower the tax rate and reform the tax code. That's what I'll do as president, just like I did in Wisconsin."

5. Facing a question about what he would do to make the economic environment more favorable for entrepreneurs and small businesses, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) backed the repeal or revision of several policies. "We need to have a regulatory budget in America that limits the amount of regulations on our economy. We need to repeal and replace Obamacare and we need to improve higher education so that people can have access to the skills they need for 21st century jobs," he said. He also advocated for the repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act ("It is eviscerating small businesses and small banks.") and a lower tax rate for small businesses.

6. Abortion and women's health was a point of discussion. Former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee said defunding Planned Parenthood is a mild move compared to what he would do. "A lot of people are talking about defunding Planned Parenthood, as if that's a huge game changer," he said. "I think it's time to do something even more bold. I think the next president ought to invoke the Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the constitution now that we clearly know that that [a] baby inside the mother's womb is a person at the moment of conception."

7. Gov. Walker said he "defunded Planned Parenthood more than four years ago, long before any of these videos came out." In his first state budget, for 2011-2013, Gov. Walker proposed eliminating $1.9 million per year in state grants for family planning activities such as contraceptive services and supplies, pregnancy testing and cervical cancer screening. The legislature rejected his proposal to eliminate the $1.9 million and instead reduced the amount to $1.7 million, but it also changed Wisconsin law so any agency that provides abortion services could not receive the money. As a result, Planned Parenthood lost its $1 million-per-year allocation and closed five of the nine clinics that had been receiving the state money over the next three years.

 

Editor's note: The article previously stated the GOP debate featured seven participants. The correct number is 10.

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