9 thoughts on healthcare from the Republican debate

Eight Republican candidates for the presidential nomination took the stage in Milwaukee Tuesday at the Fox Business debate, which honed in on the economy. Naturally, a discussion about national finances brought some heated discussion on healthcare costs and the healthcare reform law.

Here are nine thoughts on healthcare from the candidates at Tuesday's GOP debate.

Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard CEO, on the Affordable Care Act and small business: "Obamacare has to be repealed because it's failing," Ms. Fiorina said. "It's failing the very people it was intended to help, but also, it is croney-capitalism at its worst. Who helped write this bill? Drug companies, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, every single one of those kinds of companies are bulking up to deal with big government."

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on repealing the ACA:
"If we do what needs to be done — tax reform, regulatory reform, fully utilize our energy resources, repeal and replace Obamacare, and modernize higher education, then we can grasp the potential and the promise of this new economy. And we won't just save the American dream. We will expand it to reach more people and change more lives than ever before. And then truly this new century can be a new American century," he said.

Donald Trump, reality television star and real estate developer, on not reading the ACA or the Trans-Pacific Partnership:
"The TPP is horrible deal. It is a deal that is going to lead to nothing but trouble. It's a deal that was designed for China to come in, as they always do, through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone. It's 5,600 pages long. So complex that nobody has read it. It's like Obamacare; nobody ever read it. They passed it; nobody read it. And look at [the] mess we have right now. And it will be repealed." Note: China is not part of the TPP.

Ms. Fiorina on a free market for health insurance:
"We need to try the one thing in health insurance we've never tried. Health insurance has always been a cozy, little game between regulators and health insurance companies. We need to try the free market. The free market. Where people actually have to compete."

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on the Congressional exemption from the ACA, which allows members of Congress to use employer subsidies to cover premiums:
"Everything she's [Hillary Clinton] put her hand to, or has touched — and when we talk about the cronyism of Washington, Hillary Clinton embodies the cronyism of Washington. And, I'll give you an example of that, which is the Congressional exemption from Obamacare, which is fundamentally wrong, and I'll tell you this, if I'm elected president, I will veto any statute that exempts members of Congress. The law should apply evenly to every American."

Ms. Fiorina on healthcare price transparency:
"...Every healthcare provider ought to publish its costs, its prices, its outcomes, because as patients we don't know what we're buying."

Ohio Gov. John Kasich on how healthcare factors into his plan to balance the budget by the end of a second term:
"We would move the Medicare system from a 7 percent growth down to about a 5 percent growth. And I have a whole series of ways to do that. In Ohio, we reduced Medicaid funding for the poor from 10 percent to 2.5 percent, didn't cut one benefit or didn't take anybody off the rolls. Why? Because we're innovators. I've been an innovator my entire career."

Sen. Cruz on entitlement reform, or raising the retirement age and reducing benefits for future retirees:
"Well, my Mom is here, so I don't think we should be pushing any grannies off cliffs," Sen. Cruz said, referring to a commercial made in response to House Speaker Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) proposal a few years ago to replace Medicare with federally funded private plans.

"And, you misstated what I've said on entitlement reform. What I've said is for seniors we should make no changes whatsoever, for younger workers we should gradually raise the retirement age, we should have benefits grow more slowly, and we should allow them to keep a portion of their taxes in a personal account that they control, and can pass on to their kids," he added.

Ms. Fiorina on Medicaid expansion:
"Look, I'm a cancer survivor, OK? I understand that you cannot have someone who's battled cancer just become known as a pre-existing condition. I understand that you cannot allow families to go bankrupt if they truly need help. But, I also understand that Obamacare isn't helping anyone. We're throwing more, and more people into Medicaid, and fewer, and fewer doctors are taking those payments."


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