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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

Health care: What are the candidates saying?

2011 November 14

By Julie Bissinger

As the Republican
presidential candidates continue to vie for their party’s nomination, social issues have taken center stage in the recent debates, with each candidate holding different opinions on issues such as health care, immigration, abortion and same-sex marriage. The health care debate, in particular, has played a major role in the contest. Eight of the major candidates have expressed disapproval with the recently-passed federal health care law and are now offering different strategies for changing the health care system.

Three candidates focused on market capitalism approaches to the health care system. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who previously passed health care legislation in his state, emphasized cutting health care costs. “I didn't get the job done in Massachusetts in getting the health care costs down in this country,” Romney said during the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate. “It's something I think we have got to do at the national level. I intend to do that.” Romney also said that the best way to make markets work is to allow people to buy their own products from private enterprises, without going through the government.

Herman Cain said that HR 3400, a bill that was introduced by the U.S. House of Representatives back in 2009, would provide an alternative to the current system. Speaking of HR 3400 during the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate, Cain said that, “It basically passes market-centered, market-driven, patient-centered sort of reforms to allow association health plans, to allow loser pay laws, to allow ...

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