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What happened at the republican debate?

A lot went down at the Republican debate last night. There was the usual bickering over who’s the most conservative, but there were also some interesting moments that may have implications for Trump’s immigration policy.

Donald Trump was put on the spot by Megyn Kelly about his previous stances on universal health care and pro-choice abortion. 

Here is the update of the live blogging republican debate.

He responded that he is now pro-life, and that were it not for Planned Parenthood, many women wouldn’t have access to cancer screenings or prenatal care which would drive up costs in other areas of healthcare.

This debate has been going on for a while, and I’m going to propose a “Know Your Limits” strategy here.

Here are some points discussed about What happened at the republican debate-

1. Abortion.

Trump still has the same position on abortion which he’s had for years. He’s pro-life. When asked if he would support exceptions for abortion, such as cases of rape and incest, he said he would support such exceptions.

His position in this debate is in contrast to the public stance in the past, in which he was in favor of a rape and incest exception in all cases, and at one point said that rape and incest rarely ever result in pregnancy if they’re properly handled.

2. Trump’s position on Planned Parenthood funding.

Trump has said that Planned Parenthood should no longer receive federal funding for abortions (contrasted with his previous pro-choice stance that Planned Parenthood needed to be defunded because it was “totally unrelated” to women’s healthcare).

Kelly noted this fact during the debate and asked him again if he supported abortion exceptions for rape and incest.

He responded by saying that Planned Parenthood should be defunded if it’s found to be selling baby parts.

This is troubling because it implies that he would support federally defunding Planned Parenthood for any reason other than abortion, which would have a chilling effect on overall women’s healthcare.

3. Trump’s position on “pre-existing conditions.”

During the debate, Robby Mook said Trump supports that people with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage because of past medical history that would make such insurance unaffordable (contrasted with his previous pro-choice stance that insurers should not be allowed to deny care because of past medical history).

To support his point, Mook cited a report by the Task Force on Health Insurance Reform. 

The Task Force concluded that “insurance should be available to everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions, and insurance companies should take responsibility for the cost of those care by no longer excluding people with medical conditions from coverage.”

4. Insurance for coal miners.

At one point, Mook mentioned the coal industry and that Trump had said that his support for coal miners would be contingent on the industry receiving adequate healthcare.

Trump had previously said that he would consider federally subsidized healthcare for people who work in the coal industry. Now it appears that he has backed off of this position.

The legality of such a thing is questionable:

• The government has the authority to regulate the prices of necessities and necessities of life (eg: prohibiting price gouging, forcing grocery stores to sell food at a reasonable price) but I don’t see how they could do this by subsidizing health care costs.

• The government has the authority to provide tax breaks to industries if the goal is to promote the public good. 

However, tax breaks are subject to legal challenge if they’re not used for their intended purpose. 

There would be a legal argument that subsidizing healthcare costs is not within the scope of promoting coal mining.

• It’s questionable whether or not Trump would have any authority over health care costs that are covered by private insurance companies, which are largely regulated by states.

5. Taxing hedge fund managers at parity with everyone else.

During the debate, Mook said that Trump supports “raising taxes on the wealthy” to pay for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security (contrasted with his previous pro-choice stance that wealthier people should be given more tax breaks).

According to Morgan Stanley’s healthcare division, the current maximum Medicare contribution of $200K would represent about 13% of annual income. 

This would be a significant tax increase for hedge fund managers. I don’t think it will work.

6. Ted Cruz on socialized medicine.

Ted Cruz said that the government is not a good healthcare provider and that socialized medicine works poorly in other countries. 

He then went on to talk about Hillary Clinton.

Cruz’s statement is misleading because it conflates single payer healthcare with socialized medicine. 

Both have merit depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. In this debate, Cruz implied that socialized medicine = single payer healthcare = bad for everyone with totally government controlled health care as opposed to still offering private options for those wishing to do so.