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Rubio Spars With Trump Over Healthcare, Hits Trump for Repeating His Lines

• February 25, 2016 9:57 pm

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Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Donald Trump got into a spirited exchange about their differing health care policies Thursday night, with Rubio eventually mocking Trump for repeating himself that drew comparisons to Chris Christie for attacking Rubio in the same manner earlier this month.

CNN moderator Dana Bash brought up Rubio's charge that Trump supported the individual mandate that is a crucial part of Obamacare, President Obama's health care law that is deeply unpopular with Republicans.

"We need to repeal Obamacare completely and replace it with a system that puts Americans in charge of their health care money again," Rubio said. "If your employer wants to buy health insurance for you, they can continue to do so from any company in America they want to buy it from. Otherwise, your employers can provide you healthcare money, tax-free, not treated as income, and you can use that money only for healthcare, but you can use it to fund healthcare any way you want."

Trump said insurance companies were wrong to insist the only way to cover people with pre-existing conditions was with a mandate.

"We should have gotten rid of the lines around the states so there's great competition," Trump said. "The insurance companies are making a fortune on every single thing they do. … I'm going to do what's right. We have to get rid of the lines around the states so that there's serious, serious competition. Then you're going to see pre-existing conditions and everything else be part of it, but the price will be down, and the insurance companies can pay. Right now, they're making a fortune."

Rubio later said he led the fight to get rid of a taxpayer-funded bailout fund for insurance companies through Obamacare.

"The insurance companies are not in favor of me. They hate that. They're suing now to get that bailout money put back in," Rubio said. "Here's what you didn't hear in that answer, and this is important, guys. This is an important thing. What is your plan? What is your plan on healthcare?"

Trump brought up Rubio's "robot" moment with Christie, calling it a "meltdown," and suggesting Rubio didn't understand what he meant when he talked about "lines."

"When you get rid of the lines, it brings in competition," Trump said. "So instead of having one insurance company taking care of New York or Texas, you'll have many. They'll compete, and it'll be a beautiful thing."

"So that's the only part of the plan? Jus the lines and the interstate competition?" Rubio asked.

"You'll have many different plans. You'll have competition," Trump said. "You'll have so many different plans."

"Now he's repeating himself," Rubio quipped, and he grinned as the crowd cheered while Trump protested.

"I don't repeat myself. I don't repeat myself. Here's the guy that repeats himself," Trump said, pointing at Rubio.

"Don't repeat yourself? You repeat yourself every day," Rubio said.

Rubio then mocked Trump, saying he says the same things every night: That everyone's dumb, he'll make America great again, America will win and his polls are great, to which Trump responded, "All true."

Bash finally established order after the raucous exchange, but Rubio interrupted again as Trump started to talk about competition that he was repeating himself again.

"We're going to have many different plans," Trump said. "There's going to be competition. There is going to be competition among all of the states and the insurance companies. They're going to have many, many different plans."

Asked if he wanted to add anything, Trump said, "No! There's nothing to add. What's to add?"