Trump on His Healthcare Plan: 'We Have to Get Rid of the Lines Around the States'

Susan Jones | February 26, 2016 | 8:27am EST
Font Size
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Donald Trump had a number of heated exchanges during the Republican presidential primary debate at The University of Houston, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

( - At the Republican debate in Texas Thursday night, Donald Trump repeatedly summarized his health care plan as getting rid of "the lines around the states" to boost competition among insurance companies.

Sen. Marco Rubio attacked Trump's vague plan and his repetition of the phrase "lines around the states." (Rubio himself was attacked at one of the debates for repeating lines, and on Thursday, he drew laughter when he used the same argument on Trump.)

"Look, the insurance companies take care of the politicians. The insurance companies get what they want. We should have gotten rid of the lines around each state so we can have real competition," Trump said.

"We thought that was gone, we thought those lines were going to be gone, so something happened at the last moment where Obamacare got approved, and all of that was thrown out the window."

Trump said Congress "should have gotten rid of the borders, we should have gotten rid of the lines around the state so there's great competition. 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."

Rubio challenged Trump: "Here's what you didn't hear in that answer, and this is important guys, this is an important thing. What is your plan? I understand the lines around the state, whatever that means. This is not a game where you draw maps--"

"And, you don't know what it means," Trump interrupted.

"What is your plan, Mr. Trump?" Rubio asked. "What is your plan on healthcare?"

"You know, I watched him melt down two weeks ago with Chris Christie," Trump said. "I got to tell you, the biggest problem he's got is he really doesn't know about the lines. The biggest thing we've got, and the reason we've got no competition, is because we have lines around the state, and you have essentially--"

Rubio told Trump, "We already mentioned (the lines)...I know what that is, but what else is part of your plan?"

"You don't know much--" Trump shot back.

"So, your only thing is to get rid of the lines around the states. What else is part of your healthcare plan?"

"The lines around the states--" Trump tried again.

"That's your only plan," Rubio said.

"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."

", that's the only part of the plan? Just the lines?" Rubio asked.

"The nice part of the plan -- you'll have many different plans. You'll have competition, you'll have so many different plans," Trump repeated.

"Now he's repeating himself!" Rubio said.

"No, no, no," Trump said.

(The audience laughed and applauded.)

"I watched him repeat himself five times four weeks ago," Trump said.

"I just watched you repeat yourself five times five seconds ago," Rubio shot back.

"I watched him melt down on the stage like that, I've never seen it in anybody...I thought he came out of the swimming pool--" Trump said.

"I see him repeat himself every night, he says five things, everyone's dumb, he's gonna make America great again...We're going to win, win win, he's winning in the polls," Rubio countered.

"Senator Rubio, please," moderator Dana Bash finally interrupted.

"And the lines around the state...every night," Rubio continued.

"Senator Rubio, you will have time to respond if you would just let Mr. Trump respond to what you've just posed to him," Bash said.

"Yeah, he's going to give us his plan now, right? OK," Rubio said.

"We're going to have many different plans because...competition," Trump said.

"He's done it again," Rubio said, drawing more cheers.

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

"Is there anything else you would like to add to that," Bash asked Trump.

"No, there's nothing to add," Trump said.

mrc merch