The Hill

GOP Debate And Health Care: Trump, Other Top Republican Candidates Want To Defund Planned Parenthood And Repeal Obamacare

GOP debate
Republican presidential candidates scheduled to take part in Thursday's televised debate. REUTERS

As the potential GOP candidates prepare for their first debate, it's important to know where each one stands on the issues. Of particular importance in recent weeks are the controversies surrounding government funding of Planned Parenthood and the Supreme Court's upholding of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Here's where each potential candidate stands on the issue:

Donald Trump

Trump on Planned Parenthood: According to Politico , when asked if he thought defunding Planned Parenthood was worth another government shutdown, Trump replied “I would.”

Trump on Obamacare: Though, Newsmax notes, he believes Obamacare is a “disaster,” Trump does think that no one in America should go without health care. "That's where I may be a little bit different from the [other] people," he told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "You can't let the people in this country, the people without the money and resources, to go without health care."

Jeb Bush

Bush on Planned Parenthood: “The next president should defund Planned Parenthood,” he said on stage at the Southern Baptist forum earlier this week. “You could take dollar for dollar — although I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues — but if you took dollar for dollar, there are many extraordinarily fine community health organizations that exist to provide quality care for women on a wide variety of health issues.”

Bush on Obamacare: According to the Huffington Post, Bush believes Obama’s approach to health care through the Affordable Care Act is not the right way to go about it.

"The effort by the state, by the government, ought to be to try to create catastrophic coverage, where ... if you have a hardship that goes way beyond your means of paying for it, that you have — the government is there or an entity is there to help you deal with that," he said.

Scott Walker

Walker on Planned Parenthood: Walker defunded his home state of Wisconson’s Planned Parenthood in 2011 and, according to Newsweek, he likes to brag about it often. After videos surfaced of Planned Parenthood executives allegedly discussing selling tissue from aborted fetuses for research, Walker doubled down on his stance, insinuating that defunding of Planned Parenthood should happen on the federal level, too.

“These videos are just another example of why we need to do that at the federal level as well,” Walker said, according to ABC News.

Walker on Obamacare: “The best thing we could do to help people who are unemployed or underemployed is fix ObamaCare, replace it with a patient-centered plan that puts people in charge, not the government in charge, and get rid of the uncertainty that so many small businesses here in my state and across the country talk about,” Walker said.

Mike Huckabee

Huckabee on Planned Parenthood: “We must make clear to Republican Leaders that pushing to fully eliminate all funding for Planned Parenthood is a grassroots priority for millions of Conservatives across the nation,” Huckabee said in a 2013 Facebook post.

Huckabee on Obamacare: “ObamaCare is a $2.2 trillion disaster that dumps millions of people into a broken, expensive system and does nothing to fix the basic problems everyday Americans face,” says Huckabee’s campaign site.

Ben Carson

Carson on Planned Parenthood: In an interview with PBS Newshour, Carson expressed that he believes Planned Parenthood should be privately funded rather than receiving funding from the federal government. "If depraved individuals want abortion, let them reach in their own pocket and pay other depraved individuals to help 'em," he said.

Carson on Obamacare: According to the Huffington Post, Carson doesn’t want to do away with the Affordable Care Act — not without having a proper replacement prepared first, at least.

"There’s no question it needs to be replaced before you repeal it,” Carson said.

Ted Cruz

Cruz on Planned Parenthood: He, like many of the other Republican candidates, believes Planned Parenthood should be defunded.

Cruz on Obamacare: Cruz has been a vocal opponent of the Affordable Care Act for years now. If elected President, he still vows to repeal the law.

Marco Rubio

Rubio on Planned Parenthood: Rubio has voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Recently he tweeted: “Look at all this outrage over a dead lion, but where is all the outrage over the planned parenthood dead babies?”

Rubio on Obamacare: "I remain committed to repealing this bad law and replacing it with my consumer-centered plan that puts patients and families back in control of their health care decisions,” Rubio said, according to CNN. “We need Consumer Care, not Obamacare."

Rand Paul

Paul on Planned Parenthood: According to The Blaze, Paul is a leader in the fight to defund Planned Parenthood. He says defunding Planned Parenthood isn’t necessarily a women’s health issue; it’s an abortion issue.

Paul on Obamacare: In his fight against Planned Parenthood, Paul has often referenced Obamacare as part of the problem. "I think there's a strong argument, even for those on the other side of the coin, that guess what, you know, we have free health care everywhere now, we don't need Planned Parenthood," Paul said. "We have community health centers that have doubled in their funding. We've put $5 billion into community health centers. They do everything that Planned Parenthood does, except for abortion."

Chris Christie

Christie on Planned Parenthood: “Do you think that Planned Parenthood should be able to use federal funding to kill children in the womb in a specific way, so that they can maximize the value of body parts that they then sell on the open market for profit? I’ll tell you that I think most common sense Americans believe that that conduct is reprehensible, should not occur at all, and certainly should not be funded with tax payer dollars,” Christie said.

Christie on Obamacare: Christie is one of the few candidates who has remained pretty quiet on the issue of Obamacare. He’s criticized the Affordable Care Act in the past, but one of his most recent reforms, raising the retirement age in New Jersey from 65 to 69, was made possible because of Obamacare.

According to Time, “That’s because working-class Americans who lose health insurance at work when they retire at, say, age 65, would instead be eligible to receive modest subsidies on insurance exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act.”

John Kasich

Kasich on Planned Parenthood: According to Mother Jones, the Ohio governor has signed numerous anti-abortion measures while in office. He cut Planned Parenthood funds and put measures in place that significantly impede women’s ability to receive abortion services.


Kasich on Obamacare: Kasich opposes Obamacare, but did accept Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. "First of all, I don't support Obamacare; I want to repeal it," Kasich said, according to CNN. “But I did expand Medicaid because I was able to bring Ohio money back home to treat the mentally ill, the drug addicted and help the working poor get health care."

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