TRANSCRIPT: ABC News/Facebook/WMUR Republicans Debate

But what you propose, what you have talked about in terms of health care, in many ways represents a more basic change in the way health insurance would be obtained.

A little background on that, ABC's medical editor, Dr. Tim Johnson.


DR. TIM JOHNSON, ABC MEDICAL EDITOR: In general, Republicans have criticized Democratic proposals for health care reform as radical expansions of the federal government's role.

But many health care experts say that it is actually the Republicans' emphasis on individuals buying their own policies versus getting their insurance through employers that is a more radical change.

JOHNSON: And it raises concerns. Individual policies can be more expensive for the same coverage because of administrative overhead and sales costs.

Group policies like those provided by employers can bargain with providers for lower costs and do a better job of monitoring quality.

Medical professionals caution that individual insurance may sound good on paper but it usually turns out to be very difficult for people, on their own, to find quality policies at the right cost.



GIBSON: All right. Dr. Tim Johnson, thanks very much.

We're the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn't insure all of our citizens. If we can afford a trillion-dollar war in Iraq, why can't we afford medical insurance for everybody?

Governor -- Mayor -- Mr. Mayor?

GIULIANI: The reality is that, with all of its infirmities and difficulties, we have the best health care system in the world. And it may be because we have a system that still is, if not wholly, at least in large part still private.

To go in the direction that the Democrats want to go, much more government care, much more government medicine, socialized medicine, is going to mean a deteriorated state of medicine in this country.

GIULIANI: I mean, I said, jokingly, in one debate, if we go in the direction of socialized medicine, where will Canadians come for health care?



GIBSON: But do you all agree that we have the best health care system in the world?

MCCAIN: Now, tell me when people get sick where they come to to get health care.


THOMPSON: We certainly have the best health care in the world.


GIULIANI: Charlie, that doesn't mean it shouldn't be improved. And I think that the notion of people buying their own private health insurance is a very good one, so long as a lot of them do it.

Only 17 million Americans right now buy their own health insurance. If 50 million Americans were buying their own health insurance, because it would be just as tax advantageous to do it that way, and we had a health savings account, people -- economists believe there'd be a 30 percent to 50 percent reduction in the cost of health insurance, and quality would come up.

The only thing that reduces cost and increases quality is a significant, dramatic, large consumer market, not government control.

GIBSON: You all have proposed free market, consumer-purchased insurance. And you all talk about giving tax deductions for buying insurance.

Let me do a little math. The average family employer-provided insurance, when the company's buying, it's $13,000 a family.

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