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Republican Presidential Candidates Discuss Health Care during Debate in Florida

Eight Republican presidential candidates during a debate in Orlando, Fla., "duked it out" over health care and other issues, "united only in their attacks" on Democratic candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and her proposal to extend health insurance to every U.S. residents, the St. Petersburg Times reports (Liberto, St. Petersburg Times, 10/22). The Fox News Channel and the Florida Republican Party sponsored the debate (Cooper/Santora, New York Times, 10/22).

During the debate, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) called health care "one of the defining issues" of the campaign (Schatz/Davis, Wall Street Journal, 10/22). The "key is, making health care in America affordable and available," he said, adding, "Don't destroy it, as the Democrats want to do."

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said, "If we have 50 or 60 million" who pay for individual health insurance, compared with about 17 million presently, the "price of health insurance would be cut in more than half."

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