As Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money MORE was crescendoing on a clarification of his one-time support of a single-payer healthcare system during the first GOP primary debate Thursday, Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulDemocrats fret as longshot candidates pull money, attention Journalist Dave Levinthal discusses 'uptick' in congressional stock trade violations McConnell vows GOP won't help raise debt ceiling in December after Schumer 'tantrum' MORE cut him off.
“News flash,” the Kentucky Republican fired off at his competitor for the Republican presidential nomination. “The Republican Party’s been fighting against a single-payer system for over a decade.”
“I don’t think you heard me,” Trump shot back. “You’re having a hard time tonight.”
The testy exchange came amid a broader discussion of healthcare during the presidential debate in Cleveland.
Trump was pressed on previous positive comments he had made the healthcare systems in countries like Canada, which is based on a single-payer model.
The businessman and reality TV show host, who is currently leading in the polls, tried to explain that those systems are good only in certain situations.
In the U.S., he said, “What I’d like to see is a private system without the artificial lines.”
American businesses that operate nationwide are having difficulties negotiating with insurers holding monopolies in various states.
“If I’m negotiating,” he said, “I have like one bidder.”
And politicians are cowtowing to their demands because insurance companies are lining their pockets.
“The insurance companies are making a fortune,” Trump said. “They have total control of the politicians. They're making a fortune.”
“Get rid of the artificial lines and then you will have great plans,” he added, shortly before Paul cut him off.
Paul wasn’t the only one not swayed by Trump’s response.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the self-proclaimed socialist seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, incredulously tweeted: