KHN Morning Briefing

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Rubio Takes Swing At Trump Over Health Care: ‘You Don’t Have A Plan’

In the 10th Republican debate -- one of the most contentious as the candidates eye Super Tuesday -- Marco Rubio called out the lack of details in Donald Trump's health proposals, while the frontrunner again defended some of Planned Parenthood's work.

The New York Times: Republican Debate Takeaways: Descent Into A Free-For-All
It was the messiest and most confrontational debate of the Republican presidential primary, repeatedly descending into free-for-alls of cross talk and name-calling. ... Challenged on health care, Mr. Trump reiterated a vague set of promises to replace the Affordable Care Act by making “many plans” available to consumers. (Burns, 2/26)

Politico: 11 Most Interesting Moments Of The GOP Debate
Trump said he would defund the women's health organization because he's anti-abortion, but he also lavished praise. "I'm totally against abortion having to do with Planned Parenthood, but millions and millions of women, cervical cancer, breast cancer, are helped by Planned Parenthood," Trump said. "So you can say whatever you want, but they have millions of women going through Planned Parenthood, that are helped greatly." ... Challenging each other on insurance proposals, Trump bragged that his would have “many different plans” before reiterating it would have “so many different plans” and adding it would have “many, many different plans.” He also repeatedly emphasized that the federal government should have gotten rid of “the lines around each state” to create more competition. “Now he’s repeating himself,” Rubio jeered. (McCaskill, 2/25)

CBS News: In 10th GOP Debate, Marco Rubio Steps Up To The Plate Against Donald Trump
Armed with the opposition research that's been lacking in the previous nine debates, Marco Rubio in Thursday night's debate came ready to take the strongest swings he could muster at Republican front runner Donald Trump. Rubio attacked Trump from every angle, charging that he's a fraudulent businessman who hires illegal immigrants. He slammed the businessman's limited plan for replacing Obamacare. And he questioned the front-runner's wisdom on foreign policy matters. (Condon, 2/26)

Modern Healthcare: Rubio Attacks Trump For Vague Healthcare Plan
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio challenged Donald Trump at a Republican presidential debate Thursday to give more details about what he would put in place of the Affordable Care Act, but the front-running businessman said only that he would allow people to buy health insurance across state lines. “What is your plan on healthcare? You don't have a plan,” said Rubio, who advocated allowing employers to give their workers tax free funds to buy health savings accounts or private insurance. Others would be able to buy coverage with a refundable tax credit, Rubio said. (Muchmore, 2/25)

The Hill: Trump: Planned Parenthood Helps 'Millions Of Women'
Donald Trump stood firm in his defense of Planned Parenthood services other than abortion during Thursday night's CNN Republican debate. "I am pro-life, I am totally against abortion having to do with Planned Parenthood, but millions and millions of women, [with] cervical cancer, breast cancer, are helped by Planned Parenthood," Trump said at the Houston event in the face of criticism from his rivals. (Kamisar, 2/25)

The Associated Press: Fact Check: Trump Objects To Cursing
A look at statements in the debate and how they compare with the facts. "It is a health care law that is basically forcing companies to lay people off, cut people's hours, move people to part-time. It is not just a bad health care law, it is a job-killing law," [Marco Rubio said]. The claim that Obama's health care law is a job killer is hard to square with the fact that the economy has added more than 13.4 million jobs since the law took effect. The unemployment rate has fallen to 4.9 percent from 9.9. percent since Obama signed the act. Nor is there evidence that workers are being moved en masse to part-time hours. (2/26)

Meanwhile, The New York Times looks at Gov. John Kasich's strategy of hope, and Sen. Ted Cruz lifts his hold on a bill to give emergency aid to Flint, Michigan —

The New York Times: Amid Gloomy Rhetoric, John Kasich Sticks With Optimism
It’s not Mr. Kasich’s policies that distinguish him from the field. He’s an anti-abortion social conservative who signed a law this week in Ohio barring state contracts with Planned Parenthood. Mr. Kasich’s more potent distinction, his strategists believe, is his optimism. ... Mr. Kasich defends his decision to expand Medicaid under Mr. Obama’s health law, apostasy to Republican rivals, as a hand up to the drug-addicted and mentally ill that saves money. “I think my candidacy represents hope to people,” he said. (Harwood, 2/25)

The Associated Press: Cruz Lifts Hold On Bill To Resolve Flint Water Crisis
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz on Thursday lifted a hold he placed on bipartisan legislation to address the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, where lead-contaminated pipes have resulted in an ongoing public health emergency. Senators had reached a tentative deal a day earlier for a $220 million package to fix and replace the city's lead-contaminated pipes, make other infrastructure improvements and bolster lead-prevention programs nationwide. (Daly, 2/25)

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