Republican Presidential Debate

Ben Carson: Let private sector do medicine

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Reforming Medicare, Social Security: Candidates respond
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Closing statements of Republican debate
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Carson: I was wrong about subsidies

Presidential hopeful Ben Carson said Wednesday the U.S. would be better off replacing Medicare with a system of individual savings accounts.

"It was never intended that the government be in every aspect of our lives," Carson said at the third Republican debate.

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"The annual medicare budget is over $600 billion, and there are 48 million people involved," he said. "Divide that out, and that comes out to $12,500 for each [person]. There are a lot of private-sector things you can do with $12,500 which will get you a lot more than you get from this government program."

Carson unveiled his Medicare alternative earlier in his campaign.

"This is a country that was built for and by the people," he said.

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