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Ben Carson: American Muslims should do more to show "what side" they're on

Paulette Parker
Michigan Radio

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has a prescription for Muslims in Dearborn who may be upset about anti-Muslim statements by his fellow Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump:

Do more to fight terrorism.

Trump this week said the U.S. should temporarily close its borders to Muslim immigrants in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernadino, California.

Asked during a press conference about how he'd "reach out" to Dearborn Muslims who may be concerned about the rhetoric, Carson said:

"Please concentrate on how you can help to identify radicalized individuals. So that you put yourself squarely on the side of the American populace, so that people aren't really wondering what side that you're on."

During his campaign speech prior to the press conference, Carson touched briefly on the same topic, saying Muslim religious leaders should do more to identify radicalized individuals in their communities and congregations.

Carson also unveiled a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

The plan would set up health savings accounts for every American, which they could use to pay for health care in addition to basic major medical insurance plans, also known as catastrophic coverage, or high deductible insurance.

The money people saved in the accounts could be shared within families.

"If dad is $500 short for a procedure, mom could give it to him out of hers, or son, or cousin, or grandmother, or anybody in the family.  Gives you enormous flexibility," said Carson.

The plan would also gradually increase the age at which people are eligible for Medicare to 70, or even later, if average life expectancy continues to increase.  Medicare recipients would get a fixed amount from the government to buy a health insurance plan on the open market. Carson says that would give them more choice, while making sure Medicare doesn't run out of money.

Carson's plan would provide low-income Medicaid recipients with private major medical insurance, along with seed money for their health savings accounts.

He says this would solve the problem of physicians not accepting Medicaid patients because the government reimbursements are so low. 

"For once, they will have equal access to the same doctors and hospitals as the rest of us," he says.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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