The crowd of about 200 offered up questions to the candidates that often focused on health care, like whether they favored universal care.
Bachmann doesn't support that idea, she says the current system is better. "Free market sources have given us that health care because the best research and development in the world," she said.
Democrat Patty Wetterling said she would support universal health care, but says it would take time to implement.
"I don't think it's realistic to say we can go where we are today to universal coverage overnight," according to Wetterling.
Independence Party candidate John Binkowski says universal health care is too expensive, and education and prevention is a better option.
MPR News is Reader Funded
Before you keep reading, take a moment to donate to MPR News. Your financial support ensures that factual and trusted news and context remain accessible to all.
"To get to these kids in the schools early and teach them to live healthy lifestyles to avert these cost before they occur," Binkowski said.
The three also sparred on taxes, with Bachmann saying one of her priorities in Congress would be to make the Bush tax cuts permanent "because they have done more to spur the economy in the last 18 quarters than anything that we've seen, we don't need more tax increases, we need more tax cuts."
Patty Wetterling says she would consider repealing tax breaks that benefit the wealthy.
"I would look at every tax benefit on the table. I would not support tax breaks for the very wealthly, those who make over $336,000," she said.
Binkowski says the nation's tax code is too complicated and told the crowd he favors a national sales tax.
The debate was hosted by several groups that represent the elderly and the disabled.