Santorum: Romney, Obama healthcare mandates one and the same
took on Mitt Romney for his embrace of a universal healthcare mandate in Massachusetts, saying Romney would be an ineffective opponent against President Obama because both had backed "government-run, top-down medicine."
"Those are not the clear contrasts we are going to need if we are going to defeat Barack Obama," Santorum said.
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barackobama.com/jobsrecord"I didn't say I was in favor of top-down, government-run healthcare," Romney said. Most of the 92% of Massachusetts residents who already had health insurance kept their plans or were able to buy policies from private insurers. To the 8% who lacked insurance, Romney said, his plan sent a clear message: "If you don't want to buy insurance, you have to help pay for the cost of the state picking up your bill.... We said no more free riders.... Either get the insurance or help pay for your care."
Santorum zeroed in like a prosecutor: "So ... everybody is mandated as a condition of breathing in Massachusetts to be able to buy health insurance, and if you don't you have to pay a fine. What's happened in Massachusetts is people are not paying the fine.... Free ridership has gone up five-fold in Massachusetts."
Romney seemed on the verge of responding with an epithet: "That's total ... "
Then he pulled back.
"First of all, it's not worth getting angry about," though it was unclear whether he was addressing Santorum or himself.
Romney pivoted back to Obama: "What he did was wrong; it's bad medicine, it's bad for the economy, and I will repeal it."
But Santorum could not resist a final shot: "What Gov. Romney said is just factually incorrect. Your mandate is no different than Barack Obama's mandate. It is the same mandate."
At that point, Ron Paul weighed in: "I think they're all wrong. This is a typical result of when you get government involved, because all you are arguing about is which form of government you want. They have way too much confidence in government sorting this out."
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Comments (12)Add / View comments | Discussion FAQ
Navydad at 9:40 AM January 27, 2012
Of course they are basically the same plan. That's because it's the only rational alternative to a single-payer system and Romney is the only rational repub candidate, despite the fact that he keeps trying to cover it up in order to appeal to the extremist ideologues who dominate the repubs.
cielos azules at 9:29 AM January 27, 2012
Health care in the US is all about money. "Obama Care" and "Romney Care" are mostly insurance reforms, not health care measures. So the repugs' proposal (other than repeal Obama Care and then do nothing) is what, do away with state regulation of insurance and after that costs would magically fall? Paraphrasing Ron Paul, those who actually believe that are living on the dark side of the moon.
All sides of this issue need to come together and extend coverage while at the same time bring health care costs to about 10% or so of GDP. Other first world countries have done it, but special interest groups will have to get their heads shaved, but to do it everyone must report to the barbershop. But that would mean compromise and working together....
In the meantime, don't get sick.
Haitiana4Obama at 5:07 AM January 27, 2012
What has me most offended is that Richie RMoney fails to realize Healthcare Reform is something absolutely WORTH getting angry about. This is a topic of our time as tied in with the economic injustices of this day, injustices which greatly tip the scale in favor of RMoney. For him to just nonchalantly end that part of the "debate" in such a condescending manner, as if Santorum's indignation at RMoney's moral character flaw of outright lyng and lack of empathy for those who aren't born into Auto Dynasty's with healthcare paid for by the citizens of Mass.; is further proof of his inability to connect with the common man...his offhand "It's not worth getting angry about" will resound later on and only reinforce this perception of RMoney.