Rick Santorum on Health Care

Republican Jr Senator (PA); 2012 presidential frontrunner


Let veterans go to private hospitals instead of VA hospitals

The bottom line is the V.A. is antiquated. There's no need for a V.A. healthcare system as it existed after World War--why? Because we have the best private healthcare system in the world. Government didn't keep its promises to its veterans. Number one, we need to allow veterans to go to private sector hospitals for their routine and ordinary care to get the best care in their community possible.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

ObamaCare causes anti-competitive consolidation of insurers

What you're seeing in health care is a lot of consolidation, and that consolidation is occurring because of ObamaCare. You're seeing it particularly in health insurance. You've seen Obama try to seed health insurance companies, and they've all failed, I think, except one. Why? Because we have a system of ObamaCare with minimum loss ratios that make it virtually impossible for a small insurer to operate effectively. This was deliberate, to make it so impossible for small insurers to survive.
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 2nd-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

I introduced Health Savings Accounts in Congress

I authored the original bill on health savings accounts, pushed that through the Congress for private sector health care reform. I made things happen in a town where things don't happen very much. Now, after 10 years of seeing the mess, the retreat that we see in the Republican party in Washington, D.C., it's time to get someone who is an outsider.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

ObamaCare wasted $500M setting up 4 failed state exchanges

Q: A new poll asks "What should Congress do with ObamaCare?" 61% said "keep it or some make changes," 38% said "repeal it." The vast majority said change it. Is it time to drop repealing ObamaCare and work with what's there?

SANTORUM: I think it's still among Republicans. We have half-a-billion dollars wasted by the federal government on setting up four exchanges that have failed on the state level, with more that are going to fail. I mean, this still is a big problem for our country. And so what Republicans need to do is talk about what they would do. Whether you want to call it fixing it, whether you want to call replacing it, I don't think that's as important as saying, "here is the vision for how we can create a better health care system."

Source: CNN SOTU 2014 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , May 11, 2014

Change Medicaid to block-grant system

One of the key problems with Obamacare is that it doubles down on the idea that Washington can impose a one-size-fits-all solution in healthcare. The reality is that states have developed the most effective healthcare policies. This fundamental truth is why I support changing the current Medicaid program to more of a block-grant system that would provide states much more flexibility than they have today to design innovative programs to address the problems of the uninsured.
    For a states program to qualify, it would have to meet a limited set of criteria:
  1. Provide at least one avenue for those with preexisting conditions to obtain insurance coverage at no more than 125 percent of the average price for individual health insurance in the state;
  2. Include in the coverage plan for this population a meaningful education and care management component; and
  3. Create a continuous-improvement program to monitor results and cost.
Source: Blue Collar Conservatives, by Rick Santorum, p.113-4 , Apr 28, 2014

Allow individuals to buy pre-tax insurance like companies do

The federal tax code is an obstacle to sound healthcare reform, discriminating against citizens who buy their own medical insurance instead of getting it through an employer. When I served in the Senate, I proposed a major reform that would have ended this discrimination by allowing individuals to buy insurance with pretax dollars just as companies do for their employees. I'm proud that this idea has become a key feature of the plan to replace Obamacare.

This unequal tax treatment is at the root of the pre-Obamacare problems in our healthcare system that the president keeps referring to, beginning in 1942.

To take advantage of the anomaly in the tax code, employers began giving employees prepaid routine medical care through "insurance" polices that were no longer actually insurance in the classic sense.

Source: Blue Collar Conservatives, by Rick Santorum, p.116-7 , Apr 28, 2014

ObamaCare is biggest threat facing the American Dream

President Obama's massive healthcare plan--Obamacare--is perhaps the biggest domestic threat confronting the American Dream today. This disastrous legislation is going to destroy the greatest healthcare system in the world and make Americans more, not less, dependent on our federal government. It fundamentally restructures the relationship between our government and our citizens for the worse.
Source: Blue Collar Conservatives, by Rick Santorum, p. 84 , Apr 28, 2014

The Tea Party revolution was all about opposing ObamaCare

Q: I remember your case against Mitt Romney. You believed that health care was the way to defeat President Obama. You said you can't nominate Mitt Romney, because he can't do it. Do you feel vindicated?

RICK SANTORUM: Well, it was the issue in 2010 that caused us to have the Tea Party revolution. It was all around the issue of health care. And this election is going to be all around the issue of health care. And they are two great elections for Republicans. 2012 was not about health care.

Q: Missed opportunity now getting back politically?

SANTORUM: You know, that's the area that really was my strength. I was the first person that introduced health savings accounts, and the Congress worked on Medicare and Medicaid reform when I was there. I felt like we had the opportunity to really focus on that: Look at what ObamaCare is really doing. It's driving up costs right now. I think you're going to see these numbers not be as encouraging as the administration has pointed out.

Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Mar 30, 2014

Obamacare will crush economic freedom

Mitt Romney skated past details of his administration that trouble some right-leaning groups, including requiring state residents to obtain health insurance. Without saying Romney's name, Rick Santorum said the former governor's health care record would make it impossible for him to draw needed contrasts with Obama. He said Romney had created "the stepchild of Obamacare." Saying the Obama-backed 2010 health care law "will crush economic freedom," Santorum urged Republicans not to nominate "someone who would simply give that issue away in the fall."
Source: WJLA coverage: 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 10, 2012

Give Medicare same options and opt-out as Congress

Q: Rep. Paul Ryan had a plan where he'd like to move seniors off Medicare, give them a voucher or premium support, and then they would take care of their health care from there. You said seniors should be affected right now, 55 plus, have them affected right now?

SANTORUM: I hear this all the time: "We should have the same kind of health care the members of Congress have." Well, that's pretty much what Paul Ryan's plan is. The members of Congress have a premium support model. So does every other federal employee. The federal government has a whole bunch of different options available. If you want a more expensive plan, you pay more of a co-insurance. If you want a less expensive plan, you don't. But fundamental difference between Barack Obama's: it's whether you believe people can be free to make choices or whether you have to make decisions for them. And I believe seniors, just like every other American, should be free to make the choices in their healthcare plan that's best for them.

Source: Meet the Press 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate , Jan 8, 2012

Promote Health Savings Accounts as market-based solution

Q: When you voted for a new prescription drug benefit that did not have a funding mechanism, were you advancing socialism?

SANTORUM: Well, I've said repeatedly that we should have had a funding mechanism. In that bill, we had health savings accounts, something I'd been fighting for, for 15 years. We also had Medicare Advantage to transform the entire Medicare system into Medicare Advantage is basically a premium support type model.

Q: Were you advancing socialism, though?

SANTORUM: Medical health savings accounts is an anti-socialistic idea to try to build a bottom-up, consumer-based economy in health care. The same way with Medicare Advantage. And we also structured the Medicare Part D benefit to be a premium support model as a way of trying to transition Medicare. So there were a lot of good things in that bill. There was one really bad thing. We didn't pay for it, we should have paid for it and that was a mistake.

Source: Meet the Press 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate , Jan 8, 2012

Liberal states won't waive ObamaCare; we must repeal it

We need to repeal ObamaCare. That's the first thing we need to do. Repeal ObamaCare--we can do it, not by waivers. That's the wrong idea. California going to waive that? No. NY going to waive it? No. All these states--many of them, liberal states--are going to continue on, and then states like NH that will waive it will end up subsidizing California. We need to repeal it by doing it through a reconciliation process, and since I have the experience and know how to do that, we'll get it rid of it.
Source: 2011 GOP debate at Dartmouth College, NH , Oct 11, 2011

Private sector insurance works, even for Medicare

Q: You voted for the prescription drug benefits for seniors, costing about $1 trillion. If you had to do it over again, you said you wouldn't vote for that, but if you were president, would you repeal prescription drug benefits for seniors under Medicare?

SANTORUM: I think we have to keep a prescription drug component, but we have to pay for it. In other words, we have to have a program that is funded. Now, the reason that that program has actually worked well--it's come in 40% under budget--is because it's a program that uses private sector insurance, not government-run, one-size-fits-all health care. If we do that for the rest of Medicare, which is what the Ryan proposal suggests, then we would be able to have a prescription drug program and we'd be able to have Medicare that you choose.

Source: 2011 GOP Tea Party debate in Tampa FL , Sep 12, 2011

Mandatory inoculations of children is wrong

Q: [to Perry]: You signed an executive order requiring 12-year-old girls to get a vaccine to deal with HPV. Was that a mistake?

PERRY: It was. If I had it to do over again, I would have gone to the legislature.

SANTORUM: We need to hear what Gov. Perry's saying. He believes that what he did was right. He thinks he went about it the wrong way. I believe your policy is wrong. Why do we inoculate people with vaccines in public schools? Because we're afraid of those diseases being communicable betwee people at school. [HPV is not communicable at school]. There is no government purpose served for having little girls inoculated at the force and compulsion of the government. This is big government run amok. It is bad policy, and it should not have been done.

PERRY: I passed parental notification [in that] piece of legislation. We were all about trying to save young people's lives.

SANTORUM: Then give the parents the opt-in, but do not force them to have this inoculation.

Source: 2011 GOP Tea Party debate in Tampa FL , Sep 12, 2011

If we let states mandate insurance, sterilization is ok too

Q: [to Paul]: Does a state has a constitutional right to make someone buy insurance just because they're a resident [as RomneyCare does]?

PAUL: The federal government can't go in and prohibit the states from doing bad things. And I would consider that a very bad thing, but they do have that leeway under our Constitution.

SANTORUM: This is the 10th Amendment run amok. We have Ron Paul saying, oh, whatever the states want to do under the 10th Amendment's fine. So if the states want to pass polygamy, that's fine. If the states want to impose sterilization, that's fine. No, our country is based on moral laws. There are things the states can't do. Abraham Lincoln said the states do not have the right to do wrong. I respect the 10th Amendment, but we are a nation that has values. We are a nation that was built on a moral enterprise, and states don't have the right to tramp over those because of the 10th Amendment.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa , Aug 11, 2011

First Executive Order: suspend ObamaCare

Q: What would be your first executive order after the disastrous Obama presidency?

A: To suspend all spending on the implementation of Obamacare. Thank you for this opportunity & for fighting for Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness. I wish the other candidates were here. Please join the fight to save our country at ricksantorum.com

Source: 2011 Republican primary debate on Twitter.com , Jul 21, 2011

2006: Targeted by trial lawyers for his malpractice reform

Several times during his career, Santorum supported strong reforms to rein in litigation abuse. In 1995, he voted YES to putting caps on punitive damages in product liability cases and to restrict frivolous class action lawsuits.

He has consistently pushed for medical malpractice reform in an effort to drive down the cost of medicine. In 2006, he sponsored a bill to cap non-economic damages related to obstetrical and gynecological services. For his efforts, the Trial Lawyers of America PAC ran misleading television ads against him during his 2006 re-election campaign.

Source: Club for Growth 2012 Presidential White Paper #4:Santorum , Jun 6, 2011

Little or no benefit from negotiating Medicare Rx prices

Medicare negotiating to lower drug prices
Q: What about allowing Medicare to use its bargaining power to negotiate lower prices for needed prescription drugs?

A: The competition in the Medicare program is working-the cost of monthly premiums is nearly 40% lower than original estimates. The CBO estimates that there would be little if any potential savings from the federal government negotiating prices for most drugs. The experiences of our foreign neighbors illustrate that pharmaceutical manufacturers often delay the launch of a new drug product rather than accept a low price in countries that have government price controls. If the federal government intervened and negotiated pharmaceutical prices, it is likely that Medicare beneficiariesí access to drugs would be hindered, with little to no reduction in prices.

Source: 2006 AARP Senate candidate questionnaire , Sep 29, 2006

Sex outside of monogamy has consequences of STDs & abortion

Sex outside a monogamous, life-long relationship has consequences: teen pregnancy; out-of-wedlock births and the resulting consequences of teen parenting; abortion and related issues of depression; sexually-transmitted diseases, most notably AIDS; rape & sexual abuse; sexual addiction, especially to pornography; lack of self-respect and self-control; and divorce. The impact of the sexual revolution is staggering. Here is the impact of several STDs per year:
STD Average Lifetime
Cost per Case
Number of new
cases in 2000
Total Direct Medical
Cost per Year
HIV$199,80015,000$3 billion
HPV (Papilloma)$1,228 (women) 4.6 million$2.9 billion
Genital Herpes$417 (women)
$511 (men)
640,000$293 million
Gonorrhea$266 (women)
$53 (men)
431,000$77 million
Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p.313-314 , Jul 4, 2005

Voted YES on limiting medical liability lawsuits to $250,000.

A "cloture motion" cuts off debate. Voting YEA indicates support for the bill as written, in this case to cap medical liability lawsuits. Voting NAY indicates opposition to the bill or a desire to amend it. This bill would "provide improved medical care by reducing the excessive burden the liability system places on the health care delivery system." It would limit medical lawsuit noneconomic damages to $250,000 from the health care provider, and no more than $500,000 from multiple health care institutions.
Reference: Medical Care Access Protection Act; Bill S. 22 ; vote number 2006-115 on May 8, 2006

Voted NO on expanding enrollment period for Medicare Part D.

To provide for necessary beneficiary protections in order to ensure access to coverage under the Medicare part D prescription drug program. Voting YES would extend the 6-month enrollment period for the Prescription Drug Benefit Program to the entire year of 2006 and allows beneficiaries to change plans once in that year, without penalty, after enrollment. Also would fully reimburse pharmacies, states and individuals for cost in 2006 for covered Medicare Part D drugs.
Reference: Medicare Part D Amendment; Bill S Amdt 2730 to HR 4297 ; vote number 2006-005 on Feb 2, 2006

Voted NO on increasing Medicaid rebate for producing generics.

Vote on an amendment that removes an increase in the Medicaid deduction rebate for generic drugs from 11% to 17%. The effect of the amendment, according to its sponsor, is as follows: "This bill eliminates the ability of generic drugs to be sold using Medicaid. Over half the prescription drugs used in Medicaid are generic. Because we have raised the fees so dramatically on what a generic drug company must pay a pharmacy to handle the drug, pharmacies are not going to use the generic. In the long run, that will cost the Medicaid Program billions of dollars. My amendment corrects that situation." A Senator opposing the amendment said: "This bill has in it already very significant incentives for generic utilization through the way we reimburse generics. Brand drugs account for 67% of Medicaid prescriptions, but they also account for 81% of the Medicaid rebates. This is reasonable policy for us, then, to create parity between brand and generic rebates. This amendment would upset that parity."
Reference: Amendment for Medicaid rebates for generic drugs; Bill S Amdt 2348 to S 1932 ; vote number 2005-299 on Nov 3, 2005

Voted NO on negotiating bulk purchases for Medicare prescription drug.

Vote to adopt an amendment that would allow federal government negotiations with prescription drug manufactures for the best possible prescription drug prices. Amendment details: To ensure that any savings associated with legislation that provides the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the authority to participate in the negotiation of contracts with manufacturers of covered part D drugs to achieve the best possible prices for such drugs under Medicare Part D of the Social Security Act, that requires the Secretary to negotiate contracts with manufacturers of such drugs for each fallback prescription drug plan, and that requires the Secretary to participate in the negotiation for a contract for any such drug upon the request of a prescription drug plan or an MA-PD plan, is reserved for reducing expenditures under such part.
Reference: Prescription Drug Amendment; Bill S.Amdt. 214 to S.Con.Res. 18 ; vote number 2005-60 on Mar 17, 2005

Voted NO on $40 billion per year for limited Medicare prescription drug benefit.

S. 1 As Amended; Prescription Drug and Medicare Improvement Act of 2003. Vote to pass a bill that would authorize $400 billion over 10 years to create a prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients beginning in 2006. Seniors would be allowed to remain within the traditional fee-for-service program or seniors would have the option to switch to a Medicare Advantage program that includes prescription drug coverage. Private insurers would provide prescription drug coverage. Private Insurers would engage in competitive bidding to be awarded two-year regional contracts by the Center for Medicare Choices under the Department of Health and Human Services.Enrolled seniors would pay a $275 deductible and an average monthly premium of $35. Annual drug costs beyond the deductible and up to $4,500 would be divided equally between the beneficiary and the insurer. Beneficiaries with incomes below 160 percent of the poverty level would be eligible for added assistance.
Reference: Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit bill; Bill S.1/H.R.1 ; vote number 2003-262 on Jun 26, 2003

Voted NO on allowing reimportation of Rx drugs from Canada.

S. 812, as amended; Greater Access to Affordable Pharmaceuticals Act of 2002. Vote to pass a bill that would permit a single 30-month stay against Food and Drug Administration approval of a generic drug patent when a brand-name company's patent is challenged. The secretary of Health and Human Services would be authorized to announce regulations allowing pharmacists and wholesalers to import prescription drugs from Canada into the United States. Canadian pharmacies and wholesalers that provide drugs for importation would be required to register with Health and Human Services. Individuals would be allowed to import prescription drugs from Canada. The medication would have to be for an individual use and a supply of less than 90-days.
Reference: Bill S.812 ; vote number 2002-201 on Jul 31, 2002

Voted NO on allowing patients to sue HMOs & collect punitive damages.

Vote to provide federal protections, such as access to specialty and emergency room care, and allow patients to sue health insurers in state and federal courts. Economic damages would not be capped, and punitive damages would be capped at $5 million.
Reference: Bill S1052 ; vote number 2001-220 on Jun 29, 2001

Voted YES on funding GOP version of Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Vote to pass an amendment that would make up to $300 billion available for a Medicare prescription drug benefit for 2002 through 2011. The money would come from the budget's contingency fund. The amendment would also require a Medicare overhaul.
Reference: Bill H Con Res 83 ; vote number 2001-65 on Apr 3, 2001

Voted NO on including prescription drugs under Medicare.

Vote to establish a prescription drug benefit program through the Medicare health insurance program. Among other provisions, Medicare would contribute at least 50% of the cost of prescription drugs and beneficiaries would pay a $250 deductible
Reference: Bill HR.4690 ; vote number 2000-144 on Jun 22, 2000

Voted YES on limiting self-employment health deduction.

The Santorum (R-PA) amdt would effectively kill the Kennedy Amdt (D-MA) which would have allowed self-employed individuals to fully deduct the cost of their health insurance on their federal taxes.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)53; N)47
Reference: Santorum Amdt #1234; Bill S. 1344 ; vote number 1999-202 on Jul 13, 1999

Voted NO on increasing tobacco restrictions.

This cloture motion was on a bill which would have increased tobacco restrictions. [YES is an anti-smoking vote].
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)57; N)42; NV)1
Reference: Motion to invoke cloture on a modified committee substitute to S. 1415; Bill S. 1415 ; vote number 1998-161 on Jun 17, 1998

Voted YES on Medicare means-testing.

Approval of means-based testing for Medicare insurance premiums.
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)70; N)20
Reference: Motion to table the Kennedy Amdt #440; Bill S. 947 ; vote number 1997-113 on Jun 24, 1997

Voted NO on blocking medical savings acounts.

Vote to block a plan which would allow tax-deductible medical savings accounts.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)52; N)46; NV)2
Reference: Kassebaum Amdt #3677; Bill S. 1028 ; vote number 1996-72 on Apr 18, 1996

Rated 0% by APHA, indicating a anti-public health voting record.

Santorum scores 0% by APHA on health issues

The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the oldest and largest organization of public health professionals in the world, representing more than 50,000 members from over 50 occupations of public health. APHA is concerned with a broad set of issues affecting personal and environmental health, including federal and state funding for health programs, pollution control, programs and policies related to chronic and infectious diseases, a smoke-free society, and professional education in public health.

The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: APHA website 03n-APHA on Dec 31, 2003

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