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Santorum Hits Romney, Misrepresents Gingrich, on Health Care

9:28 AM, Jan 29, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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Politico reports, "Picking up where he left off during the debate, Rick Santorum said Friday that Mitt Romney’s health care record is 'a big, big liability' and 'something to get mad about.'"

Rick Santorum

Politico continues:

"In Thursday’s debate, the former Massachusetts governor had responded to a similar attack from Santorum by saying, 'First of all, it’s not worth getting angry about,' and rejected his rival’s suggestion that people in Massachusetts are free-riding the system.

"Santorum noted Friday that he had addressed the issue not with anger but with passion, and repeated that the eventual GOP nominee must be able to draw a stark contrast to Obamacare.

"'And what Gov. Romney did last night was stand up and forcefully defend government controlling the health care system at the state level,' Santorum said. 'The bottom line is, he's for government control of health care, which is not a conservative principle, which does not differentiate himself between President Obama, and that is a big, big liability for us going into this general election.'"

Politico reports that Santorum also said, "People — you and Barack Obama and others and Newt Gingrich want to tell Americans that as a condition of breathing in America, you have to go out and buy private sector insurance...."

In truth, however, Romney is the only one of the four Republican presidential candidates who supports an individual mandate (although he opposes it at the federal level), just as he is the only one who has signed legislation that included one.

Although Gingrich has supported an individual mandate in the past, he has repeatedly stated that he since has changed his mind and now opposes it.  His website lists the full repeal of Obamacare as his top legislative priority and then provides an excellent summary of why an individual mandate is such a bad idea:

"If the federal government can coerce individuals — by threat of fines — to buy health insurance, there is no stopping the federal government from forcing Americans to buy any good or service.

"In addition to the unconstitutional nature of individual and employer mandates, we are learning that they simply don’t work. 

"Their intractable problem is this: once you have a mandate, the government has to specify exactly what coverage must be included in insurance for it to qualify. This introduces political considerations into determining these minimum standards, guaranteeing that nothing desired by the special interests will be left out. 

"And once the government mandates such expensive insurance, the government becomes responsible for its costs. It has to adopt expensive subsidies to help people pay for the expensive plans that it is requiring. The resulting cost to the taxpayer and strain on the budget leads the government to try and control healthcare costs by limiting healthcare services. The inevitable result is rationing by a nameless, faceless, unaccountable board of government bureaucrats."

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