Santorum: Romneycare is 'uniquely unqualified'

By Kelly Mehler
04:50 PM
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Last week, Rick Santorum gave a speech billed as his "major speech on healthcare." One young child asked the Pennsylvania senator about the costs of medical care in America. He asked what Santorum would do in order to lower the costs of healthcare in the country.

Santorum defended the profit-driven industry, saying that such decisions should be left up to the market. "We can make medicine cheaper by using markets," Santorum said. "That's how you make medicine cheaper is that you have free people going out there and competing against each other and competition drives up quality and drives down costs."

He continued by saying that the only reason new drugs are developed is because Americans actually do pay for the cost of that research.

"People have no problem going out and buying an iPad for $900," Santorum stated. "But paying $900 for a drug, they have a problem with it. It keeps you alive. Why? Because you have been conditioned to thinking that healthcare is something that you should get and not have to pay for."

Commenters on a CNN blog seemed to disagree with Santorum. "He has no understanding of how the current healthcare market actually operates and how both insured and uninsured suffer unreasonable, inflated costs by profit-driven drug companies," commented @kuewa. "The FDA is not empowered to consider incremental benefit or cost/benefit in the drug approval process, and there is an unreasonable expectation that every patient is entitled to every new drug regardless of actual benefit over less expensive alternatives or cost/benefit."

User @geggyg agrees with these statements. "Not many charities have the resources to pay one persons med /drug costs of $1.3 million per year on an ongoing basis possibly for years," he said. "If Santorum believes in markets making drugs cheaper why is against government hospitals, we'd have the ability to negotiate bulk purchasing discounts as any other large company can. If he supported this government, heath costs would be reduced substantially."

In another speech given earlier this week, Santorum attacked Obamacare. He expressed his concern for children with special needs, like own daughter, who will not necessarily get the medical help that she needs under the ACA.

"You will become instead of patients, you will become cost centers of the government and they are not going to allocate resources if your prospects for being productive are not good," he said in Minnesota Monday morning.

Affordable medicine became a strong issue in the speech. On CBSNews' website, commenter @RxRights said that Santorum is out of touch with the American people. "We hear from people every day who simply can't afford the high cost of their needed medications. Many don't have insurance or are seniors on fixed incomes. They have to make tough choices - like deciding whether to buy groceries, pay for utilities or buy their live-saving medicine."

Santorum also went after two of his fellow candidates, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, striking them for supporting the federal healthcare mandate. He added that the White House is looking forward to taking on Romney, saying that they are "salivating."

CNNNewsSource tweeted that the former Pennsylvania senator called Mitt Romney the "worst possible person" in the field when talking about healthcare.

During the speech, @beccay2 tweeted that Santorum has no empathy. "Does he think his 'sins' caused his daughter horrible health problems?" she asked.

"Once again," tweeted @Acmephoto, "Santorum misses the boat by comparing apples to oranges." (In reference to Romneycare).

On Monday afternoon, Mitt Romney's campaign criticized rival Rick Santorum for false accusations that Romney backed a plan in Massachusetts similar to the federal healthcare program Romney not pledges to repeal if he is elected president. He called for the media articles to "fact-check" reports, and claimed Santorum's arguments were false.

What do you make of Santorum's healthcare agenda?  Tweet us @HITNewsTweet.