Santorum admits Medicare 'mistake'
April 24th, 2011
03:11 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum admits Medicare 'mistake'

Washington (CNN) – Potential 2012 candidate Rick Santorum called his Senate vote in 2003 to create the Medicare prescription drug benefit "a mistake."

The former Republican senator from Pennsylvania said Republicans did "two things that were wrong" - providing a universal benefit and failing to fund the program.

Although he said 15 percent of seniors were unable to receive prescription drugs at the time, the compromise between former President George W. Bush and the Democrats resulted in universal coverage, something with which he disagrees.

"I was against that. I spoke against it. I worked against it. But we lost," Santorum said on "Fox News Sunday."

Medicare Part D is a federal program that subsidizes the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries. It was passed through Congress in 2003, went into effect in 2006 and has since added billions to the deficit while coming to the aid of millions of Americans.

Santorum, who plans to make a decision about a run for the White House in the next few weeks, said Congress "should have paid for it," but that was not an option at the time. Instead, he said he voted for the bill because of the reforms to Medicare, but now wishes it had failed.


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Jane

    Flip flop. Vote for me. Flip flop. Republicans!

    April 24, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    I guess since it didn't reimburse him for taking his dead baby home to have family pictures made, it was a mistake. Geeez.

    April 24, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. cooldaddy1

    Game On Obama

    April 24, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  4. steve

    Your loss Mr.Santorum is in November,2012. This guy does,nt want to fund our seniors and Disabled,but he wants to go to war in Libya and Syria? The gop McCain, lindsey graham(dah) palin and her band of "Wierdos" are telling the American people"Jobs and economy are not important now,"We need to go to war with all the moslem world? Danger!!!! Don,t Vote GOP!!!!!!!! Dah?

    April 24, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Too little, too late, Santorum.

    How the party that keeps claiming to be the one of fiscal responsibility could pass that budget buster utterly escapes me, but repudiating everything the GOP once stood for seems to be a habit with the idiot neo-cons.

    April 24, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. azmary

    Sounds like he regrets taking the "Christain path" in helping the elderly, and now says he should have taken the "Mammon path" of worshiping money and wealth. . I notice he does not regret supporting tax cuts for the rich. Remind me again of what he really believes

    April 24, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. Rick in AZ

    Oh Ricky-too little too late.

    April 24, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. Michael

    A mistake to loosen the PharmaSurance grip on American seniors' throats?
    Are these guys for real?

    April 24, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. America Shrugged

    Ya Think? How about your votes for 2 wars and 2 huge tax cuts ( during war) that weren't funded and that the GOP and tea gaggers are trying to convince the american people that these deficit bombs are Obama's fault? All Obama is trying to do is keep folks working, in their homes, eating, surviving? If you find something wrong with that, too bad...Since Reagan, the trickle down only has worked in fits and starts, and the past 10 yrs, hasn't worked at all. Free Markets don't work unless you have regulation and oversight of our financial institutions (banks) and all these goofy financial instruments ( ponzi schemes) that wall street peddles as good investments and sound trade practices. Nuff said

    April 24, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  10. rusty155

    Is this all you Republican can do Is pick on the OLD and THE POOR. What Is a mistake Is Extension Of the BUSH tax cuts for the RICH and BIG BUSINESS. With out the Middle Class and the Poor who going to work for your RICH friend that don't pay any thing.

    April 24, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. vic , nashville ,tn

    Remember the debates that time

    “Millions of retirees will lose employer-provided health coverage”

    “Drug companies lobbied Medicare must pay whatever drug companies want to charge”.

    “Pharmaceutical companies will obtain additional profits”

    2003 republicans they know what they were doing they were try to help drug companies more than 200 Gop members voted for 2003 bill now almost same Gop members want to cut Medicare to satisfied 15% of its strong supporters

    April 24, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    I don't know why Part D is such a rip-off - I pay $45 a month to be in it; one of my two generics I pay $7, they pay $1.21. How is that a rip-off of the government? Guess I'm paying for meds for heart transplants anti-rejections, etc. Oh well.

    April 24, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Well at least some GOPers can see a little bit of sense. There is nothing wrong with the concept of Medicare part D, there IS something wrong with creating policy like that and not including any measure that pays for it. "Obamacare" is paid for and then some, contrary to what right wing pundits would have you believe. Policies like the stimulus were borrowed, but the two cannot be accurately compared as the stimulus was a temporary policy to avert a total meltdown, MEdicare Part D is kind of permanent.

    April 24, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. rationalist

    Well at least some GOPers can see a little bit of sense. There is nothing wrong with the concept of Medicare part D, there IS something wrong with creating policy like that and not including any measure that pays for it. "Obamacare" is paid for and then some, contrary to what right wing pundits would have you believe. Policies like the stimulus were borrowed, but the two cannot be accurately compared as the stimulus was a temporary policy to avert a total meltdown, MEdicare Part D is kind of permanent.

    April 24, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. marty

    Mr. Santorum represents the most condescending, thematic and often vulgar party, the Republicans. Their programs and cuts speak for themselves. They should get the National Highest Achievement Award for Bullying.

    April 24, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Failing to fund was a mistake, but that's a Republican trait when they do spend.
    As for the Universal application- that was 100% correct. Anyone that knows a senior, knows that thye are bogged down in paperwork to get what they need, This was the only smart thing they did!

    April 24, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |