Santorum blasts Gingrich over 'Romneycare'
March 10th, 2012
08:01 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum blasts Gingrich over 'Romneycare'

Springfield, Missouri (CNN) – It's a common aspect of Republican Rick Santorum's stump: attacking Mitt Romney for creating - and then "recommending" - "Romneycare" to President Barack Obama.

But Saturday, fresh off his projected win in the Kansas caucuses, Santorum added that GOP presidential rival Newt Gingrich is "honestly not a whole lot better."

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"For 20 years when I was pushing medical savings accounts, he was pushing a federal mandate for health insurance," Santorum said. "And when 'Romneycare' passed, he sent out a glowing statement talking about how this wonderful bill had just passed in Massachusetts."

Santorum argues that Obama, Gingrich and Romney all line up on the same side when it comes to their support for an individual mandate.

The campaign points to a 2006 newsletter Gingrich wrote for his consulting firm, the Center for Health Transformation, in which he praised Romney's Massachusetts health care reform.

"The health bill that Governor Romney signed into law this month has tremendous potential to effect major change in the American health system," Gingrich wrote, according to the report.

Also in the newsletter, Gingrich expressed his support for the individual mandate in Massachusetts, but only for those making at least $54,000 a year. And while he commended Romney's effort in building the plan, he acknowledged the bill will likely face "tremendous scrutiny" from those who doubt the law will work.

Gingrich has since admitted he was "wrong" in supporting Romney's plan and has now become one of its major critics on the campaign trail.

"In retrospect we were wrong because what happens, once you go to a mandate, you have turned so much power over to the government that the politicians rather than the doctors end up defining health care," Gingrich told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in December. "So it was a mistake."

Santorum on Saturday attempted to draw the distinction that he is the only one who supports individual freedom.

"Why would the Republican Party - on the issue that won us the 2010 election - nominate either of them who are uniquely unqualified to make the case to the American public," Santorum said, adding that "they both were for top-down, government-run health care."

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Filed under: 2012 • Health care • Missouri • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. TheDudeAbides

    I firmly believe that, if nominated, Romney will use Romneycare as an argument to appeal to the mainstream. It will be the flop heard round the world.

    March 11, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. valwayne

    Blind ambition is now just making Sen Santorum nasty. After Senator Santorums statements on Contraception and JFKs speech on separation of Church and State he has no more chance of beating Obama than he did winning reelection for Senator in his own home state of PA. Sen Santorum lost in a landslide by 18 point. If he lost to Obama by that Margin folks Republicans would likely lose the House and the Democrats would keep the Senate. Obama would start a 2nd term arm in arm with Nancy Pelosi able to pass anything he wants. Our nation would be doomoed to permanent decline. A vote for Senator Santorum at this point is almost the same as a vote for Obama!

    March 11, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    We have an HSA (health savings account), funded to the tune of $485/month. With three kids, we can't afford to contribute much more to that every month AND we have all the usual kid medical expenses. Trust me, $485 doesn't go very far, since we also have to use it to cover dental expenses – and our kids are healthy (no chronic diseases or conditions).

    Do our providers get paid? Yes, but it takes months.

    So, Ricky, my question to you is, if we all have medical savings accounts, and we all take longer to pay our bills, where's the incentive for providers to be in business when it's going to take them so long to get paid by their patients, while at the same time having to pay their own bills (utilities, employee salaries, rent, purchasing new equipment, etc.)?

    In other words, Ricky is a typical Republican: Spout off a couple sound bites without thinking things through.

    Is it any wonder all of the GOP's economic, military and foreign policies are PROVEN FAILURES? Those folks are imbeciles!

    March 11, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. Thomas

    Rick Santorum's Wife Karen Sued Doctor For $500,000, Despite Senator's Calls For Tort Reform

    Three candidates with daddy issues .

    March 11, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    A show of hands, please:

    How many parents who have a child with Trisomy 18 (what Santorum's daughter has) would think it adequate to have their health benefit consist of a medical savings account?

    And think it a good idea to repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act, which does not allow insurance companies to drop coverage if you become sick or give birth to a special-needs child?

    *crickets*

    March 11, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. sensible

    Santorum, Gingrich, Romney AND Paul......the true 'death panel'!!

    March 11, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    @Thomas: "Rick Santorum's Wife Karen Sued Doctor For $500,000, Despite Senator's Calls For Tort Reform"

    Further info: She sued for $500,000, despite the fact that her medical bills totaled approximately $18,800. While the jury awarded Karen $350,000, a judge later reduced the amount to $175,000.

    Santorum twice sponsored or co-sponsored the bills calling for tort reform (this according to "Roll Call," the "Newspaper of Capitol Hill Since 1955").

    "A significant part of what the Santorums were concerned about at the time of the lawsuit was that Karen would not be able to help the senator's re-election campaign, as she had done in the past."

    Gotta love those Repub hypocrites, with their personal exceptions to everything!

    March 11, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. George

    Romneycare and Obamacare are bad because the government makes the decisions? Wrong. Obviously, they don't understand either plan. Government will make decisions instead of doctors? Doctors don't make decisions now. Insurance companies do, so given the choice of government (which is directly answerable to the voters) and insurance companies (who answer to no one), I choose the government. Health savings accounts? If people could afford to sock away money into such accounts, they would be able to afford health insurance now. Are any of these guys living in the real world or are they ALL still in the cast of some Frank Capra Americana film from 1940?

    March 11, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. Please.....

    "Santorum on Saturday attempted to draw the distinction that he is the only one who supports individual freedom".

    That is, unless you are female, then individual freedom disappears. Santorum is a dangerous person, he advocates "control" of women and his GOP brethren are no better. Rush IS the GOP, he is the mouthpiece and spokesman, ladies if you want personal freedom do NOT vote Republican.

    March 11, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. john

    Hey, Rick here is a question for you, How can you be pro-life when you do not support Universal Health Care which would cover new borns?

    March 11, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  11. Core republican Values

    Its super to see how Gingrich's existence is the race is destroying Santorum. You can't buy entertainment like this.

    March 11, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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