June 28th, 2012
09:59 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum: Romney's health law 'hasn't worked'

(CNN) – Rick Santorum didn't hold back Thursday when describing the Massachusetts health plan put in place by Mitt Romney, saying the measure pushed through by the GOP presidential candidate left the Bay State with high costs and uninsured citizens.

"I think what you're seeing is it hasn't worked in Massachusetts," Santorum, who has endorsed Romney for president, said of the law on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

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The former presidential candidate and former senator from Pennsylvania continued: "Health care costs in Massachusetts are number one in the country. They have a series of problems with people who decide to take the tax, in other words, pay the fine, instead of buying insurance, because it's cheaper. It doesn't work."

Santorum, who battled Romney for the GOP nomination in the winter and spring of 2012, used the Massachusetts health law frequently on the stump during the primary contests. In March, Santorum stood on the steps of the Supreme Court to blast Romney as the "worst candidate" to take on the president on health care.

Asked why Romney would make a good pick for president if his record on health care in Massachusetts was so dismal, Santorum said Thursday that Romney himself had acknowledged mistakes in the measure.

"What he said is they did some things right. They did some things wrong. He learned from those mistakes. I'm using his language," Santorum said.

Romney has said that there were things he would do differently on the Massachusetts health law if given the chance, though he still stands by the measure as necessary and successful in the Bay State.

"Overall, ours is a model that works," Romney said in March at an event in Iowa. "We solved our problem at the state level. Like it or not, it was a state solution."

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Also see:

Obama campaign to opponents: Move past health care fight

Fund-raising flurry after Supreme Court ruling

Romney reacts to health care ruling, renews repeal pledge

Obama: Supreme Court decision is a 'victory'


Filed under: 2012 • Health care • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Alfredo

    Wait, Mass has nearly 98% of their people insured and cut healthcare cost. Strange.

    June 29, 2012 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  2. Bill

    This guy need to get over the fact that he lost the GOP primary to Romney. This is exactly why the Democrats are winning the minds of voters. He still can't let go. He endorsed Romney because he does't want to lose the support of Republicans. If he really want to beat Obama in November, like he claims, he need to stop this grudge that he has against Romney. In my opinion, he wants Romney to lose this election so he can say "I told you so".

    June 29, 2012 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  3. newshead12

    He is attacking Romney and Obama at the same time. Smooth move Rick! His endorsement was obviously fake!

    June 29, 2012 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  4. M Stark

    How is Santorum relevant any more? He has washed out of the race. He never had to deal with the healthcare law in MA. He doesn't have to worry having affordable care because he has savings and income well above the average american. He has a child that has special needs and he can't even relate to those who may also have children with similar needs but have less means. Of course he would have argued that no one should have universal healthcare... but we don't need a 13 sentence story to make this relevant. When can I read something of more depth?

    June 29, 2012 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  5. dcarter888

    Sour Grapes Rick: He sure acts like a liberal everytime his lips move he lies. I use to live in MA when Gov Romney was Gov. Healthcare costs were always one of the highest in the nation they had only 7% of population who were not covered. Rick the majority of folks from Taxachusettes like Romneycare. Please go back to being a lobbyist and button up. Also please also drop by confession again this week for lying.

    June 29, 2012 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  6. Drake

    Mr. Santorum – If you make a claim please cite numbers and sources.

    "the GOP presidential candidate left the Bay State with high costs and uninsured citizens" – is just not good enough.

    June 29, 2012 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  7. Sam

    If the health care law in Massachusetts doesn't work like sweater boy says, why didn't they repeal it? Well?

    June 29, 2012 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  8. winstonsmith

    "Health care costs in Massachusetts are number one in the country. They have a series of problems with people who decide to take the tax, in other words, pay the fine, instead of buying insurance, because it's cheaper. It doesn't work."

    But is this actually true?

    June 29, 2012 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  9. Squincher

    Romney has to be thinking, "with allies like this, who needs enemies".

    June 29, 2012 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  10. No one

    Cannibalism spreading to politics? Perhaps the time of the zombies is near at hand.

    June 29, 2012 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  11. Nicole

    We need at least a partial single payer system to control costs (personally, I think a good start would be single payer for preventative and catestrophic care). Insurance works well for things like earthquakes and car accidents- things that are unlikely to happen.

    Like it or not, we're all going to need to use healthcare, same as we all need an education, a public works system, a police department, etc. It's the foundation of our society.

    June 29, 2012 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  12. Chedar

    The only consistent with these two guys ( Romney and Santorum ) is their inconsistentcy.

    June 29, 2012 04:46 am at 4:46 am |
  13. Bob Ramos

    Certainly, everybody acknowledges that there are segments in Obama Care that can be improved/deleted/whatever and even Obama says so. But the solution is not to repeal the law but to improve it. The Repub solution is to repeal the law 100% and then replace it with something. Given the hard fight it took to get this far, what rational being would ever expect that a GOP bill could be passed by both Houses and then signed into law?

    June 29, 2012 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  14. Sydnium S. Washington

    Ask why not? Because he isn't the president yet.

    June 29, 2012 05:03 am at 5:03 am |
  15. jbourque

    Someone should tell Mr. Santorum that 98% of adults and 99% of children in Massachusetts have health insurance.

    June 29, 2012 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  16. jfb

    Mr. Santorum this is not true! i live in MA and the MassHealth it's blessing to hard worker people. so stop lying to the American people. you lost people of your own party don't trust u

    June 29, 2012 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  17. Iamnotfooled

    So now Romneycare is bad? On the same day the Supreme Court said it is good? Santorum , you must be hanging around too much with that contagious etch- a sketch guy.

    June 29, 2012 05:20 am at 5:20 am |
  18. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Ricki Santorum can't get over losing to loser Mitt McCain. He'll be in Tampa plotting in a back room as they gut Mitt.

    June 29, 2012 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  19. Caspar Mulders

    So, essentially, Santorum is saying: "mandatory health insurance is evil, it's the devil's work, and if the Dems do it they are trying to sell your children's souls to Satan. But if our GOP candidate does it, it was an honest experiment for laudable purposes, and he has learned from it and will never do it again."

    If you vote GOP, you are voting your country back into the 19th century, those good old days when you had to take your hat off for your betters and even mentioning the idea of rights for employees was a criminal offense.

    June 29, 2012 05:35 am at 5:35 am |
  20. Lost

    I'm extremely grateful for the Supreme Court's ruling to uphold the healthcare law. Without it, my two college aged, adult children would be without healthcare. Due to economic crises everywhere, there is no way (at least not soon enough), that they will be able to acquire gainful employment that will cover basic healthcare costs. I'm hoping that as time moves forward, and the law evolves and is tweaked to perfection, the outcome will be beneficial for all of us (patients and care providers alike). let's give this a chance. Time to stop the political pettiness, and stop playing with people's lives by playing their into their fears.

    June 29, 2012 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  21. Vincent

    Maybe the federal government should allow states to vote on whether to opt in or opt out ? That way the people can have a choice as to wha type of government they want.

    Premiums for insurance will still rise even without the health plan. And in states without the health plan, the uninsured will still go to hospitals, but to the emergency which is much more expensive. Thats not 'free'. Someone still pays for it. The difference is that it wont be the insurance company paying for it. They'll keep their earnings, but tax payers will pay for the emergency visits.
    Over time there might be a way to study the cost/benefits across the states for a better comparison of the models.

    June 29, 2012 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  22. G. W. Bush

    Then run Ricky... 3rd party time.

    June 29, 2012 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  23. leah1026

    Santorum is a liar. The law is working, anyone that lives here in Masachusetts can tell you that. Santorum is a bomb-throwing politician who should just keep his mouth shut.

    June 29, 2012 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  24. bear

    Ask the citizens Mass. they love it.If it is so bad why do we have such a low unemployment rate? The answer is our people are educated.

    June 29, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  25. mattski

    Hey Rick how about asking the people of Mass or the Governor if it has worked? Who should I believe? Them or you? Because they say it has worked.

    June 29, 2012 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
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