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. Tonyb

    Santorum should ask Deval Patrick- Mass Governor. 98% of state residents are covered, incremental cost adds 1% to state budget. Santorum should go back to the stone age.

    June 29, 2012 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  2. BC Jones

    Rick who?

    June 29, 2012 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  3. government cheese

    I think we all agree that government health care is bad. What one thing that they run has been successful? Obama is playing with people's lives.

    June 29, 2012 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  4. Jt_flyer

    Santorium should be mending fences within the party. This bickering only divides. Rick has no place on the front line political scene. He's unemployed.

    June 29, 2012 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  5. snowdogg

    PLEASE – GOP keep ripping each other!

    June 29, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  6. joe

    you are correct sir. healthcare in mass doesnt work.....at all.....we are rated as the healthiest state,have been so or at least in the top 3 states for decades, our costs are lowest when combied with quality of care we receive, polls show we are most satisfied with the care we receive and because of the quality of that care, wehave 2 beautiful,christian children today--thru invitro done and paid for by our mass. insurance, as well as the pre and post care we and our children received. wish all people had a chance like we did and maybe soon, because of the ruling yesterday, people will. thanks rick, for being completely wrong and lying again. perhaps you should review your scriptures, especially the fasle witness aspects....

    June 29, 2012 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  7. Bob B

    The Santorum has the best insurance the that money can buy, why would he care if you have coverage or not?

    June 29, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  8. PappyHappy

    With all due respect to Mr. Santorum, he was literally 'slam dunked' by Senator Casey in his last campaign for elective office. The good folks of Pennsylvania - by an extremely wide margin - repudiated Mr. Santorum as one of their senators.

    My point is - what credibility does Mr. Santorum have to discuss any aspect of any type for domestic or foreign policy? Joe's - the rag man - opinion is just as credible as Mr. Santorum's. In fact, Joe's may be more credible because he has to endure the policies cooked up by the pseudo intellectuals under the cover of the dome in DC!

    June 29, 2012 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  9. Tony

    It has not worked for Republicans. Did people see the latest Fox News poll? Obama leads Romney by 5 points. Yes, Fox News poll says that Obama leads Romney by 5 points. Republicans are spiking the ball now. They are only down by 5 points!!

    June 29, 2012 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  10. TommyTT

    But it HAS worked. Of course it needs adjustment. As the first of its kind, on this scale, that's appropriate and should shock no-one. What Romneycare needs now–and what our country needs now–is a way to preserve this kind of near-universal healthcare while reining in the crazy level of costs that have arisen from our current system. Romneycare fixes half of the problem. Now it's time to fix the other half, not dynamite the first-half fix that's already doing its job.

    June 29, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  11. gregory21

    romney is a mistake.

    June 29, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  12. lib

    I am sure the improvements which President Obama has made will help it work. If Mitt has made mistakes already we really don't need him in the WH. Keep trying do nothing repubs.

    June 29, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  13. Johnson

    Romneycare has worked very well in Massachusetts. Individual policies (non-group) cost 50% of what they used to and 98% of the people have insurance. It was a great plan and very wise of Romney to have Kennedy help him with it.

    June 29, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  14. Todd in DC

    Well they have to backtrack on Romneycare now.

    Lots of independents are going to think: "Hmm, Obama created Obamacare and is proud of that. Romney created Romneycare and WAS proud of that but now isn't. Romneycare was working for Massachusetts, but Romney is courting the right wing..."

    June 29, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  15. Dan

    More double talk.

    June 29, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  16. HenryB

    I love these back trackers. Not surprising. How else to support the guy you previously called a dog?

    June 29, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  17. John

    Hundreds, maybe thousands of Americans will live linger, healthier lives because of the ACA. It probably still needs tweaks, but 20 years from now and further people will look back and think of what's left of the GOP today as constipated dinosaurs.

    June 29, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  18. Bryan

    Has Mr. Santorum ever been to Massachusetts? Ever spoken to more than four people who live and work in our state? He says, "I think what you're seeing is it hasn't worked in Massachusetts," as if to emphasize that his deduction is based upon his gut feeling rather than evidence ("think") and good ole fashioned Freudian projection ("you're seeing" rather than what "I've seen through the gathering of evidence"). While I couldn't find out if indeed MA pays the most for healthcare, I know that we've got the highest percentage of people covered and that 2/3rds of us approve of the bill.

    Also, and sorry to split hairs here, but for those who elect to pay the fine, rather than buy Cobra (which, last time I checked, runs around $400 a month versus a penalty of $800 a year), doesn't show that "it doesn't work" but rather shows that healthcare costs are extremely high and that a government solution can, in fact, "work." How can you see all the evidence and come to a conclusion that is 180 degrees from the correct one?

    June 29, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  19. Gary Murchake

    Mr. Santorum lacks credibility. They all talk about money and costs but what about helping people? Do we not do that anymore in America? What about making sure everyone in America is Insured so we all can take better care of ourselves? What about the fact that whether you are a young adult, mid life or senior, you never know if you can get hurt or sick and instead not going to the doctor, (which many people do) they can go and be treated. Insurance is just that, insurance. The cost of paying for people who otherwise could not pay for it on their own is no different and more than likely better than that same person going to the ER with no health insurance and we absorbing the costs.
    Sometimes it's difficult being forced to do something we all don't agree with but sometimes in the long run it's better for us. Look throughout History, I'm sure there are many cases of that.
    I'm not saying this bill is perfect, but it is certainly better than what we had before, which was little to nothing and esculating costs.

    June 29, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  20. Marie MD

    But sanatorium it has worked in MA.
    Then again, who cares what you have to say. Go back to your stepford like family.

    June 29, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    People give Romney too much credit for the Romney Plan. He seems to have found people to write the plan, implement the plan, and administer the plan. His primary interest as governor was in outsourcing MA governments jobs to India.

    June 29, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  22. RichardSRussell

    Santorum notes that Romney admits his mistakes. Santorum himself, of course, has never had to. That's the way it works if you're always speaking on behalf of God.

    June 29, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  23. eleanor

    Funny how people in Massachusetts on the whole feel they are better off with their current health care options than they were previously. Not to be turned down for pre-exisiting conditions or to be excessively charged for them is a great benefit except to some profiteering health plans.

    June 29, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  24. JD

    What the guy is so critical of the President's health plan did the same thing cept made mistakes in his? Now he's talking about how bad the President's is and he wants to repeal it? I believe the bible calls that a hypocrite!

    June 29, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  25. ArizonaYankee

    Santorum needs to give it a rest. A very vengeful man. All he is doing know is helping the Muslim terrorist Obama.

    June 29, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
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