Rick Santorum delivers serious smackdown on 'Romneycare'
Rick Santorum launched his most cogent attack on Gov. Mitt Romney's health care program in Massachusetts, during Thursday's South Carolina debate.
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
This argument has two prongs, which Santorum laid out neatly:
Prong 1, on the politics: “And [Romney]’s going to have to run against a president — he’s going to have to run against a president who’s going to say, ‘well, look, look at what you did for Massachusetts, and you’re the one criticizing me for what I’ve done? I used your model for it.’”
Prong 2, on what’s right: “You’re arguing for a plan; you’re defending a plan that is top-down. It is not a free-market health care system. It is not bottom-up. It is prescriptive and government. It was the basis for Obamacare.”
The full transcript follows, with Gov. Romney and Speaker Gingrich’s remarks. Emphasis in bold by DCDecoder.
CNN's JOHN KING: Senator Santorum, you heard Governor Romney and you heard Speaker Gingrich. Do you trust them if one of them is the Republican party’s nominee and potentially the next president of the United States to repeal this?
FORMER SEN. RICK SANTORUM (R-PA.), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The biggest — the biggest thing we have to do is elect a president. I think Newt’s right. The problem is that two of the people up here would be very difficult to elect on, I think, the most important issue that this country is dealing with right now, which is the robbing of our freedom because of Obamacare.
Governor Romney tells a very nice story about what his plan is now. It wasn’t his plan when he was in a position to do a plan. When he was governor of Massachusetts, he put forth Romneycare, which was not a bottom-up free market system. It was a government-run health care system that was the basis of Obamacare, and it has been an abject failure. And he has stood by it. He’s stood by the fact that it’s $8 billion more expensive…
… than under the current law. He stood by the fact that Massachusetts has the highest health insurance premiums of any state in the country. It is 27 percent more expensive than the average state in the country.
Doctors — if you’re in the Massachusetts health care system, over 50 percent of the doctors now are not seeing new patients — primary care doctors are not seeing new patients. Those who do get to see a patient are waiting 44 days on average for the care. It is an abject disaster. He’s standing by it. And he’s going to have to run against a president — he’s going to have to run against a president who’s going to say, well, look, look at what you did for Massachusetts, and you’re the one criticizing me for what I’ve done? I used your model for it. And then…