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Santorum: My Child Won’t Survive Under Health Reform

By Igor Volsky on April 26, 2011 at 11:01 am

"Santorum: My Child Won’t Survive Under Health Reform"

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Sarah Palin may have been the first Republican to argue that her son Trig would be harmed by the Affordable Care Act, but potential presidential candidate Rick Santorum (R-PA) is not far behind, telling reporters in Iowa yesterday that his daughter Bella — who was born with a genetic abnormality — wouldn’t survive in a country with “socialized medicine”:

“I look at how society with socialized medicine treats children like Bella, and children like Bella don’t survive,” Santorum told The Des Moines Register Monday, the first leg of a three-day swing through Iowa. “Children like Bella are not given the treatment that other children are given.”

Santorum said the new health care law, championed by President Barack Obama, will mean disabled people are denied care more often, and repealing it is the best way to address mounting national debt.

He said that disabled children are denied care today.

“It’s not like this isn’t happening now,” he said. “But it will happen more under a much more budgetarily-driven health care system.”

Putting Santorum’s willingness to use his child to underscore a partisan point aside, his claims about the health law are almost too ridiculous to be taken seriously. But here it is: the law actually prevents insurance carriers from denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions (and disabilities), prohibits health plans from putting a lifetime dollar limit on benefits and offers new options for long-term care. This why groups like the American Association of People with Disabilities, National Organization For Rare Disorders, and The Arc of the United States not only support the law, but have gone filed an amicus brief in its defense.

The law already prevents insurers from limiting or denying benefits to children, meaning that Bella would be able to find insurance coverage if Santorum loses his job after sufficiently embarrassing himself on the campaign trail.

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