Rick Santorum: Americans Will Be ‘Dependent on Washington for Health Care Decisions’ Through An IV Hook-Up

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"Rick Santorum: Americans Will Be ‘Dependent on Washington for Health Care Decisions’ Through An IV Hook-Up"

During his speech at the Western Conservative Summit this weekend, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum leveled another outlandish accusation against the Affordable Care Act. Santorum, who has a history of fear-mongering, told the crowd that thanks to the health care law, “every single American will have an IV hooked up to them and will now be dependent upon Washington DC for whether they get their tests, whether they see a doctor, whether they get their procedure done.”

There are many problems with Santorum’s statement that make it flat out ridiculous:

1. America does not have a single payer health care system, and the vast majority of Americans will remain on private health insurance plans after the health care law goes into effect. So how would anyone be dependent on bureaucrats to gain access to health care if they are not using a government health care plan? After all, a single-payer system was never even proposed by the Obama administration during the health care debate last year and a public option, which would have given anyone the opportunity to enroll on a government plan, was defeated amid protests from conservatives and some democrats.

2. Millions of people are already enrolled in a government health care plan including Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, public employees, and members of Congress, and federal and state government’s are responsible for 45 percent of health care spending. Medicare and Medicaid remain enormously popular, which suggests their beneficiaries have no problems getting health care services. Ironically, Rick Santorum should know this firsthand, since he has held government health insurance since entering Congress in 1991, without ever being “dependent upon Washington” or “hooked up to Washington’s IV.”

3. The law did not increase government rationing of health care, which already exists in the private sector whenever an insurer refuses to pay for a treatment.

4. As a result of the new law, more Americans will be able to afford health care coverage, more choices will be available through state based exchanges, and more services will be required to be offered than before.

Sean Savett

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