On Fox News Sunday this morning, Chris Wallace challenged Rick Santorum on why he’s given such a small percentage of his salary to charity (1.76 percent) compared to Mitt Romney (13.8 percent) and President Obama (14.2 percent). Santorum explained that he was unable to give because the costs of caring for his daughter Bella — who has a severe genetic disorder — were so high because they are not covered by his insurance:
SANTORUM: Well, we always need to do better. I was in a situation where we have seven children and one disabled child who we take care of, and she’s very, very expensive. We love her and we cherish the opportunity to take care of her, but it’s an additional expense. We have to have around-the-clock care for her, and our insurance company doesn’t cover it so I have to cover it.
Santorum has a million dollar income, and yet, still struggles to support the medical costs of his daughter.
By admitting that the health care system has created a financial burden for families, Santorum is essentially conceding the need for the Affordable Care Act. Even though he has repeatedly claimed that children like Bella would receive inferior treatment under “socialized medicine,” the ACA actually guarantees that insurance providers cannot use disabilities like Bella’s as an excuse to deny service, nor can they cap how much money is spent on an individual’s medical benefits. It also prevents insurers from denying or limiting benefits. Children of families that don’t have a million dollars would have a better chance of managing costs.
Wallace pointed out that Santorum didn’t give much to charity before Bella was born either. Given his continued opposition to health care reform, it seems Santorum favors a society where the rich can take care of their own and everyone else is left to struggle.