Rick Santorum Rejects Obamacare’s Success At ‘Pro-Life’ Event

At a pro-life event in Iowa yesterday, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (R) spoke out against new data showing that 2.5 million young adults now have health coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Ignoring the good news, Santorum insisted that health care reform had “failed miserably” by not doing more to bring down costs and said that insurance was “too expensive” to cover young adults.

Asked if he saw any contradiction between attending an event that celebrated life and criticizing the health law for extending health coverage to living people, Santorum replied that he didn’t:

KEYES: Could we get your reaction to the new study that the Affordable Care Act extended coverage to 2.5 million young adults in this country?

SANTORUM: How about the same reaction that’s also caused a dramatic increase in the price of health insurance? In fact, a substantial increase in the cost of health insurance to millions of Americans. It has failed miserably in the one area the president suggested it would have the most impact, which is decreasing the cost of health care in the country. […]

KEYES: But if we’re at an event though celebrating life, shouldn’t we be pushing to cover more young adults like the Affordable Care Act is doing?

SANTORUM: No. Again, if government had unlimited amounts of money we could cover everybody with all the coverage in the world, but of course we don’t. The objective President Obama sold to the American public was that this would reduce health care costs, make it more affordable, save the government and people money, and thereby expand insurance. It is not doing it in that fashion. It is simply spending more money and wasting more money.

KEYES: So it’s just too expensive to cover the kids?

SANTORUM: It’s too expensive, number one. Number two, it’s the wrong approach in solving health care, which is government-run, top-down and that’s why it’s wasteful and inexpensive.

Watch it:

Despite Santorum’s claims, the government is not financing the coverage expansion; the ACA allows families to keep young adults on their existing health plans until they turn 26. The provision has added more young people to health care risk pools and has had a negligible effect on premiums.

The fact that Santorum dismissed this achievement at a pro-life event demonstrates just how much Republicans are willing to let their dislike for President Obama’s policies shade their judgment of policy outcomes. For years, the Republican Party has fought the perception that they care more about pre-birth fetuses than post-birth humans who are struggling to make ends meet. Santorum’s remarks Wednesday did little to shed that reputation.