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Santorum Embraces Government Health Care…For Veterans

Rick Santorum claims that the expansion of government health care in Obamacare inspired him to run for president and regularly condemns the government’s involvement in the Medicare program. “We should not have a government-run health care system on Medicare or anything else, because it completely distorts the market,” he explained at a town hall in South Carolina on January 12. “It’s top down. It’s not the way America works best.”

But this morning, during an appearance on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, the former Pennsylvania senator embraced the most government-centric health care system of them all: veterans health care — a fully integrated structure of government payers and providers. Santorum said his parents met on a government veterans base and said his father worked as a government health care provider:

SANTORUM: The answer is [veterans health care] should be excluded from any kind of reduction. These are people, men and women, who stepped forward to defend this count country. The country has a special obligation to them as a result of that. these are heroic people. […] I grew up on VA grounds, my mom and dad met at a VA after World War II. […] And I got a chance to meet veterans and work with them and volunteer at the hospital. And i can tell you that there problems in the VA health care system. There’s a lot of problems with quote government-run medicine. […] The one thing we can’t do is cut those benefits.

Watch it:

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The veterans’ health care structure of doctors and hospitals is not without its problems, but it actually provides veterans with benefits that are the envy of the rest of the health care system — including private payers and providers. A study by the RAND Corporation found that “VA patients were more likely to receive recommended care” and “received consistently better care across the board, including screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow up.”