Santorum: Romney Must 'Come Clean' on Romneycare

Sunday, 04 Mar 2012 09:01 PM

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Rick Santorum is blasting Mitt Romney for dodging his once-strong backing for an individual insurance mandate, citing Romney's support for an individual mandate in a 2009 USA Today Op-Ed to argue that the former Mass. governor is unqualified to take on President Barack Obama over healthcare.

"Governor Romney has been saying throughout the course of this campaign, 'Oh, I never recommended that they adopt my program in Massachusetts for an individual federal mandate, oh, I never did that,'" Santorum told the crowd of about 250 people. "Oh yes, he did. In a 2009 USA Today Op-Ed, he recommended, he made suggestions to President Obama, including the individual mandate and taxing people who don't buy insurance. That is the individual mandate."

In the USA Today Op-Ed, Romney wrote, "We established incentives for those who were uninsured to buy insurance. Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages 'free riders' to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others. This doesn't cost the government a single dollar."

Santorum suggested that Romney should make some sort of public atonement for his state's healthcare plan.

"You know, it's bad enough that he recommended it. It's worse that he wouldn't come clean with the people in this primary that he did it," Santorum said.

Romney's campaign fired back, charging Santorum himself with a role in Obama’s controversial healthcare law.

"Senator Santorum won't admit it, but he had a hand in Obamacare becoming law when he made Arlen Specter the critical 60th vote for Obama in the Senate," responded Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. "Over the last several years, Governor Romney has said many times, in many different formats, that his health care reform plan was the right model for Massachusetts, and that it should not be used as a one-size-fits-all national health insurance plan. Governor Romney is a federalist and has always sad that states should be free to come up with their own health care reforms — whether they want to borrow ideas from Massachusetts or not."


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