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Santorum: Insurance Should Be Consumer Driven

Rick Santorum breaks down some ideas on health insurance while talking to students in American Politics at Merrimack High School.

Presidential contender Rick Santorum, while talking with a group of high school students at  on Friday morning, defended insurance companies that charge more for patients with pre-exisiting conditions

Santorum, a former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, told the students one of his main priorities, if elected to office is to repeal “Obamacare.”

“That is a huge threat to the future of our country,” Santorum said. “It's a fundamental threat to our basic freedoms because you create a link and a dependency to the federal government. … It's a fundamental game-changer for America and I would repeal it and replace it with something that is consumer driven.”

Santorum told the juniors and seniors in Jim Wojewoda's American Politics class that he thinks it is fair for insurance companies to not accept patients with pre-exisiting conditions or to charge more for them, because those people are going to cost more.

If you don't need insurance until the day you are sick, why would buy insurance, Santorum asked the class. Why wouldn't everyone just wait to get insurance until they became sick? If insurance was only purchased by sick people, the cost of insurance would be very high, he said.

He told the class of a dozen students that when he left his job to run for president, he lost his insurance and had to shop for coverage on the open market. He has a daughter with a pre-existing condition he said, and he and his wife have to pay more to have her covered.

“We should pay more, she's going to be very expensive to the insurance company,” Santorum said. “And I'm OK with that.”

He compared health insurance to car insurance, asking if the students turned in a claim for oil changes, minor repairs or tire changes, pointing out that all of these things, if turned in as claims, would drive up insurance costs.

With health insurance, everything is claimed and people wonder why insurance rates are going up, he said.

“Insurance shouldn't pay for your general maintenance any more than it should pay for the general maintenance of you car,” Santorum said, adding that costs won't go down until the consumers are involved, purchasing their own “general maintenance plans.”

“We have a broken insurance system which is really not an insurance system at all and that is the reason insurance costs are as high as they are,” Santorum said.

While talking with the students, Santorum said he has two other things he would focus on immediately as president: Repairing the economy and reining in excessive government spending and reducing the size of the federal government.

Following his discussion with the students, who also pressed him on the Occupy Wall Street movement and asked questions about how he got involved in politics and what the most difficult part is running for office, Santorum told a small group of reporters he believes in speaking with the youth of America, even if they aren't old enough to vote.

He said as a Senator he frequently met with student groups, believing in the importance of making politics a real experience for young people. Santorum said showing students the importance of being involved in politics and teaching them the importance of holding their public accountable and the importance of being respectful.

“I use the opportunity to meet with young people and try to inspire them in some way to engage in the civic discourse,” Santorum said.

The event, postponed from Nov. 4 after Santorum had travel issues, came about as Santorum's campaign manager, Mike Biundo, has a daughter, Amanda, in the class, Wojewoda said.

Wojewoda said when he found out that they could have a major candidate running for president come talk to his class, he couldn't pass up the opportunity.

“Politics comes down to a very personal level,” Wojewoda said. “I'm glad we had the opportunity to show them that.”

harrybunn December 03, 2011 at 06:19 AM
My wife and two children and I live in the state of Illinois. Our current health insurance plan is a Choice Plan that is provided by "Penny Medical" . The plan itself is a consumer driven health care plan.
Ajsoben December 04, 2011 at 09:09 AM
He’s running for Vice President. He’s stressing social conservatism because he figures (correctly) that if Romney is nominated, social conservatives will want a true believer in the VP slot, he’s willing to pretend to be that true believer. ) Just kidding, I like Santorum. And frankly, the single best way forward for Republicans to address income inequality involves first walking towards social conservatism, so he’s coming at it in the right way. Joseph V. Kennedy’s book Ending Poverty suggests an income support plan that’d also encourage conservative social values: a guaranteed income ($15k to $20k per adult) for any citizen who’s willing to sign and abide by a contract they’ll play by the rules of society : 1. “work full time at a position that adds value to society,” 2. “complete high school and two years of additional education,” 3. “save 15% of your income,” 4. “do not have children before the age of 21,” [this one will cause legal problems, would have to be aspirational and not contractual b.] 5. “do not take drugs,”. 6. “do not commit crimes,” and 7. “pay taxes.” https://bitly.com/insurehealth

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