Did Far Right Extremist Candidate Santorum Promote Big Government Health Care In The 90′s? You Betcha

 

Santorum in ’93: More Government Needed in Health Care

EXCLUSIVE: The 2012 candidate once argued it was “wrong” for the federal government not to be “proactive” in shaping the health care market and boasted his voting record was “in the middle.”

…Santorum said it would be a mistake to allow the delivery of health care services to be determined only by the market. He asserted that Republicans were “wrong” to let the “marketplace” decide how health care works. He instead argued that government should play a “proactive” role in shaping the health care marketplace “to make it work better.”

Santorum’s call for more government intervention in health care came during a December 1993 appearance on a Pittsburgh TV program, The Editors, hosted by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s Jane Blotzer and John Craig. At the time, Santorum was running in a Republican Senate primary and looking to challenge¬† Democratic incumbent Sen. Harris Wofford. Mother Jones obtained a previously unreported transcript of the interview made by staffers for the Wofford re-election campaign.

…In the 1993 interview, the 35-year-old Santorum sounds little like the unflinching conservative he claims to be today. He describes his voting record in the US House of Representatives, where he represented the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh, as “pretty much in the middle” compared to the rest of the Pennsylvania delegation, which included 11 Democrats and 9 other Republicans. His record, he went on, was “pretty compatible” with that of Arlen Specter and the late John Heinz, both moderate Republican senators from Pennsylvania.

…On health care, as he called for more government involvement, Santorum said Republicans had “dropped the ball” by not making health care reform a headline issue in recent elections. “I even said it to President Bush when he came to Pittsburgh to campaign for Dick Thornburgh [then running for US Senate] in 1991, that health care was gonna be the big issue and that we had to take responsibility for trying to solve this problem,” Santorum said. “We can’t continue to ignore it and say, ‘Oh well, you know, it will work itself out in the marketplace.’ That’s wrong.”

Government intervention, he continued, was key to creating a functioning health care marketplace. “The government helps set the marketplace up, so we have some responsibility to alter that marketplace to make it work better.”

Talking about health care, Santorum explained: “I take a much more proactive position in government in solving problems than most Republicans, because I believe government has a role. A lot of folks believe, ‘Well, just keep government out of it.’ I don’t believe that.” He added, “I think government has a role in making sure that there is equal opportunity.”

 

 

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