Santorum Concedes That His Private Health Insurance Sucks

Rick Santorum. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/5438148298/sizes/z/in/photostream/">Gage Skidmore</a>/Flickr

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


Last week, we reported that over a two-year period, GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum had run up nearly $100,000 in medical bills beyond what his private insurance paid for to care for his disabled daughter, Bella, who was born with the usually fatal genetic disorder Trisomy 18. On Sunday, Santorum acknowledged his insurance plan’s failings, and said that the bills were a huge burden for his family, though he did it in the context of explaining why his personal charitable contributions were so low. He told Fox News host Chris Wallace:

“I was in a situation where we have seven children, one disabled child who we take care of, and she’s very, very expensive,” he said. “We love her and cherish the opportunity to take care of her, but it’s an additional expense. We have to have around-the-clock care for her, and our insurance company doesn’t cover it, so I have to cover it.”

Wallace continued to hammer Santorum about his charitable contributions, but it would have been a perfect time to ask Santorum a more relevant question, which is: Given your huge medical expenses that aren’t covered by your good, private insurance plan, how, specifically, would the health care law you’ve vowed to repeal make your situation worse? And a follow-up: Isn’t it possible that Obamacare might save you a lot of money and make your life better?

These are questions Santorum still hasn’t answered, despite having told Glenn Beck recently that both he and his wife decided he should run for president specifically to kill President Obama’s health care reform bill. It’s unlikely that any of Santorum’s Republican opponents are going to raise the issue, but there’s another debate scheduled for March 19, sponsored by NPR, PBS and the Washington Times. Perhaps one of the moderators will take the opportunity to quiz Santorum about the huge disconnect between his own personal experience with the health care system and the policies he wants to push on the rest of us if he’s elected.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.