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

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


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.

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly 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