Rick Santorum: Voting For Prescription Drug Plan Was A Mistake

Rick Santorum voted with the rest of the GOP to create the Medicare prescription drug benefit, which as Chris Wallace pointed out, was not paid for, but now he thinks the Republicans in Congress should do some more hostage taking and refuse to raise

Rick Santorum voted with the rest of the GOP to create the Medicare prescription drug benefit, which as Chris Wallace pointed out, was not paid for, but now he thinks the Republicans in Congress should do some more hostage taking and refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless the Democrats agree to defund the Affordable Care Act, or as he calls it, Obamacare, which would, by the way, make the deficit worse as well.

So never mind that he helped blow a huge whole in the budget when he was in the Senate, now he's going to pretend he cares about running up the deficit. Republican, thy name is hypocrisy.

Think Progress has more on Santorum and his hostage taking -- Rick Santorum: I Would ‘Absolutely’ Let The Country Default Over Defunding The Health Care Law.

WALLACE: OK. So, you say that the GOP should refuse to raise the debt limit until the other side agrees to take all the funding out of Obamacare, which is roughly $105 billion that is tucked inside Obamacare. Given the fact -- you know as a political realist -- the president would never accept that, are you willing to let the country go into default?

SANTORUM: Well, is the president willing to let this country go into default, to support a program that has been found unconstitutional by a couple of courts --

WALLACE: And has been found constitutional by a couple of courts.

SANTORUM: Again, but has been found unconstitutional by a couple of courts, has also -- has widely unpopular -- 60 percent negative across the country, is already increasing the cost of health care, is already causing job losses because of the complexity and taxes that are being put into place. This is a program that if the president wants to defend it, he should stand up and say the 2012 election is about Obamacare. We'll put it this on hold and we'll make it a referendum on Obama.

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WALLACE: OK. But that's one thing, the 2012 election. You're saying you'd let the country go into default on this issue?

SANTORUM: No, I think the president would let this go into default on this issue.

WALLACE: But you would make that a condition, you'd make that the price?

SANTORUM: Absolutely.

WALLACE: Now, didn't you contribute to the deficit problem when you were in Congress? Back in 2003, you voted to create a new prescription drug, Medicare prescription drug benefit, but you didn't provide any funding. And according to most estimates, it's adding $60 billion a year to the deficit.

SANTORUM: Yes, I would say that that was a mistake. That one of the -- we did two things that were wrong in that bill. Number one, we made it universal. In other words, we had a problem that was about 15 percent of seniors didn't have prescription drugs. And we -- and the president compromised with the Democrats, President Bush, to provide a universal benefit.

I was against that. I spoke against it. I worked against it. But we lost.

And so, now, we have -- we have a situation --

WALLACE: And you voted for it.

SANTORUM: I voted for it for a lot of reasons beyond the Medicare prescription drugs, for example, Medicare Advantage.

WALLACE: OK. But the point is you created a vast new entitlement without paying for it.

SANTORUM: I agree. And I think we should have -- the second thing, we should have paid for it. Again, that was not an option on the table at the time that we were voting for it. We did have a program that was substantially less money than what the Democrats were proposing and we did have substantial reforms of Medicare as well as health savings accounts, which was a reform in the private sector also in this bill.

So, I said at the time, it was a 51/49 vote. In retrospect, it was probably 51/49 the other way.

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