Is the former senator from Pennsylvania, currently running for President, totally clueless with regards to healthcare?
The student said he didn’t “think God appreciates the fact that we have 50 to 100,000 uninsured Americans dying due to a lack of healthcare every year,” citing a 2009 study out of Harvard University.
“Dying?” Santorum answered before going back and forth about the validity of the study.
“The answer is not what can we do to prevent deaths because of a lack of health insurance. There’s — I reject that number completely, that people die in America because of lack of health insurance,” Santorum said to a crowd of 100.
“People die in America because people die in America. And people make poor decisions with respect to their health and their healthcare. And they don’t go to the emergency room or they don’t go to the doctor when they need to,” he said. “And it’s not the fault of the government for not providing some sort of universal benefit.
You can find the full text from ABC News here.
To be clear: I’m not a fan of Rick Santorum. I disagree with most of the economic and social positions that he and his fellow GOP candidates hold. I don’t have the fuller context of this, so I can’t verify that this hasn’t been taken out of context. But, if he really meant to say that people don’t die due to lack of healthcare, he is totally clueless.
People shouldn’t have to choose between food and medical treatment, or housing and medical treatment, or transportation and medical treatment, or childcare and transportation; people shouldn’t have to forego getting the treatment that they need because it is too expensive if you don’t have healthcare and a hospital turns you away because you cannot pay. To have to choose one basic necessity of life over another is not a poor decision; it is a heartbreaking one.