Rick Santorum is one of the Republican candidates who is hoping to become the Republican nominee for the 2012 Presidential election. In his campaign, he has mentioned many times that he would like to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act. Interestingly, his own health insurance is insufficient to cover the medical needs of his family.
It is no secret that Rick Santorum has extreme dislike for the health reform laws that are part of the Affordable Care Act, ACA. He has made it clear that if he is elected President of the United States, one of the things he wants to do is to repeal the entire ACA, (and all of the protections that it provides to consumers).
He is the candidate that has often compared health insurance to car insurance, and has implied that the reason why health insurance is so expensive is that it covers too many things. Car insurance, after all, would theoretically cost more if it had to cover things like oil changes, and new tires. Rick Santorum wants your health insurance to cover much less than it does right now.
Another thing that Rick Santorum wants to do is cut the budget for Medicaid. This is the public health insurance program that covers people who are of low-income. It also covers people who are disabled. Parents who have a child with special needs that requires a lot of medical care rely on Medicaid to be able to afford the cost of that care.
It is worth noting that Rick Santorum is a parent. He has several children. Most of them are reasonably healthy. His youngest daughter, Bella, however, was born with a chromosomal disorder called Trisomy 18. This means that Bella has a third copy of genetic material from chromosome number 18. Usually, people will have two copies of a particular chromosome, not three.
90% of the children who have this disorder die within their first year of life. The remaining 10% have severe developmental problems. Symptoms include congenital heart disease (which can lead to congestive heart failure). Kids with Trisomy 18 are extremely susceptible to catching pneumonia. Bella was recently hospitalized for pneumonia, which caused her father to temporarily leave the campaign trail to care for her. Other symptoms include severe cognitive impairments and kidney problems.
Recently, Rick Santorum was asked about why his personal charitable contributions were so low. He was asked by Fox News host Chris Wallace. Santorum’s response was:
“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 went on to say: “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.”
Rick Santorum is really lucky that he has the money to pay for health insurance that will cover his family. He is extremely lucky that he can come up with the money to pay for Bella’s medical bills out of pocket. Could your family afford to do that? When it comes time to vote for President, keep in mind that Rick Santorum wants to cut or repeal health reform laws that currently help families with disabled children to pay for their medical bills.
Image by Gage Skidmore on Flickr