By Rick Santorum
Two years ago, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or as we all have come to know it -- "ObamaCare." ObamaCare is the trifecta of all that is wrong with this Administration: a massive tax bill, an unprecedented expansion of the federal government, and a combination of unaffordable entitlement programs that will burden the economy and stifle our ability to make personal decisions about our health.
ObamaCare hasn't been fully implemented, but America has already caught a glimpse of how this law will harm our families. Despite promises to the contrary, we know now that ObamaCare has led to price increases for Americans' health-insurance premiums, and that medical device companies are making plans to send jobs overseas because of ObamaCare's onerous taxes.
No one should be surprised at the broken promises of ObamaCare. The model for it is Mitt Romney's RomneyCare which has already led to the same damaging results in Massachusetts.
First, we must repeal ObamaCare, period.
There are problems with America's health-care system that need to be improved and reformed. But the reforms I want to implement must empower patients, reduce control government over individual choice and freedom, and strengthen the doctor-patient relationship.
The choice before Ohio voters is which presidential candidate can you trust to put forward policies that will constitute real health-care reform for Ohio families? Which candidate has a proven track record of advocating for patient-centered, health-care reform? The choice could not be clearer.
During my time in Congress, I fought to give patients control over their health-care dollars and health-care decisions. I have been an advocate for increased competition, which in-turn will lower costs.
Nearly twenty years ago, now-Ohio Governor John Kasich and I first authored what are now known as Health Savings Accounts -- the free-market, patient-focused, consumer-driven alternative to government-run health care.
This is in sharp contrast with Mitt Romney, who does not have the vision, or record, to credibly push for the kind of health-care reforms necessary to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
When Mitt Romney was Governor of Massachusetts, he championed RomneyCare, the top-down government takeover of health care as the model for the country -- going on talk shows and even writing opinion editorials about the importance of an individual mandate. In fact, Romney's own staff admits RomneyCare served as the template, and political cover, for President Obama's national takeover of health care.
John McDonough, a senior health-care advisor to both Governor Romney and President Obama, was deeply involved in the design, passage, and implementation of both RomneyCare and ObamaCare.
As McDonough has pointed out, there are at least 15 key parallels between RomneyCare and ObamaCare.
Here are a few of the most offensive parts which undermine freedom and grow government.
Above all, they both act as an individual government mandate which forces citizens to buy insurance, dictates what type of insurance must be purchased, punishes small business that want to create jobs, and dumps significant numbers of people into an already-broken Medicaid program.
RomneyCare has dramatically increased the cost of health-insurance premiums in Massachusetts. As a direct consequence of RomneyCare's meddling in the private health-insurance market, health-care costs in Massachusetts have risen more sharply than anywhere else in the country. Per capita health-care spending in Massachusetts is 27 percent higher than the national average and the highest in the nation. Overall health-care costs in the state continue to rise at an average rate of 8 percent annually.
Mitt Romney's job-creation record as Governor was 47th in the nation. He would like Ohio voters to believe that he has a stellar business record that makes him qualified to be President.
Yet the truth is that his policies have imposed huge burdens on small businesses in his home state and would undoubtedly have the same effect on businesses in Ohio. He was given a D on a fiscal report card of Governors by the CATO Institute.
It is through RomneyCare in Massachusetts, that we see what awaits Ohio through ObamaCare. We must stop the same damaging results of ObamaCare before they are felt across America. I will.
Rick Santorum, a former representative and senator from Pennsylvania, is a candidate for the Republican nomination for president.