Rick Santorum’s “Bi-national Health Insurance”

In an earlier post I argued that Rick Santorum is a hypocrite for arguing in a Republican presidential debate that odd things must be going on in Texas schools if vaccinating kids against the virus that causes 70% of cervical cancers is a worthy cause. While a member of the U.S. Senate, Santorum co-sponsored the “National Hepatitis B Act” with Diane Feinstein, and even though you can’t contract Hepatitis B from playing on the schoolyard jungle gym, many states (including Santorum’s Pennsylvania) require kindergarteners to be vaccinated for it.

Today Kevin Williamson pointed out that Santorum pulled a similar stunt during yesterday’s presidential debate when he criticized Rick Perry for pursuing “bi-national health insurance,” claiming that’s something Barack Obama wouldn’t even attempt. What Perry tried to do was change Texas health insurance regulations to address a problem experienced by people who live on one side of the Texas-Mexico border and work on the other: they’re forced to buy separate health insurance policies for Texas and Mexico because it’s impossible for one company to write a policy that covers both. By removing this restriction Perry was trying to create a market that would lower health insurance costs. It would also encourage people covered by these policies to obtain cheaper treatment in Mexico, which is why Perry’s proposal ran into opposition from U.S. physician’s groups.

I don’t know if Rick Santorum is uninformed or if he’s purposefully mischaracterizing Perry’s policy proposals, but primary voters would be better served if he got his facts straight and tried telling the truth.