By Corey Dahl
SAN DIEGO – Some say it’s time for the benefits industry to accept Obamacare
— passed by Congress, signed by President Obama, upheld by the Supreme Court — as law.
Rick Santorum is not one of those people.
“I read this morning that someone here was saying, ‘Give up on Obamacare, you can’t do anything to repeal it,’” said Santorum, a keynote speaker at the Benefits Selling Expo Tuesday. “Baloney. Since when do we say, ‘Well, it’s going to happen, might as well give up’?"
Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator and a GOP presidential candidate in the 2012 election, pointed to Obamacare as a transformative event for the country. The law will fundamentally change Americans’ relationship with their government, he said, and not for the better.
“People are going to now rely on the government in some way for their health insurance,” he said. “And once government has its hand on you, it’s not a matter of you being dependent. It’s a matter of the government having control over you.”
And despite the government intervention, Obamacare will do little to actually improve health care and its costs, Santorum predicted. Giving everyone an insurance card doesn’t mean they’ll be able to afford all the care they need — or, given the nation’s looming primary care doctor shortage, even find it.
“There’s something about an insurance card that makes people feel comfortable, whether it means you can get care or not,” he said.
So, according to Santorum, it’s time for Americans, especially those in industries most affected by Obamacare, to fight back.
“As an industry, to sit back and let the government do this to you, I have three words for you: Shame on you,” he said. “Who’s going to fight for your clients if you don’t? What are you afraid of? You’re going to lose your job anyway if this thing goes into fruition. Go down swinging.”
Santorum asked audience members how many came from a state where the governor or legislature had refused to implement Obamacare
. Several dozen hands went up. But when he asked how many of those people had talked to their lawmakers about the decision, most of the hands went back down. That’s the problem, Santorum said.
“They need to hear from you — your congressmen, your legislators,” he said. “If you support what they’re doing, tell them. Because I can guarantee they’re already hearing from the people who don’t.”
Will Santorum be one of those elected leaders again anytime soon? When asked whether he would run for president again, Santorum said only that he was considering his options.
“It’s hard,” he said. “It’s really hard on the family, and that’s the biggest nut for me. When someone asks me if I’m running, my answer is that I’m walking. I’m just walking the right path to see what I can do that’s best for my family and my country.”
Originally published on BenefitsPro.com