GOP Presidential Hopefuls: Where They Stand On Health Care

By Kaiser Health News, August 25, 2011

GOP Presidental candnidates from left to right - former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Utah Gov. John Huntsman, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

The declared candidates for the Republican presidential nomination have already been campaigning in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. They've held several debates and competed in the Iowa straw poll. But they're still developing their platform positions and honing their stump speeches.

KHN has assembled this chart to show where five of the candidates currently stand on major health care issues. The candidates are Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, former Utah Gov. John Huntsman, Rep. Ron Paul and Gov. Rick Perry, both from Texas and former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney. We will be adding issues - and candidates - in the days ahead.

We have sorted the positions by issue. To compare the beliefs and statements, you can scroll down the page or jump to [their positions by issue] from these links:

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Medicare & Aging | Marketplace | Health Reform Philosophy | Medicaid

Medicare & Aging

Michele Bachmann

"Senior citizens will lose control over what they actually get in Medicare, because a politically appointed 15-member board that's unelected and unresponsive to the will of the people called IPAB will make the decisions about what care we get and what care we don't." -- Bachmann to conservative bloggers, June 2011

Jon Huntsman

"I admire Congressman Paul Ryan's honest attempt to save Medicare. Those who disagree with his approach incur a moral responsibility to propose reforms that would ensure Medicare's ability to meet its responsibilities to retirees without imposing an unaffordable tax burden on future generations of Americans." -- Wall Street Journal, May 31, 2011

Ron Paul

"Why exactly should Americans be required, by force of taxation, to fund retirement or medical care for senior citizens, especially senior citizens who are comfortable financially? And if taxpayers provide retirement and health care benefits to some older Americans who are less well off, can’t we just call it welfare instead of maintaining the charade about 'insurance' and 'trust funds'?" -- Texas Straight Talk weekly address, Nov. 2010

Rick Perry

"I think every program needs to stand the sunshine of righteous scrutiny. Whether it’s Social Security, whether it’s Medicaid, whether it’s Medicare. You’ve got $115 trillion worth of unfunded liability in those three. They’re bankrupt. They’re a Ponzi scheme." -- Newsweek interview, Aug. 12, 2011

Mitt Romney

Marketplace

Michele Bachmann

Jon Huntsman

"It is unacceptable that a young father in Clarkston, Utah who works for a small business and wants to buy insurance for his family is denied coverage because of minor ailments. Should eczema or post-partum depression preclude a family from getting affordable health insurance?" State of the State speech, 2008

Ron Paul

Rick Perry

Mitt Romney

Health Reform Philosophy

Michele Bachmann

"The American people spoke soundly and clearly at the ballot box in November and they said to us, 'Mr. Speaker, in no uncertain terms, repeal this bill.'" -- Remarks to the House of Representatives, Jan. 19, 2011

Jon Huntsman

Ron Paul

"If medical care is provided by government, this can only be achieved by an authoritarian government unconcerned about the rights of the individual." -- Statement, Sept. 23, 2009

Rick Perry

"The federal government’s attempt to force every American to buy government-approved health insurance is an egregious violation of our Constitutional rights. The 10th Amendment and individual liberties must be protected, and I am committed to fighting the overreach of Obamacare and challenging these unconstitutional mandates, which have gone far beyond both the letter and spirit of the Constitution." -- Statement about district court ruling in Florida vs. HHS, Dec. 13, 2010

Mitt Romney

“Mr. President, if, in fact, you did look at what we did in Massachusetts, why didn't you give me a call and ask what worked and what didn't? ... I would have told you, Mr. President, that what you're doing will not work. It's a huge power grab by the federal government. It's going to be massively expensive, raising taxes, cutting Medicare.” -- GOP candidate debate, June 13, 2011

Medicaid

Michele Bachmann

Jon Huntsman

"Let states determine what the percentage of poverty levels are, and let public officials rise or fall on how local citizens feel about those decisions. They're in a much better position to understand their vulnerable populations than at the federal level." -- Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2011

Ron Paul

Rick Perry

Mitt Romney

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2011/August/26/GOP-candidate-health-care-platforms.aspx

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