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Santorum: Dems ‘look down their nose’ at Americans

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Tuesday charged that the Obama administration was full of “elite snobs” who were looking “down their nose at the average American.”

The former Pennsylvania senator went on the attack against President Barack Obama and Democrats for rejecting Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) to replace the current Medicare program with a voucher scheme.

“They don’t believe you can make these decisions,” Santorum told a crowd in Boise, Idaho. “They need to makes these decisions for you because if you were left to make decisions you will obviously jump off a cliff.”

“Don’t you see how they see you? How they look down their nose at the average American — these elite snobs.”

He continued: “Guess what Paul Ryan’s plan is modeled after? Members of Congress’ plans. It is the same model, exactly the same. It says because members of Congress have the same plan as every federal employee, which is a pretty good plan. … It gives everybody the opportunity to go out and get what they need. What they think they need.”

Although Ryan told NBC that his his plan “works exactly like the health care I have as a member of Congress and federal employees have,” Princeton economics professor Uwe’E. Reinhardt says there is at least one “huge difference.”

Under the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan (FEHBP), the government contribution rises at the rate of average premiums charged by private insurers. But Ryan would only have Medicare spending tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which has historically not kept up with health care costs.

“Indexing the federal contribution to Medicare beneficiaries to the C.P.I. can thus be expected to shift an ever-larger share of the total health spending on Medicare beneficiaries from the books of government to the household budgets of these beneficiaries,” Reinhardt wrote in May.

“It is fair to wonder whether members of Congress would ever pass a bill indexing the federal contribution to their insurance premiums only to the C.P.I. rather than, as now, to the growth in insurance premiums.”

Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Feb. 14, 2012.

 

(H/T: The Hill, CNN)

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