Health Care: Where the 2012 Presidential Candidates Stand

By Margaret Badore for

The debt ceiling may be getting a lot of political coverage at the moment, but health care will be a critical issue in the 2012 presidential election. Members of the GOP began lobbying for the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly know as the health care reform bill) as soon as it was signed into law in 2010.

Approaches to health care vary widely, even among the candidates vying for the Republican nomination, although most conservative candidates define themselves in opposition to “Obama Care.” Below is a sampling of each candidate’s views on various health care issues. We take a look at President Barack Obama, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin, all considered to be major players in the upcoming election.

Barack Obama
The 2010 health care reforms were considered a major success for President Obama, although the bill did contain some compromises. Obama believes that Americans have the right to health care, but doesn’t believe that the government should mandate that all citizens be insured. He is a proponent of preventative care policies, arguing that investing in prevention now will save money in the future.

Michele Bachmann
Bachmann doesn’t support government-funded health care. As a member of Congress, she has consistently voted against additional funding for federal health care, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Bachmann believes that programs such as Medicare and Medicaid should be dismantled and replaced with a free market system.

Ron Paul
Due to Ron Paul’s libertarian political views, he does not support government-funded health care programs or managed care. He supports free-trade solutions to health care and the establishment of private medical savings accounts. Paul has proposed replacing Medicaid with a volunteer pro-bono care system.

Newt Gingrich
Gingrich does not appear to be against all government-funded programs, but he does want to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He wants to move control of health care costs to the state level. Gingrich supports Medicare opt-in private health savings accounts.

Mitt Romney
As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed into law a plan that required nearly every citizen to obtain basic health care insurance. However, he has said that he would not implement such a plan on the federal level. He believes that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act should be repealed, and supports a free-market system.

Rick Santorum
As a senator from 1995 to 2007, Santorum voted against expanding government-funded health care programs. He was not a member of Congress when the 2010 health care reform passed, and it is unclear if he is in favor of repealing the bill like many of his fellow Republican party members.

Sarah Palin
Palin has been a vocal critic of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and supports a free market solution. As a vice presidential candidate, she supported Senator McCain’s $5,000 tax credit for families who wished to purchase their own health care coverage.

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Mitchell D.
Mitchell D.3 years ago

I see that this is an old article, being recycled, but, Bachman , Gingrich and Paul are flakes, and happily, their views do not seem to matter any longer.
Apparently, even his fellow candidates thought Paul was out of his mind, Bachman is a Palinstyle wing nut, and Gingrich showed himself to be a very nasty dude, when he did have elective office.

Teresa Cowley
Teresa Cowley4 years ago

I assume all Presidential Candidates have health care, and I'm sure it's a good package--who pays for it?

paul m.
paul m.4 years ago

Health care ...Ha..Ha. anywhere in the World if you have Money !!
you get Health care.and I'll prove that..the frist thing that happens when your admitted
to a Hospital or your Doctors is "what insurance plan/cover do you have !!
If none ----- Die...

David Lam
David Lam4 years ago

Great article!

Tim Cheung
Tim C.5 years ago


K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener5 years ago


Dolores M.
Dolores M.5 years ago

Can you really believe any politican? Hasn't the "Change" proven this point? We don't need more Democratic or Republican lies. Both parties have caused the turmoil we are in today. Real change would be to get rid of all of them and select people who are in touch with reality!!!!

Will Rogers
Will Rogers5 years ago

Where do politicians stand on all issues? They stand wherever they need to in order to get elected. They don't really care about other people they just want power. If we vote them in they're supposed to do what we want them to do, not what they feel like doing. They're not supposed to be our kings and queens, or celebrities, they are supposed to be our elected servants. And the money that they are playing about with is ours! Not theirs! I will say this again and again until I hear the echoes of it all over the world. "I will not be happy until a computer takes a politicians job! Just like everyone else. There are way too many of them. And if everyone else can be replaced by computers why not them? They are awful! If I work in a job and mess up I will get sacked. But these smirking sneering unnacountables get away with it all the time.
When we start voting for Policy's and not politicians, I think better decisions will be made. ...alright! It's not as if they could be worse!

Bill K.
Bill K.5 years ago

funny how republicans never quite get around to adding taxpayer provided healthcare for elected officials to their budget cut proposals