Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum Wednesday attempted to illustrate the problem with Medicare by comparing it to “food insurance.”

“How many people in this room can tell me what their latest health care procedure cost?” the candidate asked a group of supporters in Aiken, South Carolina. “How many can tell me what a gallon of milk costs? You all can, right? Why? Because you pay for it. But medical procedures you don’t pay for. Even going to the doctor, even basic ordinary care, you don’t pay for.”

“Imagine if we had another necessity: food. Anybody believe that food is not as important as health care or even more important, right? What if we had food insurance? And then everybody instead of — because of course if you hear all these people, ‘Everybody should have a right to health care.’ Well, I’m going to stand up and say, ‘Everybody should have a right to food. We’re going to provide everybody food insurance because people shouldn’t have to make decisions about whether to feed themselves or have cable television. They should have food as a right.’”

He continued: “So we’re going to have food insurance. So what’s going to happen? You’re going to go and you’re going to pay the grocery store 500 bucks. Then you go to the grocery story and there are no prices on anything, shelves are full, no prices on anything. You just go and get whatever you want. And you check out and they have a scanner and you check out and there’s prices on there but they’ll say, ‘Well, this bill is $435 and your bill is $42.10.’”

“And you come home and you say, ‘Well, I’ve got a lot of food.’ But then tomorrow comes around and you say, ‘You know, maybe I’ll go shopping again.’ Right, because it’s pretty cheap. How many people think we’ll have an obesity problem in this country? How many think we’ll waste food? That’s what happens in health care, folks. We waste health care. Why? Because you don’t pay for it. And until you start paying for it and take responsibility for how you’re going to shop for health care, we will never change the problem that we have.”

Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Sept. 21, 2011.


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