While on the campaign trail in Colorado, Republican contender Rick Santorum got into a heated argument with a mother and her sick son over health care, and winded up defending drug companies, ABC News reported.
Santorum compared the costs of buying drugs to buying an iPad to make his point.
"People have no problem paying $900 for an iPad," Santorum said, ABC News reported. "But paying $900 for a drug they have a problem with - it keeps you alive. Why? Because you've been conditioned to think health care is something you can get without having to pay for it."
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The comment and debate were triggered when a young boy asked the former Pennsylvania senator what he would do to keep the costs of prescription drugs affordable, CBS News reported. Soon after his question a woman in the audience said she has trouble affording the $900-a-month-prescription for the drug Abilify she has to pay for her son who suffers from schizophrenia. She said that on paper the costs to treat him would exceed $1 million a year, ABC News reported.
"Look, I want your son and everybody to have the opportunity to stay alive on much-needed drugs," Santorum responded to the woman, CBS News reported. "But the bottom line is, we have to give companies the incentive to make those drugs. And if they don't have the incentive to make those drugs, your son won't be alive and lots of other people in this country won't be alive."
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Santorum himself is the father of a child with the rare genetic disorder trisomy 18. The candidate put his campaign on pause this weekend when the 3-year-old was hospitalized for pneumonia.
"Even in the tough cases, even at the ones that pull at your heart strings, we've got to believe in people and markets and churches and families and charity instead of government, and that's what I believe" Santorum said to the audience, CNN reported.
Santorum also made remarks pointing out the similarities between President Barack Obama’s controversial health care plan and the plan passed by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts, CNN reported. He targeted the provision that requires insurance companies to offer plans regardless of preexisting conditions.
"What happens to the cost of health insurance," Santorum said, CNN reported. "There's a reason for preexisting conditions clauses. You want people to get insurance, and if they don't, then they shouldn't be free riding on everybody else. That's exactly what's going to happen with Obamacare."
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