Beyond New Hampshire: GOP Candidates On Global Health

Granted, it’s extremely unlikely that a single vote will be cast in today’s New Hampshire primary based on the GOP presidential candidates’ positions on global health.

Still, an Indiana law professor, David Fidler, dug up a couple of telling nuggets that give a tiny glimpse into what these guys are all about, or at least what Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney think about overseas aid. In a nutshell: Romney doesn’t think much of it, and Santorum aligns himself with the old-Bush-style compassionate conservatism that supports humanitarian assistance. Fidler writes:

Romney and Santorum perhaps represent two streams in American conservatism that, at the moment, appear to diverge on PEPFAR [the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief] and global health. Santorum expressly declares in his “10 Steps to Promote Our Interests Around the World“ that the US must “keep and expand” its humanitarian aid efforts, including on HIV/AIDS. Santorum strongly supported PEPFAR when he served in Congress. He also issued a statement on World AIDS Day in December 2011 underscoring PEPFAR’s importance and the “hope that in our lifetime, we may see the end of AIDS.” In Santorum, we see a conservatism embracing global health’s foreign policy importance to American ideals and interests—what Michael Gerson called “Rick Santorum and the return of compassionate conservatism.” Continue reading

The GOP’s Next Move: Repealing Health Reform

Emboldened Republicans say they'll repeal health reform

Kaiser Health News rounds up the top reports on the GOP’s plans to repeal health care reform. Here’s Bloomberg’s take:

House and Senate Republicans already have written at least 30 bills to roll back provisions in the law. The success of some efforts would mean WellPoint Inc. and competing health insurers may escape regulations to set their patient care spending, while Boston Scientific Corp. and other medical-device makers dodge $20 billion in tax increases in the next decade.” If Republicans are successful in repealing parts of the law, it could “set off a domino effect,” a congressional analyst said. Health insurers, in the meantime, are saying that the mandate on Americans to carry health insurance is necessary to maintain consumer protections in the law or people will only purchase it when they get sick (Litvan and Armstrong, 11/3).