Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed by party and in alphabetical order by last name. Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Should all Americans have a right (be entitled) to basic health care?
Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, stated the following in a Sep. 17, 2011 interview "Gov. Gary Johnson's First Google+ Hangout," available on YouTube.com:
"I am proposing that the federal government cut Medicaid and Medicare by 43%. Give the programs to the States, and also do away with the strings and the mandates that go along with Medicaid and Medicare... I believe that if the Federal government would have given me complete control of Medicaid and given me 43% less money in New Mexico that I could have effectively delivered health care to the poor in New Mexico... Is Health Care a right, I don't think so." Sep. 17, 2011 Gary Johnson
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, stated the following during an NBC-hosted presidential debate held on Oct. 7, 2008 in Nashville, TN, and transcribed and posted by CNN.com:
"...I think it [health care] should be a right for every American. In a country as wealthy as ours, for us to have people who are going bankrupt because they can't pay their medical bills -- for my mother to die of cancer at the age of 53 and have to spend the last months of her life in the hospital room arguing with insurance companies because they're saying that this may be a pre-existing condition and they don't have to pay her treatment, there's something fundamentally wrong about that." Oct. 7, 2008 Barack Obama
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated the following in the Aug. 11, 2011 Fox News/Republican Party of Iowa presidential candidate debate in Ames, IA:
“What we did in our state was this. We said, look, we're finding people that can afford insurance, health insurance, that are going to the hospital and getting the state to pay for them. Taxpayers are picking up hundreds of millions of dollars of costs from people who are free riders. We said, you know what? We're going to insist that those people who can afford to pay for themselves do so. We believe in personal responsibility. And if the people aren't willing to do that, then they're going to help the government pay for them. That was our conclusion.” Aug. 11, 2011 Mitt Romney
Jill Stein, MD, former Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, stated the following in her Oct. 24, 2011 "Presidential Campaign Announcement Speech," available at www.jillstein.org:
"[I]t’s time for the United States, the richest country in the world, to catch up with the rest of the developed nations and provide health care for everyone as a human right. We can do this through a Medicare for all system that will not only provide quality health care - it will save trillions by streamlining the massive health insurance bureaucracy and ending runaway medical inflation." Oct. 24, 2011 Jill Stein
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives (R-GA), stated the following in a May 15, 2011 appearance on NBC's Meet the Press, available at the msnbc.msn.com article "Gingrich: All Have a Responsibility to Pay for Health Care:"
“I agree that all of us have a responsibility to pay--help pay for health care. And, and I think that there are ways to do it that make most libertarians relatively happy. I've said consistently we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way you indicate you're going to be held accountable…
But it's a system which allows people to have a range of choices which are designed by the economy. But I think setting the precedent--you know, there are an amazing number of people who think that they ought to be given health care. And, and so a large number of the uninsured earn $75,000 or more a year, don't buy any health insurance because they want to buy a second house or a better car or go on vacation. And then you and I and everybody else ends up picking up for them. I don't think having a free rider system in health is any more appropriate than having a free rider system in any other part of our society.” May 15, 2011 Newt Gingrich
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), stated the following in his 2011 book Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues that Affect Our Freedom:
"The prevailing attitude of the American People is that everyone has a right to medical care. This is an intellectual error that will lead us down the path toward destroying what is good in the current system and replacing it with a system that will be terrible for everyone. The supposed right to medical care can only be guaranteed at others' expense. The transfer can only be arranged by force. This creates oppressive bureaucracies, encourages overutilization of resources, and leads to technological stagnation and inevitably to rationing and deprivation.
It's true that everyone has a right to pursue medical care without being hindered by government policies. But that is not the system we have today. Today's messed-up medical system is a result of forty years of government interference in the process. Regulations, inflation, tax laws, and federal mandates to provide care through corporate-run HMOs, interference in providing insurance, massive subsidies, and licensing have all played a negative role in the delivery of medical care in the United States." 2011 Ron Paul
Buddy Roemer, former Governor of Louisiana, stated the following in an article titled "Gov. Buddy Roemer Statement on Obamacare," available on buddyroemer.com (accessed Feb. 15, 2012):
"As President, I will move us in the right direction – more choice, more competition, better health care for Americans...
Maybe it's because I’m a 40 year diabetic that I care so much about this issue. Maybe it's because I am not bought and paid for by big pharmaceutical companies or Super PAC's. But whatever the reason, I will bring real reform to the health care industry." Feb. 15, 2012 Buddy Roemer
Rick Santorum, former US Senator (R-PA), stated the following during his Feb. 10, 2012 speech at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference, available at YouTube.com:
"Are we going to be a country that believes, as our founders did, that our rights don't come from the government, they come from a much higher authority. Well there are those in our country, and those in the Oval Office, who believe that that's not the case. They believe that rights do in fact come from the government, and they have gone around convincing the American Public that they can in fact give you rights. The most important one that they have been able to shove down the throats of the American Public was of course the right to health care - the right to health care in Obama care. And we see what happens when government gives you rights, when government gives you rights, government can take away those rights... Once people have that dependency, they are never really free again." Feb. 10, 2012 Rick Santorum