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Rick Santorum Defends Health Insurance Companies For Denying Coverage To People With Pre-Existing Conditions

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While speaking to a group of high school students in New Hampshire on Friday, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum defended insurers for denying coverage or charging more to people with pre-existing conditions, using his own family as an example.

"We have a child who has a pre-existing condition and we went out and we said, we like this plan," Santorum said, according to ThinkProgress. "We have to pay more because she has a pre-existing condition. Well, we should pay more. She's going to be very expensive to the insurance company and, you know, that cost is passed along to us... I'm okay with that."

Santorum's three-and-a-half-year-old daughter Isabella has a genetic disorder called Trisomy 18, a condition that often results in death within a year of birth. He recently began opening up about "Bella" on the campaign trail.

Santorum -- who said "we have a broken insurance system" -- offered up more information on his own insurance plan, noting that his candidacy forced him to purchase insurance "on the open market."

"I had insurance under my employer. And when I decided to run for president, I left my job, I lost my insurance, I had to go out and buy insurance," Santorum said.

The Republican candidate even compared health care coverage to auto insurance, saying that "you turn everything in" like one would share information on car repairs with an insurance company.

"Insurance rates shouldn't pay for your general maintenance any more than they should pay for the general maintenance of your car," he said, explaining that he believes insurance should only be used for major health care expenses.

Santorum also addressed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act during the event, calling the health care legislation "a huge threat to the future of our country." He reiterated that he would repeal the health care law if elected president, and that he would replace the legislation with "something consumer driven," Patch reports.

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