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Oops. We'll give you $27, final offer.Barely tolerated busy-body Rick Santorum may be running a distant 148th or whatever in Florida, but his website remains a strong competitor for numero uno in terrible ideas. Among the collected abominations is the promise to reduce medical costs by enacting “meaningful medical liability reform.” Okay, ha, no one thinks that would actually help. But credit where credit is due: in 1994, Santorum did, in fact, sponsor the deceptively helpful-sounding Comprehensive Family Health Access and Savings Act, which would have capped awards for medical malpractice at $250,000. Interestingly enough, in his own 1999 malpractice lawsuit, Rick and his wife sought $500,000 for a back injury she suffered. Which is, students, exactly twice what Rick thought other people might deserve. Aren’t numbers crazy?

The Washington Post provides the background:

On the campaign trail, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum says he will push to limit payments to victims in medical malpractice lawsuits, which he blames for unnecessarily driving up health-care costs. And over the course of his two decades in politics, he repeatedly spoke in favor of capping such awards.

But Santorum testified in support of his wife when she filed a medical malpractice suit in 1999 that sought $500,000, twice the cap in his 1994 legislative proposal. Karen Santorum claimed that a Fairfax chiropractor had left her with a permanent back injury that probably would result in a lifetime of pain medication and restricted mobility.

This fall, while campaigning in Iowa, Santorum told reporters that he backed some limits but that his wife did not sue for “pain and suffering, which is the area I think we should cap.”

Must be pretty to think so — but no. At the time, the presiding judge called the $350,000 the jury eventually awarded to the Santorum family “excessive,” and noted that pain and suffering must have factored into the jury’s decision, given that the family’s actual medical costs were less than $20,000.

But since there is no evidence that Rick Santorum himself rose to his feet to upbraid the jury for its misplaced largesse, we will just assume that Ricky was stone-cold A-OK with taking home a trunk full of that evil, evil medical malpractice cash, for freedom.

The Santorums’ award check was later whittled down to $175,000, presumably by some liberal activist judge. In revenge (?), Santorum later sponsored the Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies Access to Care Act, which would have capped awards for non-economic damages from medical malpractice at $500,000, which is all he and his family were asking for in the first place, FOR GOODNESS SAKE! Can’t a guy with exceptional insurance and every possible resource in the world catch a break, ever? [WaPo; Image via Shutterstock]

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