Santorum Gets Pro-ObamaCare Leno to Admit He Doesn’t Want Government Running the ‘Tonight Show’

On NBC’s Tonight Show Tuesday, host Jay Leno battled former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) about the value of ObamaCare.

By the end of the debate, the former Republican presidential candidate marvelously got Leno to admit that he wouldn’t want the government running his television program (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

When the topic of ObamaCare predictably came up, Leno said that he’s from Massachusetts, and the people there are “very happy’ with their healthcare program.

He asked his guest, “If each state voted that they wanted to have it, would you be happy with that instead of a federal, could you accept that?”

“Yeah, I believe in the tenth amendment,” Santorum answered. “States, you know, have the right to do that. I don't think it's the thing to do. I certainly would argue against a similar type of government-controlled health care system.”

He continued, “If you look at Massachusetts, it's got the highest health care costs in the country.”

Leno pushed back, “But everybody is also covered, correct?"

“Yeah, but the problem is when you say everybody has to be covered irrespective of pre-existing conditions, irrespective of health, no cap on the amount of insurance coverage that you get, then what happens is younger workers, who are healthier, who, if you had an insurance system which said, ‘Well, we're going to only charge you what basically we think you'll use,' would pay a lot lower rates. But they pay a lot higher rates under a Massachusetts system,” explained Santorum.

He continued, “So what they're doing is paying a fine not to buy insurance and then waiting till they get sick or in a car accident and then, because of the law, they're immediately covered, if you go out and buy insurance. So, they found actually the rate of uninsured going up because people are making an economic decision not to have insurance.”

“But, regardless,” countered Leno, “they are made whole. They are made better. Somebody who might normally die is, it might cost a little bit more, maybe it’s a little more expensive, but ultimately that person who is injured is not dying in an alley. They're covered and they have insurance.”


Leno of course was showing typical liberal ignorance of how our system currently works. Santorum corrected him.

“Well, but the whole point is not whether people are gonna die in an alley. Everybody who goes into an emergency room gets care. No one dies in an alley because of in-access. There is a federal law that requires hospitals to cover everybody.”

Indeed. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone talking about this issue on television was aware of this federal statute? Or is that asking too much?

But the best was still to come.

“The question is: what's the best way to run a health insurance system?” asked Santorum. “What's the best way to run a healthcare system? And I would make the argument that our country is a great country because we build things from the bottom up believing in free people. Can you imagine what the Tonight Show would look like if the government ran the Tonight Show?”

Even the audience understood this and laughed a bit.

For his part, Leno said, “I see how it looks with NBC running it so, please, yeah.”

“Would you even be here?” jokingly asked Santorum. “Can you imagine?"

Leno appeared to want to change the subject, but Santorum pressed, “You don't want the government to run the Tonight Show?”

“No, I don't want that,” responded Leno.

“Then why do you want them to run your local hospital?” smartly asked Santorum.

Unfortunately, Leno chose not to answer that question, and instead moved on to another subject.

And this is typical of liberal media members when pressed on this issue: they’re more than happy to have government running everybody else’s lives but their own.

Nice job, Senator. Bravo!

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.