Santorum hits Romney on healthcare

Rick Santorum launched another scathing attack Thursday against the healthcare plan Mitt Romney signed into law as Massachusetts governor.

Thursday’s debate marked the second time in the past three GOP debates in which Santorum has aggressively attacked Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on healthcare. Both men have supported an individual insurance mandate — a pivotal part of President Obama’s healthcare law. 

The similarities between Romney and Obama’s plans go much further.

“We cannot give the issue of healthcare away in this election,” Santorum charged during a lengthy attack on Romney.

Romney again cited the differences between state and federal law to defend his record on the issue. But Santorum pressed Romney to admit that purchasing insurance is mandatory “as a condition of breathing in Massachusetts.”

Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod was happy to agree with Santorum on the similarities between the two laws, and he hit Romney for pledging to repeal Obama’s effort.

“In explaining MA plan, Mitt just offered an eloquent explanation of the Affordable Care Act he says he would repeal,” Axelrod tweeted.