Santorum: Republicans Might Like Latest Compromise on Public Option More Than Democrats

By Gorman Gorman

Dec 7, 2009 4:15pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: Details are sketchy about the latest Senate compromise on the public option, involving the creation of a non-profit insurance exchange modeled on the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan. But Republicans may like what they see even more than Democrats, former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., told us on ABCNews.com’s “Top Line” today.

“As a matter of fact, … most of the Republican alternatives actually are modeled after the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan,” Santorum said. “I don’t think Republicans have a problem with a plan if you’re going to have the government pay — which is what the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan is — as long as it’s a private-sector system.”

It’s not yet clear whether all Democrats will be on board for the compromise now being hammered out by a group of 10 Senate moderates — and liberals’ buy-in is not assured.

“These are things that Republicans have argued for. And so for the Democrats to come and say, ‘Well, this is the public option’ — I don’t see too many on the left signing on to that,” Santorum said.

On Afghanistan, Santorum criticized President Obama for offering a date by which troop withdrawals will begin: “All I would suggest is that — you know, maybe some of your folks who are listening can answer this question: Name me a time in the history of the world where one of the warring parties has announced in advance that they were leaving and were going to end the war at a certain time and won the war?”

(If you want to offer any such suggestions, the comments field is open below, or you can respond via Twitter @thenote.)

Santorum also told us that he’s “absolutely taking a look” at running for president in 2012. He also declined to say whether he thinks former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is qualified to be president.

Watch the interview with Sen. Santorum HERE. We also chatted with Michelle Cottle, a senior editor at The New Republic, about the latest on the story of the White House party crashers, the health care debate, plus Sarah Palin’s presidential prospects.

You can watch that portion of today’s “Top Line” HERE.

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