Lugar’s Love Affair with Government Health Care

By , 05/02/12

On the campaign trail, Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN) spends a great deal of time slamming ObamaCare. But what’s Lugar’s history on government health care? What’s his voting record?

Well, it’s not good. In the ‘90s, Dick Lugar cosponsored S. 1770, a health care bill that featured an individual mandate similar to the one in ObamaCare.

Thankfully, both HillaryCare and Lugar’s alternative both failed to make it through Congress, and it looked like universal government health care was finished. Conservatives nationwide rejoiced as both bills crashed and burned.

Unfortunately, the left had one final ace up its sleeve: Kids First. An infamous 1993 memorandum from the Clinton administration explained that: “Kids First is really a precursor to the new [universal] system… Under this approach, health care reform is phased in by population, beginning with children.”

Dick Lugar fell for the left’s plan hook, line, and sinker. He partnered with liberal Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) to pass Kids First, which was relabeled as the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). By expanding government-sponsored health insurance to another large segment of the population, Lugar brought us several steps closer to the government takeover of health care seen with ObamaCare.

Even today, Lugar continues to trumpet his support of SCHIP. In 2009, he worked with the far-left to expand and reauthorize SCHIP. He worked with famed liberals such as Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to push it through Congress, and he himself even wrote some portions of the final bill.

More recently, Lugar proudly cast his vote in favor of a massive new government entitlement, the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit. Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker called Medicare Part D “the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation since the 1960s.”

Just how bad is it? Awful. Last year, the Medicare trustees issued a report estimating that the bill held at least $9.9 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities. Worse yet, they estimated that the bill’s unfunded liability could be as unfathomably large as $21.5 trillion!

Why should Hoosiers trust Lugar to lead the charge on health care? He has partnered with liberals to pass their plans, he has supported mandates, and he has cosponsored big entitlement spending. This year’s elections will be a referendum on ObamaCare, but unlike Richard Mourdock, Dick Lugar hasn’t even signed onto the Repeal ObamaCare pledge!