GOP Presidential Hopefuls Have Clear Health Care Positions

ABC News examines the health policy records of three GOP presidential candidates — former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

ABC News: Governors Report Card: How Romney, Huntsman, Perry Changed Health Care
Three of the GOP presidential candidates have already fought health care battles as governors. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman overhauled their states' health care system while in the governor's mansion, while Texas Gov. Rick Perry has overseen an array of women's health and family planning legislation during his 10-year tenure. "Governors control a lot about what happens in the health care system in their state, although they are also in part stuck with the hand they're dealt," said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. "Massachusetts and Texas are very good contrasts in both cases" (Bingham, 8/17).

Meanwhile, in other political developments, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, who made his name by bringing a health law legal challenges against the federal government, is considering a run for the Senate, and Perry continues to grab headlines for his HPV vaccination reversal.

The Washington Post: Rick Perry Reverses Himself, Calls HPV Vaccine Mandate A 'Mistake'
Religious conservatives in Texas were stunned in 2007 when Republican Rick Perry became the first governor in the country to order young girls to get a vaccine against a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer. The vaccine would encourage promiscuity, according to many conservatives, who had long supported Perry’s views against abortion and same-sex marriage. … Now Perry, who long defended the vaccine mandate, has reversed his position on the issue as he launches his GOP presidential bid, calling the order "a mistake" and saying he agrees with the Texas legislature's decision to overturn it (Eggen, 8/16).

The Washington Post: Cuccinelli Might Challenge Warner For Senate Seat In 2014
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) said he might run for the U.S. Senate in 2014, possibly setting up a race against one of Virginia's most popular politicians, Democrat Mark R. Warner. Cuccinelli, who garnered national attention for suing the federal government over the new health care law, had said he would run for reelection or governor in 2013. But in an interview with The Washington Post, he said for the first time that he could instead run for the Senate (Kumar, 8/16).

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