Mitt Romney & The Dilemma of ObamneyCare
While promising to repeal ObamaCare, GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney continues to, oddly enough, defend RomneyCare. The actual Massachusetts law does differ from Romney’s original plan in that he was not in support of an employer mandate and also advocated allowing people, with high medical costs, to post a bond as a way of avoiding the mandate. Eight provisions of the Massachusetts bill were vetoed by Romney, but all were rescinded by the legislature.
Nevertheless, as American Spectator points out, shouldn’t Romney have known that would happen, in advance?
Romney’s defense of the law also runs into problems when he explains that only the 8% of uninsured Massachusetts residents have been impacted by the mandate. But, if the mandate is unconstitutional, as many believe, then it doesn’t matter how small the number of affected is. Though Romney insists that his solution has worked for Massachusetts and is constitutional, he has also said that it is not suitable nationally. But, according to Andrew Kaczynski, Romney has, in the past, suggested that the federal government adopt an individual mandate for healthcare. And, there are various articles & videos circulating around the Internet, supporting this claim.
Romney also indicated, in his book, “No Apology”, that his Massachusetts reforms should be an archetype for a national plan. He is quoted as saying that “there’s a better way. And the lessons we learned in Massachusetts could help Washington find it. … First, we established incentives for those who were uninsured to buy insurance. Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages ‘free riders’ to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others.”
The New Republic reports:
The phrase in bold describes, exactly, the mandate in the Affordable Care Act: It’s a tax penalty for people who could afford insurance but choose not to buy it. And that’s not coincidental. A key player in both Romney’s and Obama’s reform efforts was MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, who has said repeatedly the coverage schemes are identical and Romney “can try to draw distinctions and stuff, but he’s just lying.”
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) told CNSNews.Com that RomneyCare, like ObamaCare, is an unjust law because of the mandate. He argued that, “the Constitution does not give the federal government the right to tell Massachusetts what kind of health care plans they can have. But it does give us rights as individuals that are protected. And I really think when you get into saying you have to buy this product or that, that you’re crossing that line. And the Supreme Court will decide that this year. And hopefully they’ll decide against the ability of anyone saying that you have to buy something.”
According to Massachusetts Treasurer Tim Cahill, ObamaCare and RomneyCare are very similar. According to The American Spectator:
Both health care plans rely on the individual mandate, subsidies, and exchanges intended to match buyers with health insurance plans. “If President Obama and the Democrats repeat the mistake of the health insurance reform adopted here in Massachusetts on a national level, they will threaten to wipe out the American economy within four years,” Cahill said, launching an all-out offensive against Romneycare in Massachusetts and its cousin Obamacare nationwide.
What’s more, according to figures obtained from Cahill’s office, only 23 percent of those enrolled in the state-managed health insurance programs pay anything toward their coverage. About 99,000 newly insured Massachusetts residents now receive free coverage through Medicaid. Another 87,000 receive 100 percent taxpayer subsidies through the Connector’s “Commonwealth Care” program. And another 26,000 are legal immigrants ineligible for federal subsidies who benefit under the Commonwealth Care Bridge program.
Not only has health care reform cost the state an additional $4.2 billion, but small businesses and consumers are getting walloped. Health care costs continue to skyrocket. Insurance premiums have jumped 12 percent over a two-year period. So much for bending the cost curve.
The bottom line is that Mitt Romney needs to stop trying to defend his version of ObamaCare.