He simply has to come clean on Romneycare.
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When asked about the despised issue, Romney says: “Our bill dealt with eight percent of our population, the people who aren’t insured and said to them, if you can pay, don’t count on the government, take personal responsibility.”
But the mandate applies to everyone, not just to the eight percent who were uninsured.
• Romneycare and taxes. He also defends Romneycare by saying that Massachusetts didn’t raise taxes to finance his plan. That’s because Massachusetts simply passed a big share of its costs along to federal taxpayers. Massachusetts relied on previously enacted health insurance taxes and an infusion of federal Medicaid money to finance its coverage expansion.
Washington didn’t have any higher government authority to draw from so it had to raise taxes to finance Obamacare. The fact that a significant part of Massachusetts’ coverage expansion relied on federal Medicaid money defies Romney’s position that the Bay State’s reform was a state solution.
• Medicare cuts. Romney also boasts, accurately, “We didn’t cut Medicare.” This is a bogus boast, however, since states have no authority over spending in the federal Medicare program, and cutting Medicare therefore never was an option with Romneycare.
• The speed of repeal. Romney pledges to pursue the ultimate goal of repealing Obamacare and replacing it with “free-market reforms that promote competition and lower health-care costs. But since an outright repeal would take time, an executive order is the first step in returning power to the states,” he wrote earlier this year.
Actually, it wouldn’t. Romney’s cautious step-by-step approach overlooks the fact that the Republican House passed a repeal bill within a few weeks of taking power. If there were a majority in the Senate supporting repeal, then a new president could have a repeal bill to sign on his desk within a month or two of taking office.
Why on earth would a President Mitt Romney want to send states on a wild chase to start implementing Obamacare in a different way when, as he himself observes, the ultimate goal must be total repeal?
ROMNEY’S ATTEMPT TO DISTANCE himself from the despised health care law isn’t working. He is simply not able to talk his way around it. A video has surfaced recently of a 2010 appearance by Romney that is causing new alarms in which he says of Obamacare, he would “repeal the bad and keep the good.”
There is a way out, however: Romney needs to take a bolder step and say that the law he passed in Massachusetts never would work for our diverse and complex country, that he shouldn’t have tried to do so much all at once, and that he should have put health costs, not universal coverage, at the top of his priority list. He needs to emphasize as strongly as he can that a federal mandate to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional and that he wants to sign a bill fully repealing Obamacare. And he needs to explain what really happened in the passage of Romneycare.
The health reform plan he pushed in Massachusetts was different in key respects from the one that became law — and which became the model for Obamacare.
Few voters know that Romney wanted an escape from the individual mandate, by allowing people to instead be able to post a bond in case they were uninsured and had big medical bills.
When Romney signed the law, he believed it contained the bond escape hatch, but legislators took it out at the last minute.
Romney also objected to the employer mandate and vetoed the provision that requires employers with 11 or more workers to provide health coverage or pay an annual fee of $295 per worker.
He also vetoed several other provisions, and every one of his vetoes was overridden by the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature. Should Romney have known this was likely? Yes. Should he have known exactly what he was signing? Absolutely. But voters may be more forgiving if he tells them he wanted to give citizens and employers a way out.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online