RomneyCare at Work - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
RomneyCare at Work

Yesterday, the NY Times wrote about the Massachusetts health care program, as the individual madate takes effect. It is hard to imagine anything representing a greater affront to conservative principles than using government to coerce private citizens into purchasing healthcare. It is shocking that Mitt Romney could institute such a mandate and just months later run for president claiming to be a “conservative” in the tradition of Ronald Reagan, and be taken seriously. It is especially surprising given that one of the main gripes conservatives have had with President Bush has been the Medicare prescription drug plan–RomneyCare is far worse.

Even if you are more sympathetic to Romney than I am, I challenge you to read this and ask yourself whether you believe it is consistent with limited government principles:

In 2008, the penalty for those not insured will be a loss of state tax exemption, worth about $219; later the penalty will be up to half of a monthly insurance premium for each month a person is uninsured. Also, while any insurance is acceptable at first, by January 2009, everyone must have drug coverage.

There is one bright spot in the plan–residents who don’t like it can move:

Linda Impemba, 58, a marketing company employee in Wakefield, said she would remain uninsured, pay penalties, and, as soon as her ailing mother dies, will leave Massachusetts. “There’s no way in heaven I can possibly survive in this state,” Ms. Impemba said. “Now not only is my cost going to go up, everything’s going to be raised so I can pay for the other people” to be insured.

We won’t be so fortunate if such a plan gets created at the federal level. And as we have seen under President Bush, it is a lot easier for a big government Republican to to pursue expansionist domestic policies than it is for a Democrat. Practically speaking, a President Romney could put us on the pathway to socialized medicine faster than President Hillary. While Romney may be trying to distance himself from the plan as he tries to sell himself to conservatives, given his record of doing whatever is most politically expedient, there’s no reason for conservatives to believe that he would rule out a similar nationwide plan as president. And yes, this is why a record of brazen flip-flopping matters.

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