Andrew McCarthy of National Review
This seems very significant. A number of us have expressed concerns that Romney cannot effectively confront Obama on Obamacare, the wrongheadedness and unpopularity of which make it the Republicans’ most crucial issue in the campaign. In response, Romney posits that he is a Tenth Amendment guy who saw what he was doing as right for his state, and perhaps other states, but certainly not a national model to be adopted at the federal level. For what it’s worth, I’ve contended that those claims are utterly unpersuasive (some are downright frivolous). But that hardly matters now. The op-ed demonstrates that Mitt regarded Romneycare precisely as a model the federal government ought to adopt, and that the ‘tax penalties’ by which Massachusetts’s individual mandate are enforced were a good fit for Congress and the Obama administration to impose by federal law.”
Erick Erickson of Redstate
Friends, if Mitt Romney is the nominee, we will be unable to fight Obama on an issue that 60% of Americans agree with us on.
Allah Pundit of Hot Air
Again, watch the clip. Romney’s always thought of the mandate as a conservative measure aimed at making people take personal responsibility for their own health care. (As did some prominent conservatives, Gingrich included, before the issue became toxic under Obama.) It’s shocking that, as late as summer 2009 — actually, even later per the “keep the good” bit linked above — he’d misread the mood of the base badly enough to think he could sell them on the right-wing merits of compulsory health-care purchases, but then that’s what makes him Mitt Romney. And the subsequent flip to the position that of course the mandate is unconstitutional — that’s what really makes him Mitt Romney.
4. Joe Scarborough says Romney is lying about previous support for the mandate.
5. Eric Cantor says Romney will repeal ObamaCare.
6. Rick Santorum Implies Romney campaign removed the op-ed from the USA Today site.
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A lot of BS spin is being spewed about the OP ED Romney wrote. A suggestion — read it (its listed below) and come to your own conclusions. Mine are: The process Romney used in Ma was bi-partisan and supported by all involved: Ma House and Senate, doctors, hospitals, insurers and the majority of Ma electorate. Ma plan was designed to get rid of the free riders on the Ma system and ensure that the poor could purchase their own private med insurance.
Romney’s Op ED challenged Obama to: 1) stop jamming Obama care thru congress on a rushed one party basis 2) eliminate all plans for a federal payer system 3) take time to reach consensus with all concerned 4) use the best bi partisan ideas including those from Rep Ryan, Sen Bennet, McCain etc. 5) ensure no increase in national debt resulting from the plan 6) ensure plan reduces health care costs for all Americans. 7) don’t fill the plan with all the peripheral crap that exists in most Congressional bills. Clearly, Obama did NOT follow any of Romney’s advice and thus came up with Obama Care which is totally resonable for Romney to campaign against and ultimately repeal. Here is the OP Ed:
This opinion article by Mitt Romney appeared in USA Today on 07/30/2009. It is entitled: Mr. President, What’s the Rush? Because of President Obama’s frantic approach, health care has run off the rails. For the sake of 47 million uninsured Americans, we need to get it back on track. Health care cannot be handled the same way as the stimulus and cap-and-trade bills. With those, the president stuck to the old style of lawmaking: He threw in every special favor imaginable, ground it up and crammed it through a partisan Democratic Congress. Health care is simply too important to the economy, to employment and to America’s families to be larded up and rushed through on an artificial deadline. There’s a better way. And the lessons we learned in Massachusetts could help Washington find it. No other state has made as much progress in covering their uninsured as Massachusetts. The bill that made it happen wasn’t a rush job. Shortly after becoming governor, I worked in a bipartisan fashion with Democrats to insure all our citizens. It took almost two years to find a solution. When we did, it passed the 200-member legislature with only two dissenting votes. It had the support of the business community, the hospital sector and insurers. For health care reform to succeed in Washington, the president must finally do what he promised during the campaign: Work with Republicans as well as Democrats. Massachusetts also proved that you don’t need government insurance. Our citizens purchase private, free-market medical insurance. There is no “public option.” With more than 1,300 health insurance companies, a federal government insurance company isn’t necessary. It would inevitably lead to massive taxpayer subsidies, to lobbyist-inspired coverage mandates and to the liberals’ dream: a European-style single-payer system. To find common ground with skeptical Republicans and conservative Democrats, the president will have to jettison left-wing ideology for practicality and dump the public option. The cost issue Our experience also demonstrates that getting every citizen insured doesn’t have to break the bank. 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. This doesn’t cost the government a single dollar. Second, we helped pay for our new program by ending an old one — something government should do more often. The federal government sends an estimated $42 billion to hospitals that care for the poor: Use those funds instead to help the poor buy private insurance, as we did. When our bill passed three years ago, the legislature projected that our program would cost $725 million in 2009. At $723 million, next year’s forecast is pretty much on target. When you calculate all the savings, including that from the free hospital care we eliminated, the net cost to the state is approximately $350 million. The watchdog Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation concluded that our program’s cost is “relatively modest” and “well within initial projections.” And if subsidies and coverages are reined in, as I’ve suggested, the Massachusetts program could actually break even. One thing is certain: The president must insist on a program that doesn’t add to our spending burden. We simply cannot afford another trillion-dollar mistake. The Massachusetts reform aimed at getting virtually all our citizens insured. In that, it worked: 98% of our citizens are insured, 440,000 previously uninsured are covered and almost half of those purchased insurance on their own, with no subsidy. But overall, health care inflation has continued its relentless rise. Here is where the federal government can do something we could not: Take steps to stop or slow medical inflation. At the core of our health cost problem is an incentive problem. Patients don’t care what treatments cost once they pass the deductible. And providers are paid more when they do more; they are paid for quantity, not quality. We will tame runaway costs only when we change incentives. We might do what some countries have done: Require patients to pay a portion of their bill, except for certain conditions. And providers could be paid an annual fixed fee for the primary care of an individual and a separate fixed fee for the treatment of a specific condition. These approaches have far more promise than the usual bromides of electronic medical records, transparency and pay-for-performance, helpful though they will be. Try a business-like analysis I spent most of my career in the private sector. When well-managed businesses considered a major change of some kind, they engaged in extensive analysis, brought in outside experts, exhaustively evaluated every alternative, built consensus among those who would be affected and then moved ahead. Health care is many times bigger than all the companies in the Dow Jones combined. And the president is rushing changes that dwarf what any business I know has faced. Republicans are not the party of “no” when it comes to health care reform. This Republican is proud to be the first governor to insure all his state’s citizens. Other Republicans such as Rep. Paul Ryan and Sens. Bob Bennett and John McCain, among others, have proposed their own plans. Republicans will join with the Democrats if the president abandons his government insurance plan, if he endeavors to craft a plan that does not burden the nation with greater debt, if he broadens his scope to reduce health costs for all Americans, and if he is willing to devote the rigorous effort, requisite time and bipartisan process that health care reform deserves. Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007.
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