Romney Urged Obama to Adopt the Individual Health-Care Mandate

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AK Forty Seven, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. Romney Urged Obama to Adopt the Individual Health-Care Mandate

    At BuzzFeed, Andrew Kaczynski breaks the news that, in a 2009 op-ed for USAToday, Mitt Romney encouraged President Obama that he’d be well-served by adopting elements of the Massachusetts Romneycare plan, particularly the individual mandate.

    In the context of urging on the president “the lessons we learned in Massachusetts” that “could help Washington find” a better way to reform health care, Governor Romney explained, “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 others.”

    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.

    Besides the individual mandate, Governor Romney’s op-ed also proposed government-managed cures to address the government-caused cost spiral generated by the government-designed fee-for-service structure. Patients, he suggested, should be “required to pay a portion of their bill, except for certain conditions” — to be chosen, of course, by the government. Providers would 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” — said fixed fees to be fixed by the government.

    Nowhere does the op-ed suggest that government involvement is the principal cause of cost inflation, and that maybe prices would come down if people paid all their ordinary health expenses out of pocket and had insurance, purchased in a truly free market, for catastrophes and other high-expense conditions. (Romney does argue that the current un-free market in health insurance is preferable to a “single-payer” system of government-provided coverage.) Nowhere does the op-ed consider whether the federal government’s role ought to be limited to policing against interstate fraud, with the states left to deal with other issues — without federal interference and without passing the costs of their solutions along to the rest of the country. And nowhere does the op-ed make any mention of the Constitution.

    I’ve asked this question before — and it’s one that ought to be addressed by all the GOP candidates, not just Mitt. But while Romney made much of Rick Perry’s assertion that Medicare is unconstitutional, no one ever asked Romney to explain his theory for why it is constitutional. Do the GOP candidates all accept the premise that the federal government has an open-ended power to do anything in the “General Welfare,” unrestrained by the specifically enumerated powers assigned to Congress in Article I — none of which endows Leviathan with authority over the regulation of health care.
  2. Santorum Blasts Romney for 2009 Op-Ed on Individual Mandate

    BLUE ASH, Ohio - Rick Santorum on Saturday sharpened his attacks over Mitt Romney support for an individual health insurance mandate, citing Romney's support for an individual mandate in a 2009 newspaper op-ed to argue he is unqualified to take on President Obama over health care.

    "Governor Romney has been saying throughout the course of this campaign, 'Oh, I never recommended that they adopt my program in Massachusetts for an individual federal mandate, oh, I never did that,'" Santorum told the crowd of about 250 people.

    "Oh yes, he did. In a 2009 USA Today op-ed he recommended, he made suggestions to President Obama including the individual mandate and taxing people who don't buy insurance. That is the individual mandate."

    In the op-ed, Romney wrote, "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."

    Santorum suggested that Romney should make some sort of public atonement for his state's health care plan. "You know, its bad enough that he recommended it. It's worse that he wouldn't come clean with the people in this primary that he did it," Santorum said.

    Romney has explained that he supported an individual mandate for Massachusetts, but he has repeatedly stressed that he does not back a national mandate.

    The issue prompted conservative commentator Erick Erickson to write on his blog: "Had Michigan not been as close, the Democrats would have waited to spring this on us in the general election ... Friends, if Mitt Romney is the nominee, we will be unable to fight Obama on an issue that 60 percent of Americans agree with us on."

    Romney’s campaign disputed Santorum’s charges and tried to pin the blame on the former Pennsylvania senator for the health care law.

    "Senator Santorum won’t admit it, but he had a hand in Obamacare becoming law when he made [Republican-turned-Democrat] Arlen Specter the critical 60th vote for Obama in the Senate," spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. "Over the last several years, Governor Romney has said many times, in many different formats, that his health care reform plan was the right model for Massachusetts, and that it should not be used as a one-size-fits-all national health insurance plan. Governor Romney is a federalist and has always said that states should be free to come up with their own health care reforms, whether they want to borrow ideas from Massachusetts or not."
  3. 377OHMS


    Romney has said repeatedly that he will repeal Obamacare.

    That is good enough for me.
  4. IF he becomes President , very important .
  5. Which, he won't. The conservatives will not turn out.
  6. Brass


    Even if they do, I don't think there will be enough of them.
  7. rew


    Today, while running to be the Republican nominee for president, Romney takes positions that are almost 100% the opposite of what he did and said as governor of Massachusetts. How can you trust that guy? Nobody has a clue as to whether we'll get Romney-the-conservative-Republican or Romney-the-ex-governor-of-Massachusetts.

    I think the mainstream press has been easy on Romney precisely because they expect the latter to be the case.
  8. 377OHMS


    I imagine someone has to dress you in the morning and pin your name to your shirt.

    You predilection for stating the obvious is remarkable.
  9. yeah, they will vote for the other guy, the Hussein .