Mitt Romney has often claimed in the debates that he believes in a state-by-state solution to the health care issue, and that he rejects Obamacare both on 10th Amendment grounds, and because of its one-size-fits-all approach. He has held that Romneycare is not a model for Obamacare, and that he has never advocated using Romneycare as model for action by the federal government. Further, Mitt Romney has often claimed that he was never flipped-flopped on this issue and has been consistent from day one on his approach.
He is lying on all counts.
The following are excerpts from an editorial written by Mitt Romney, which appeared in USA Today on July 30, 2009:
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 … 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 …
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.
In this op-ed Romney advocated that Obama help pass exactly the kind of program that we now call Obamacare. Romney makes two basic points. First, he clearly advocates a nationwide individual mandate. Second, he wants to reign in health care costs by taking a businessman’s approach to the issue. Romney’s main argument was thus not over whether or not we should have a national health care system with an individual mandate, but over competency. As a businessman, he thought that he could implement a more cost-efficient program than Obama could.
Romney has been lying to conservatives this entire election season. Since he has been lying, how can we know that he will really repeal Obamacare? Rather, isn’t it likely that he will return to his true colors and try to “fix” the program, if he is elected president?
(H/t Erick Erickson)
- Mitt Romney’s Advice For ObamaCare: Look At RomneyCare (buzzfeed.com)
- Pam Bondi Admits It: Romney Will Push Romneycare (markamerica.com)
- Confirmed: Romneycare template for Obamacare (legalinsurrection.com)