Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Governor Romney, Don't Run Away From Your Health Care Plan

One of my biggest concerns about the conservative movement today is that we don't seem to want to focus on reality. We prefer talking points and ideological purity. But here is a little dose of reality.

1. Romneycare = Obamacare - the federal government.

The federal government part is significant. I highly doubt that a President Romney would pursue the same health care policies as Governor Romney. Nevertheless, the actual policies details of Romneycare are very similar to the actual policies details of Obamacare. Individual mandates and healthcare exchanges.

2. Obamacare (and Romneycare) is a free market health care solution to our health care problems.

You can love it or hate it. But either way, the idea that Obamacare is a "government takeover of the health care industry" is a gross distortion originally constructed by Frank Luntz, Republican marketing extraordinaire. According to Politifact, which just labeled Luntz' phrase as the 2010 lie of the year,
"Government takeover" conjures a European approach where the government owns the hospitals and the doctors are public employees. But the law Congress passed, parts of which have already gone into effect, relies largely on the free market:

Employers will continue to provide health insurance to the majority of Americans through private insurance companies.

• Contrary to the claim, more people will get private health coverage. The law sets up "exchanges" where private insurers will compete to provide coverage to people who don't have it.

• The government will not seize control of hospitals or nationalize doctors.

• The law does not include the public option, a government-run insurance plan that would have competed with private insurers.

• The law gives tax credits to people who have difficulty affording insurance, so they can buy their coverage from private providers on the exchange. But here too, the approach relies on a free market with regulations, not socialized medicine.
3. Obamacare was originally a conservative idea.

Please see the Heritage Foundation and there blatant attempts at pretending that the individual mandate and the health care exchange aren't their ideas. The political winds have shifted and the Heritage Foundation has found itself on the wrong side. No problem when you can just change your position and rewrite your own history.

4. Health care reform in Massachusetts has been somewhat successful.

It has not addressed rising health care costs in Massachusetts. Rising premiums before the law was enacted have continued to rise. This is a trend occurring around the country. However, Romney's plan has led to nearly universal health care coverage -- which was the goal of the plan in the first place. Republicans would be wise to build on Romney's and the Heritage Foundation's ideas.

5. Health care reform may derail Romney's chances in 2012.

Instead of running proudly on his successful record in MA, Romney will likely spend the next two years trying to explain away his plan, which was the first in the nation to achieve nearly universal health care coverage. A decade ago, Republicans would have carried Romney on their shoulders in adulation. Now, since Obama has taken Romney's ideas and since conservatives think that Obama is a Kenyan socialist trying to destroy America, Romney must back away from his success. In the conservative movement, there are consequences to successful goverance.

6. Final note.

I hope Romney doesn't run away from his plan. We need his input since he is one of the few politicians in America that has developed his own plan. I also wish that conservatives would concentrate on how to improve Obama's plan instead of insisting that it is pure socialism. I have a feeling that my hopes will not come to fruition.


Bill589 said...

I’m a conservative, and I don’t think Obama is a Kenyan socialist trying to destroy America. I do, however, think he is a socialist trying to destroy America. Don’t tell us what we think.

Mitt has had many successes in his life, but I don’t count MassCare as one of them. Nobody’s perfect. I'm sure he’s prepared for twisted ridicule about this. And just like Sarah’s ‘Quitter’ and Huck’s ‘Clemencies’, at least we have some idea of what’s coming.

Right Wingnut said...

Romneycare = Obamacare - the federal government.

I really hope Romney takes your advice. Your post is a blue-print for Romney's success.

BOSMAN said...

Great post Pablo.

There should be another point in your post there.

Massachusetts Health Care was for MA ONLY. This to me, is the MOST IMPORTANT point.

If Obama modeled after MA, fine. HE not Romney should be responsible for the consequences of his actions that took a STATE PLAN and made it federal.

This was Obama's doing, not Romney's. If ALL Republicans would take a step back, and consider that fact, WITH AN OPEN MIND, they may have a different perspective on this.

Romney won't run from Ma Health Care, he doesn't have to. What he WON'T DO, is let people place FALSE credit on him for ObamaCare.
That's ALL Obama's baby!

phil said...

great Post!

What Bosman says is true. He will not run from this plan for all the above reasons.

Anonymous said...

Obama and his politcal hacks have succeeded in framing his gigantic takeover of healthcare as the same as Romney's plan. they have duped everyone. Never is Obamacare mentioned without the comparison to Romney. This is by design and political trickery. That was the Obama plan and not to endear Romney supporters to obamacare but rather to smear Romney and we all know why. And Pablo is a pawn in the Obama inner circle spreading this lie, this obama talking point, until it becomes its own truth.

Obama's plan specifically sets up the private sector for failure and makes a movement to government provided health care. Obama's government calls the shots and determines care, insurance companies will be put out of business and become obsolete, patients lose choice in determining their own care, doctors told what treatment to give, the rationing of care to the elderly etc, etc, etc. These thousands of pages of legalese are so unlike anything Romney would consider that the supposition Obamacare=Romneycare is utterly ridiculous.

If you believe it still, its out of ignorance or you hope to help Obama accomplish the smear. Wake up! This has Obama's fingerprints all over it! Blur the differences, ignore the distinctions, play up the few similarities, make Romney personally culpable for everything that is wrong with Obamacare. Its outrageous more people can't see thru this ploy!


Anonymous said...

I agree with most above.

Romney doesn't have to run away from it.
ObamaCare is Obama's problem.


Revolution 2010 said...

You made some excellent points Pablo. The problem is that the anti-Romney folks only see what the WANT to see.