Romney Defended the Massachusetts Mandate, Appoints ObamaCare Profiteer as Campaign Adviser

Here’s what we’ve learned about Mitt Romney this week: As governor of Massachusetts, he not only signed into law a health care overhaul that served as the model for ObamaCare, he and his staff actively insisted upon the clear inclusion of its most controversial feature, an individual mandate to purchase health insurance. And even though the former governor now claims to oppose the president’s federal version of the Massachusetts overhaul, Romney has named an ObamaCare profiteer who’s been urging state officials to comply with a key feature of the federal health law to run a major part of his political operation.

Given that Mitt Romney continues to defend the Massachusetts health care overhaul he signed into law while serving as the state’s governor, it is not very surprising to find that he and his statehouse advisers were heavily involved in negotiating the details of the plan, promoting its alleged virtues, and even in promoting the individual mandate. But it's still revealing to understand how concerned he and his staff were that the law include a strong mandate. 

Through a public records request, The Wall Street Journal has unearthed a trove of emails between Romney and his top staffers regarding the Bay State health care law. The finds include a top health policy aide insisting, “We must have an individual mandate for any plan to work,” and complaining that a rival Democratic proposal was insufficiently clear about the provision. Other emails show Romney advisers contemplating a state-run campaign to publicly shame employers for not offering health insurance.

The article also notes an early draft of an op-ed that Romney personally drafted defending the law and the mandate:

According to the emails, Mr. Romney personally drafted an op-ed article published in The Wall Street Journal the day before he signed the legislation. The draft, written on a Saturday, also defended the individual mandate, in different language from the final version of the piece as published.Using an argument deployed today by the Obama administration, Mr. Romney defended the mandate by noting that taxpayers generally foot the bill when the uninsured seek health care."Either the individual pays or the taxpayers pay. A free ride on government is not libertarian," the published op-ed stated. In a line that didn't make the edited version, Mr. Romney added: "An uninsured libertarian might counter that he could refuse the free care, but under law, that is impossible—and inhumane."

Romney, whose supported continued federal stimulus even after President Obama took office and whose state-based health care plan provided the model and much of the inspiration for the president's 2010 federal health care overhaul, is probably not the most definitive authority on what does or does not qualify as libertarian. But the existence of the deleted passage does suggest that Romney knew early on that libertarians would be among the least receptive to the idea of a mandate, and felt that libertarian criticisms needed to be addressed directly. 

I’m not sure if Romney’s decision to appoint Michael Leavitt to prepare the GOP campaign for a potential White House transition process is more surprising, but it is certainly telling: Leavitt has spent the last two years running a consulting firm that encourages states to set up health insurance exchanges as called for by ObamaCare. And his firm has profited handsomely from it, doubling in size to handle all the consulting requests.

Like Romney, Leavitt has called for repeal of the federal health law. But through his consulting firm, he and his staffers have also repeatedly counseled that state officials should erect ObamaCare's government-run health insurance exchanges, which are the primary vehicle for the law’s combination of subsidies and new insurance regulations. As Politico reported last year:

Leavitt has said some relatively positive things about certain elements of Obama’s health reform law, suggesting earlier this year that “Obamacare” empowers the HHS secretary “to do certain things that are clearly aimed at trying to move us in the right direction.”

McKeown, who still works with Leavitt at his Utah-based health care consultancy, acknowledged that the former governor does not want to undo one key part of the controversial legislation.

“We believe that the exchanges are the solution to small business insurance market and that’s gotten us sideways with some conservatives,” he said.

The exchanges are not only a matter of principle for Leavitt — they’re also a cash cow.

As Ben Domenech notes, Leavitt’s firm explicitly opposes the position of every major libertarian and conservative think tank: that states should refuse to set up ObamaCare’s exchanges. Leavitt claims to support exchange creation out of pragmatic principle, which may explain why he’s sometimes failed to note his personal financial stake in seeing states move forward with exchange-creation. 

Both bits of news underline the weakness of Romney's oppositon to ObamaCare. The GOP candidate's promises to do away with the president’s health law have never been terribly convincing: His plan to offer states waivers to avoid the law probably won’t work. His promises to push for repeal have always come across as hollow when paired with his defense of his own law.

That’s even more true now. Not only did Romney accept the mandate in Massachusetts, he forcefully defended it while his staff insisted on its inclusion. And despite widespread distrust of Romney’s commitment to unwinding the federal health care overhaul, Romney decided to appoint as a senior adviser someone who profits from ObamaCare and professionally urges conservative legislators to fall in line with one its key directives despite contrary advice from every major policy shop that opposes the health law.

Does this sound like someone whose commitment to opposing ObamaCare and its mandate is in any way reliable? It’s almost as if Romney doesn’t really find ObamaCare or its underlying structure particularly objectionable, and is merely pretending to vehemently oppose the law because he believes that’s what the voters his campaign is targeting want to hear.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • sarcasmic||

    What's the difference between Obama and Romney again?

    Oh yeah. Gay marriage. The defining election issue of the century.

    *yawn*

  • The Rantin Arkansan||

    And Obama has just paid lip service to gay marriage, really. Team Purple really is just that fucking stupid.

    Welcome to the USA, where our ideologically different candidates disagree on one non-issue. I hate this country a lot sometimes.

  • crazyfingers||

    John Jackson: "It's time someone had the courage to stand up and say: I'm against those things that everybody hates."

    Jack Johnson: "Now, I respect my opponent. I think he's a good man. But quite frankly, I agree with everything he just said."

  • Tulpa the White||

    This question's been answered over and over again. Unfortunately it comes down to the fact that MR won't do many of the awful things BO has done. Which isn't the most enthusiasm inducing reasoning, but it is what it is.

  • ||

    Oh look, Professor Pomeranian is shilling for ROMNIAC and TEAM RED. Color me surprised. You're a fucking bore, Tulpa. When are you going to just fuck off, you bitchy little weasel?

  • ||

    You get what you deserve when you pay attention to him, you know.

  • ||

    Look, I've only been up for a little while. It caught my eye.

  • Another David||

    If you replace "MR" with "BO" and "BO" with "GWB", this was the exact reason people gave for voting Team Blue last time. You don't know *what* they'll do in office, because, spoiler alert, they're lying. All the time.

  • Tulpa the White||

    There were plenty of awful things that BO was known to be planning that GWB (or more importantly JM) would probably not have done. So it's not the same situation.

    Name something significant and bad that MR is likely to do that BO won't.

  • sarcasmic||

    Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran...

  • BarryD||

    Wait 'til October, if BO's poll numbers are really in the shitter.

  • sarcasmic||

    Gotta earn that Piece Prize!

  • Tulpa the White||

    And BO won't?

    I'm as allergic to MR's foreign policy as anyone, but fact is it's no worse than BO's.

  • ||

    Nobody is saying it's worse. Everyone's saying it's the same.

  • perlhaqr||

    Robama is no different than Obamney? STOP THE PRESSES! TEAM RUE STRIKES AGAIN!

  • ||

    "Leave it to Beaver"? really?

    There oughta be an intern position at Reason specifically to write up alt-text. I bet the HampersandR commenters would fund it. I'm in for twenty.

  • I Came Inside Your Mom||

    In the words of Tim Pawlenty, he is Mr. Obamney.

  • ||

    I'm sure Tulpa will be along shortly to tell you why you are wrong.

  • ||

    It's like you can see the future.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Yes, predicting that a frequent poster will post a comment disagreeing with a position he's known to disagree with is quite the feat.

    Almost as astounding as predicting that you and Warty will post a bunch of vapid insults.

    For my next trick, I will put your argument in a box and make it disappear. Oh wait, not much of a trick to make something nonexistent disappear.

  • ||

    Ah ha ha ha...your incredibly pussy-ass weak insults are a great pleasure to me, Professor Pomeranian. It's like being slapped by Tinker Bell.

  • ||

    Be nice to the poor guy. He's been sad ever since registration killed his anonopussying fun.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Nothing about registration stops people from making aliases. But you knew that. Also, if I were the anonypussy type, why am I opening myself up to grief from you guys under my main username?

    But these considerations mean little to a glibster, I reckon.

  • Tulpa the White||

    I find Romney's continued support of MassCare -- in the face of loads of evidence that it has failed, mind you -- to be a major negative. That said:

    1. A preexisting conditions denial ban without an insurance mandate will immediately destroy every private insurance company in the market. Suderman is smart enough to know this. So taking potshots at the Romney people for demanding the presence of an individual mandate is kind of cheap. In my perfect world we would have neither, of course, but having a Dem legislature breathing down your neck with a hardon for socialized medicine isn't a perfect world.

    2. There is a huge difference between a mandate at the state level, which is perfectly consistent with both federal and state constitutions and was popular among the electorate of the state, and a mandate at the federal level which is both unpopular and unconstitutional. I don't like either one, but let's not gloss over the difference.

    3. This guilt by association shit with Mitt's advisors is getting seriously old. And in this case it's a guy who flat-out OPPOSES Obamacare; the difference Mr Suderman plays up is a strategic one. And the complaint that he "disagrees with every major libertarian think tank" silliness is especially laughable from a mag that decries the use of such prejudicial constructions ("major" party, "major" candidate) to restrict the boundaries of "acceptable opinion".

  • sarcasmic||

    As much as I hate to agree with Tulpa...

  • Tulpa the White||

    You know your political blog is headed to hackish territory when people have to apologize for agreeing with those with non-groupthink positions.

    Is it possible that H and R has actually lowered in quality post-registration? I think it is, and in an upcoming comment I will discuss my thinking. Stay tuned.

  • Randian||

    I think it is, and in an upcoming comment I will discuss my thinking. Stay tuned.

    Oh, god, I will, tulpa! With bated breath!

  • sarcasmic||

    That makes two of us. I'm currently turning blue.

  • Randian||

    You know your political blog is headed to hackish territory when people have to apologize for agreeing with those with non-groupthink positions.

    You know you're headed to logical failure territory when you take the lukewarm agreement of one commenter with one post of yours as an indicator that you're the Great White Knight of Rational Thought.

    Do you ever get tired of smelling your own body emanations?

  • Tulpa the White||

    Now THAT's a strawman. All those accusing me of targeting strawmen, pay heed to this example.

    I didn't claim that I was a great thinker because sarcasmic agreed with me, just noted that everyone agreeing with me is falling over themselves with apologies for doing so. Which indicates there's something sick in the air.

  • sarcasmic||

    People are apologizing for agreeing with you because normally you are a certified twit, engaging in fallacious arguments, yet completely self unaware.

    On the rare instance where you aren't completely wrong, and someone grudgingly points it out, your head swells like a weather balloon at 100,000 feet.

    Take a sedative.

  • Tulpa the White||

    It's funny that people are never able to, you know, back up their claims that I'm making fallacious arguments.

  • Randian||

    It is interesting that sarcasmic pretty much put the kibosh on your "reason is sick" argument and you didn't acknowledge it.

  • Tulpa the White||

    How did he put the kibosh on it?

    He posited an alternative explanation and failed to show it true.

  • ||

  • Tulpa the White||

    Not clear why you linked that particular comment. Doesn't look like anyone made a non-insult argument in response.

    If you're referring to the fact that I only spend a finite amount of time on each thread, guilty as charged. I don't go digging through the archives looking to see if someone disagreed with me on a thread from two weeks ago.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's funny that people are never able to, you know, back up their claims that I'm making fallacious arguments.

    Like I said, completely self unaware.

  • Tulpa the White||

    THE POWER OF ASSERTION COMPELS YOU

    I need to learn that trick.

  • sarcasmic||

    Learn it? You perfected it.

  • Tulpa the White||

    aaaaaand more assertion.

  • sarcasmic||

    When everyone notices something except you, then it's probably you, not them.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Spend a day commenting at Kos and see if you still believe that.

  • I Came Inside Your Mom||

    If a socialized medicine bill from the Dems was the concern, he could have vetoed it. Instead he chose to forcefully push for the individual mandate. So your whole thing about him choosing the less stinkier of the 2 shits is - drum roll please - bullshit.

  • Tulpa the White||

    The legislature can override vetoes, you know. And it's not like the limited govt folks are well-represented in the MA state house.

  • I Came Inside Your Mom||

    Apologist!

  • Randian||

    Then let them override his veto.

    you're just continuing to make excuses. Could you, personally, put pen to paper and sign something you virulently disagreed with, in your heart of hearts? What does that say about him that he did so?

  • Tulpa the White||

    If it averted some horrible catastrophe? Sure I could. All day.

    I just watched ESB last night and agree with me Yoda does.

  • Randian||

    Overriding a veto is a horrible catastrophe? On what planet?

    Look, if Mitt Romney was too scared to stick by his alleged newfound principles against health insurance mandates, that doesn't speak well of him either. He's either gutless or a liar. Neither bodes well.

  • BarryD||

    It's also rumored that Obama disagrees with every true Scotsman, incidentally.

    And great post, Tulpa.

  • Randian||

    #1 is an excuse.

    #2 - No, there is not a big difference. you are the one who is 'glossing'. Just because something is popular and lawful does not mean it's the right decision. Also, this is an ineffective critique of the original point, which is that Romney's refusal to repudiate his healthcare mandate, which provided the model for the national mandate, means Mittens might not really be all the upset with the national mandate. After all, Tulpa, if he supports state-level mandates, what is the difference between supporting 50 individual state mandates and one national mandate?

    3. The "guilt by association" is completely warranted. We did it with Van Jones, Cass Sunstein, Christian Roemer, et al. Who a candidate chooses to surround himself with is indicative of the kinds of viewpoints he will invariably hold himself. If all of my advisers were Klan members, wouldn't you be concerned?

    3A. Just because one use of "major" is bad does not mean that other uses of "major" are bad. False equivalence fail.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Tell me Randian, why aren't you out there righting all the wrongs of police abuse of power that Reason continually blogs about?

    Your response better not be an "excuse" given your attitude in #1.

    #2 is a monstrous exercise in question begging. You assert there is no difference and then say Mitt doesn't care about Obamacare because there is no difference. Ignoring the difference I pointed out that Obamacare is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and ANTI-FEDERALIST while MassCare was neither (however stupid it was).

    #3 is sort of a reverse tu quoque. I guess that's an ego quoque. Just because you base your attacks on Obama on his advisors doesn't mean I do. There are plenty of ways to derogate the BO administration without stooping to guilt by association.

    And PS's use serves the same purpose for using the word "major" -- to exclude disfavored opinions from consideration and punish people outside some so-called mainstream (of course, this is really the mainstream of the fringe).

  • Randian||

    For #1, you said "this is the best of bad options". As demonstrated by the veto argument upthread, that's not true.

    For #2, there is no substantive difference. If Mitt Romney loves mandates but for that gosh-darned Constitution, that doesn't help me sleep any better. I would rather he be substantively opposed to mandates as well as recognize the illegality of the same.

    #3 - you said that the argument was "tired". Except, as I pointed out, it's relevant, and now you're saying "oh yeah well, that's personal to YOU though". Well, no shit, but here's the thing: who you surround yourself with matters to most people. You talk to libertarians all the time about dealing with reality? You need to realize that "crows of a feather flock together" is a cliche for a reason.

  • Tulpa the White||

    #1 - what was demonstrated by the veto argument? If the veto is overriden you have full-blown socialized medicine. How is that not worse than MassCare? GM was arguing that somehow the problems of MassNHS would lead to a revolt against socialized medicine in general, but that's wishful thinking and quite a gamble. The left would blame the problems on eeeeeevil profiteers or something and the people would believe them. Limited govt thinking simply doesn't make sense to most people. Deal with it.

  • Randian||

    If the veto is overriden you have full-blown socialized medicine.

    Was there some sort of 'this bill changes if vetoed' clause I was unaware of?

  • Tulpa the White||

    Uh, yeah. It's the part that allows the legislature to pass a more extreme version after the veto, and then override when he vetoes that one.

  • Randian||

    So, in other words, sheer conjecture. I figured as such.

  • Tulpa the White||

    #2 - and I'd rather have Ron Paul be president. Tough. You go into the election with the viable candidates you have, not the viable candidates you wish you had.

    #3 - as a holder of a philosophy favored by MAYBE 5% of the country, you're not exactly in optimal position to be deploying the "argumentum ad populum". Huge majorities in every poll LIKE the preexisting condition denial ban. People are short-sighted and lazy, and just because a vapid argument is oft-made and oft-heeded doesn't make it any less vapid.

  • Randian||

    Your outlook is very stunted.

    as a holder of a philosophy favored by MAYBE 5% of the country, you're not exactly in optimal position to be deploying the "argumentum ad populum"

    That is not the argument I employed. I said that people are known by the company they keep. That isn't argumentum ad populum. Are you sure you're as smart as you pretend?

    I'd rather have Ron Paul be president. Tough. You go into the election with the viable candidates you have

    nice try. Define "viable".

  • Tulpa the White||

    From your post:

    who you surround yourself with matters to most people. You talk to libertarians all the time about dealing with reality? You need to realize that "crows of a feather flock together" is a cliche for a reason.

    Argumentum ad populum in bold.

    You guys should put the insults on hold until you're sure the basis of those insults is true. Of course, a person engaged in rational discourse would put them on hold entirely since they contribute nothing to the discussion.

  • Randian||

    Except for that I didn't state that the position was logical and valid due to its popularity. I just said it was popular. A logical fallacy is when you rely on a fallacious argument to demonstrate the validity of the proposition. I didn't do that - I just stated what I believe to be a fact: people will judge you by the company you keep. That's reality, even if it is illogical.

    Goddamn, learn to read.

  • Tulpa the White||

    So you think the guilt by association is invalid? How do you reconcile with this previous comment:

    The "guilt by association" is completely warranted. We did it with Van Jones, Cass Sunstein, Christian Roemer, et al. Who a candidate chooses to surround himself with is indicative of the kinds of viewpoints he will invariably hold himself. If all of my advisers were Klan members, wouldn't you be concerned?

    That doesn't look like someone who thinks guilt by association is an invalid argument.

  • Randian||

    So you admit you misused argumentum ad populum against me and you therefore had that insult coming to you?

    Good.

    I think that guilt by association is valid, but I don't think it's valid by way of it's popularity.

    Is that too complicated for you? Do I need to make it simpler?

    I have found, based on my own experiences, that yes, people can generally be judged by the company they keep. There may be a Hooker with a Heart of Gold or a Super-Sensitive Gang Member Biker who writes poetry in his spare time and is really an enlightened soul, but I don't a) have the time to assess that possibility every time and b) have yet to find one.

    So just because it is an inductive logical fallacy doesn't mean it isn't a decent rule of thumb to use in the real world, with facts and empiricism and shit.

    Do you get it now?

  • Tulpa the White||

    So your whole thing about guilt by association being popular was an irrelevant sidebar? I'm calling BS.

    You're being sneaky with your words and throwing rhetorical spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks, then claiming you never meant the stuff that didn't stick. This is actually a fairly advanced type of sophistry but no less tiresome once the mask is removed.

  • Randian||

    So your whole thing about guilt by association being popular was an irrelevant sidebar? I'm calling BS.

    You raised the bad argument that I was engaged in a logical fallacy, not me. I was addressing your wrong use of the phrase "ad populum"

  • Tulpa the White||

    See, this is why avoiding insults is particularly important in rhetoric.

    Everybody makes mistakes and stupid statements from time to time if they talk enough. But when you constantly attach insults to your rhetoric you look like not merely a mistaken person, but a total asshole.

  • Randian||

    Wow, Tulpa, given that I'm still not wrong, this was a little premature, wouldn't you say?

  • Tulpa the White||

    Define "viable".

    Having a non-negligible chance of winning. Using any plausible definition of non-negligible. 10%, 5%, 1%, 0.0001%, regardless of the choice the only viable candidates are Romney and Obama.

  • Randian||

    The only reason that those people are viable is because people like you vote for them. If nobody voted for Obama or Romney, they wouldn't be viable.

    You may think that sounds really obvious, but it doesn't seem to be a lesson that's sunk in for you yet. You don't have to vote for the Big Two. you really don't.

  • Tulpa the White||

    I know I don't have to. But the alternative parties are simply not viable yet.

    I would love to have the LP become a force. But that's not going to happen in 6 months. They have to get to the point where they can get 30% support in a state before they can be considered viable. Period. And that takes a LOT of work and a LOT of time and a LOT of discipline, and it's the third category that the LP is awful with.

  • ||

    That is specious and circular logic Tulpa. If no one votes for the other candidates then they can't become a force. Which means you shouldn't vote for them since they aren't viable yet.

    For fucks sake man. At some point you have to say STOP and vote for the guy that you think is right, not the one that's "viable".

  • Tulpa the White||

    You can make a party viable between elections by building up party structure, hitting the pavement and getting people to sympathize with your cause, etc. You don't have to get them to vote for you immediately, just keep you in mind.

    Then, when you've done a lot of outreach, people realize that there are a lot of others who, despite never voting LP, respect the LP (for instance) as a political party and then you can get the votes.

  • ||

    As usual, there is an Iron Law for each of these:

    1) "Forseeable consequences are not unintended."

    Shit Flopney, and TEAM RED, have no problems with Socialized Medicine. In short, he was lying then as he is lying now; the MassHole legislature simply gave him cover for a really bad idea that everybody wanted, particularly the pre-exist language, as that is a guaranteed vote getter/vote loser. He will not repeal ObamneyCare and he believes medical care is a "right". Full. Stop.

    2) "You are not free unless you are free to be wrong."

    Federalism stinks sometimes, but if they wanted it, then they should get it and go Full Metal NHS in MA. And get it good and hard. They're close enough as it is. I also reject the notion of "...but he kept a worse law at bay, lesser of two evils..." bullshit. He should have vetoed it and let the MassHole legislature get what they wanted and let them FAIL miserably. He would have at least had plausible deniability.

    3) "Money and power will always find each other."

    Once again, both of them are lying, and Leavitt directly profited from this legislationm, as they both believe medical care is a "right". Both. Of. Them. Want. Socialized. Medicine. Full. Fucking. Stop.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Doesn't take long for a zealous libertarian to turn into a flaming socialist, apparently. EEEEEEEVIL PROFITS!

    Go back and read my challenge to Suderman and answer it yourself. If someone offered you a job to help avoid setting up an exchange, would you refuse it? And of course, you already have a steady job. Consultants have to take what they can get.

  • ||

    Yes, I would indeed refuse it. The only reason he didn't is because he knew he would be profiting from a fool's errand.

    A consultant profiting off of something that he knows will eventually pass is the equivalent of Wall Street profiting off of naked short selling.

  • Tulpa the White||

    A consultant profiting off of something that he knows will eventually pass is the equivalent of Wall Street profiting off of naked short selling.

    ???

    Not really. By "pass" do you mean "be approved by the legislature" or "cease to exist"? If the former, he didn't profit until it already passed. If the latter...so what? Insurance companies and survival instructors profit off of things that are unlikely to happen too, are they eeeeeevil profiteers too?

  • ||

    By "pass" do you mean "be approved by the legislature"

    Yes.

    If the former, he didn't profit until it already passed.

    Who doesn't like a guaranteed favourable outcome?

    Insurance companies and survival instructors profit off of things that are unlikely to happen too, are they eeeeeevil profiteers too?

    No. However, their premise is to make a profit providing a level of certainty of a favourable outcome such as paying for TX accrued surviving an MI or a flood, respectively, whereas Leavitt profited off of his while proclaiming something different. A competent political consultant is going to have his ear to the ground in anticipation of what is going to pass. He knew that this legislation was going to pass. Huge difference.

  • Tulpa the White||

    It's only an instance of corruption if you CAUSE something to pass that you will profit from.

    I mean, were people who got an accounting degree in anticipation of Sarbanes-Oxley passing corrupt, too?

    And your attack is irrelevant anyway since he was a health care consultant before Obama even got elected. As I said, the biggest source of employment for a health care consultant was going to be setting up the exchanges. Does he have to refuse work just because he agrees with it? That's kind of a weird standard.

  • ||

    And your attack is irrelevant anyway since he was a health care consultant before Obama even got elected.

    Who better would have a pretty god damn good idea which health care policies are going to pass or not? This bozo survived HillaryCare, the Heritage Foundation's stupid mandate endorsements, and what MA wanted to do. This is not some turnip freshly fallen from a Borscht truck.

    That's kind of a weird standard.

    From where I come, they are called "ethics".

  • Tulpa the White||

    Your ethics require that you not work on something you think should be done?

    So if you support mammograms being done every year for women over 40, you should refuse to do yearly mammograms on women over 40.

  • ||

    Your ethics require that you not work on something you think should be done?

    This has occurred in my career, yes.

    So if you support mammograms being done every year for women over 40, you should refuse to do yearly mammograms on women over 40.

    That makes no fucking sense, Tulpa and you know it. Of course I support women over 40 having mammograms done. I don't perform them, so it's a non-issue. I'm also not advocating they are a plenary "right" paid for at the behest of the public, and I'm certainly not going to mandate them nor prevent women from getting one done, and especially not with a state exchange.

  • Tulpa the White||

    This has occurred in my career, yes.

    But it would seem that you're claiming this as a general principle. You're saying that advocating for certain things to be done, and then taking money to do them, is unethical. Correct me if I'm wrong, and provide an alternate explanation of how Leavitt's doing so was unethical.

    I'm also not advocating they are a plenary "right" paid for at the behest of the public, and I'm certainly not going to mandate them nor prevent women from getting one done, and especially not with a state exchange.

    Which has nothing to do with what Leavitt was doing.

    I used mammograms as an example because I don't know what area you work in. I'm sure there are other situations where you convinced a patient to do something and then were paid to do it. Nothing unethical about it at all.

  • ||

    (continued)

    Enjoy your ObamneyCare, Tulpa, and the fact that you cannot grasp this very simple concept that both TEAMS want ObamneyCare makes me really wonder about you. I used to think you were really smart, not that you care about my opinion. The conclusion is as plain as the nose on your face and it's even sadder that Shriek of all people understands this better than you do, Tulpa.

  • Tulpa the White||

    both TEAMS want ObamneyCare

    Which is why the Dems had to resort to parliamentary trickery to get it through the Senate to avoid a GOP filibuster, and a dozen Republican state AGs sued the feds to get it overturned.

    Yeah, plain as the nose on my face.

    You should always be suspicious of things you WANT to believe, GM. And it's quite clear that you want to believe this.

    You should be even more suspicious when your certainty demands that you hurl hideous insults at people.

  • ||

    Which is why the Dems had to resort to parliamentary trickery to get it through the Senate to avoid a GOP filibuster, and a dozen Republican state AGs sued the feds to get it overturned.

    They also have no problems with 50 RomneyCares. Name me one, one of these politicians (except Ron Paul) who is on record saying medical care is not a "right". Just one. Also, most of those states are still implementing (albeit slowly) the more nefarious aspects of the law, namely the insurance coverage mandates. Or are the skyrocketing costs of both group and individual policies not going through the roof?

    You should always be suspicious of things you WANT to believe, GM. And it's quite clear that you want to believe this.

    Physician, Tulpa. I see this attitude almost every day. Shall I disbelieve my lying eyes?

  • Tulpa the White||

    Name me one, one of these politicians (except Ron Paul) who is on record saying medical care is not a "right".

    That's a pretty goddam high standard. I'm not on record saying sex with birds is not a right (until now) and neither are you.

  • ||

    That's a pretty goddam high standard.

    In medical parlance, this would be called "etiology". If the public at large, who elect their leaders, did not hold this (erroneous) root cause view, then none of this subterfuge from both TEAMS would be necessary. RomneyCare and ObamneyCare are symptoms of the disease, which is entitlement, manifested as "medical care is a right".

    I give you: Medicare, Medicaid, and now ObamneyCare. All of these are believed to be "rights". Try and find a politician willing to reduce these Leviathans and still manage to stay in office to make sure and follow through that they are felled.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Physician, Tulpa. I see this attitude almost every day. Shall I disbelieve my lying eyes?

    Really? You treat "both TEAMS" in their entirety?

    If you're talking about the populace in general, yes, they think everything they want is their right. It's when the consequences are thrust into their faces that they have to disabuse themselves of that illusion, or not.

  • ||

    Really? You treat "both TEAMS" in their entirety?

    That was really unnecessary.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Um...what?

    You said that both TEAMS support Obamacare. And claimed that you know this from your work as a physician. It was totally necessary. You need to connect the two claims.

  • PapayaSF||

    #2 is a huge, huge point and Romney's escape hatch on this if he's smart enough to use it. Federalism, the 10th Amendment, the states as laboratories of democracy, subsidiarity: libertarians should be bringing up those things every time Democrats and the left assume all problems must be solved on the federal level.

  • ||

    If he was smart enough to use it he would have already framed the debate around it.

    He doesn't use it because it doesn't want to come out as a staunch defender of Romneycare. Because that would still place him in the "socialist" camp in the minds of most Conservatives, and he wasn't want that vote to waver. So he deflects as best he can when Romneycare comes up.

  • R C Dean||

    #2 is a huge, huge point and Romney's escape hatch on this if he's smart enough to use it.

    I disagree. From a practical perspective, its too esoteric, really, to convince people who think its a bad idea that signing it into law is OK if its only at the state level.

    From a more principled perspective, I don't see how it can be a bad idea at the federal level but a good idea at the state level. More damning, is that it reveals Mitt's basic mindset - a go-along-to-get-along top-down big-gov technocrat.

    Which isn't the mindset we need to reverse existing trends.

  • Tulpa the White||

    It's not that esoteric. If people are with it enough to even know about MassCare, they're with it enough to understand the difference between state and national laws. Mind you, a minority of people in this country are with it to this degree.

  • R C Dean||

    There's a difference between "I don't care if Massachusetts does something really stupid" (the federalist position) and "It doesn't matter if a Presidential candidate oversaw something really stupid, because it was in Massachusetts."

    I'm on board with (1), but not (2). Romney has wisely (from a political point of view) tried to conflate the federalism issue with the Constitutional issue, but frankly, only a fool would believe that Romney would sign a law in Massachusetts, but veto the same law as President because of "esoteric" Commerce Clause objections.

    No, the real objection applies regardless of the venue: MassCare reveals Romney as a go-along-to-get-along top-down big-gov technocrat.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Of that I have no doubt, but go-along get-along in the entire US has a very different meaning from go-along get-along in MA.

    I'm not claiming MR is a visionary limited government dynamo at all. Just that he's better than the alternative and that conflating MassCare and ObamaCare is both fallacious AND objectively pro-BO.

  • The Hammer||

    Tulpa, the fact is that Romneycare HASN'T WORKED. Not at any level. It hasn't controlled costs, it has increased them. It hasn't improved quality, it has led to quasi-rationing. If Romney would admit that it was a mistake at the state level, he could differentiate himself from Obama, but the gutless egomaniac can't even bring himself to do that.

  • Tulpa the White||

    I actually agree, and think he should admit that the program failed but that he thought it was worth trying back in 2004. And this demonstrates his commitment to the middle class blah blah blah.

    But ego always gets in the way with politician types. They'd rather have a rusty drill bit stuffed you know where than admit they made a mistake.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Romney is a proven congenital liar. Why ask what his position is?

  • Lord Humungus||

    as compared to the saintly Obama, Bush, Clinton and Bush I? (etc etc etc) Oh wait, you're going to defend Team Blue no matter what...

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Clinton told a "good" lie about not having sexual relations with the chubby intern. He should have just told them to fuck off.

  • PapayaSF||

    Funny, for a while there lying about sexually harassing an underling was a hanging offense, according to Democrats. And yes, consensual sex with an underling was per se sexual harassment because of the "power imbalance."

    Why do I have to remind leftists what their positions used to be?

  • The Hammer||

    Congenital? I don't think you have any idea what that word means.

  • BarryD||

    I think that anyone who votes for Romney because they are looking forward to having an ideological libertarian firebrand in the White House is going to be disappointed.

    Fortunately for that person, he/she does not exist and therefore won't be disappointed.

    So let's hear some reasons why someone who might vote for Romney because:

    1. He is the grownup in the race.
    2. His DOJ won't contain Eric Holder.
    3. He probably won't appoint another left-wing ideologue to the Supreme Court.
    4. He isn't actively anti-market.

    Perhaps addressing THESE things, which are the reasons why libertarians/fiscal conservatives/Tea Partiers and the like might actually consider voting for Romney, would be of interest.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Good points. Except for the first (which is of limited relevance IMHO) they're all negatives, which is annoying but true.

  • BarryD||

    I think #1 is relevant. We are electing a President. That's an actual job description, essentially the CEO of the country, under the Constitution.

    I've been involved in a good number of interviews for higher-level people, and "is he/she a grownup" is a serious question that, while maybe not expressed in those words, is ALWAYS considered.

  • BarryD||

    Perhaps, though, I should have framed #1 in the negative, as well. "He doesn't seem to have temper tantrums of a 3-year-old, the narcissism of a young teen, or the know-it-all recklessness of an older teen."

  • Tulpa the White||

    This isn't an ordinary job. A retarded invalid would be one of the best presidents in history (sorry, 1919 Woodrow doesn't count).

  • BarryD||

    We had someone who governed like a retarded invalid, not all that long ago, to test that theory.

    Carter didn't turn out to be one of history's best, either.

    I think we're generally fucked, so we end up arguing about marginally important specifics.

  • Tulpa the White||

    I actually like Jimmy Carter a little.

    Airline and trucking deregs and the Volcker appt are big feathers in his cap (or sweater).

  • Tulpa the White||

    Plus of course the situation he inherited was really screwed up. The clean-up from the LBJ/Nixon years was going to be messy regardless of who was in the WH (recall that Reagan's first two years were plagued by deep recession).

  • BarryD||

    True enough. And to his credit, he wasn't on TV every two days, blaming Nixon and LBJ.

    Agree also about deregulation and Volcker. Still, "history's best" would be a bit of a stretch.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Calvin Coolidge. Hands down.

  • BarryD||

    That was sure an incoherent edit! Try "So let's hear about some of the reasons why..."

  • I Came Inside Your Mom||

    Let's consider why voting for Romney could suck.

    1) He's going to appoint some Mormom church-backed SoCon to the SCOTUS.
    2) More Jesus.
    3) He's surrounded himself with Neocon foreign policy advisors.
    4) We don't know what his intentions are w.r.t. the Fed. Is he going to keep the status quo going?

  • Tulpa the White||

    1. Not any worse than a Kagan clone appointed by BO.
    2. Not sure what that means.
    3. So has BO.
    4. Same with BO, except we do know what his intentions are.

  • BarryD||

    1. Democrats aren't NEARLY as afraid as Republicans are, of voting not to confirm a SCOTUS nominee. Not 1/100 as afraid.
    2. Different from Obama how, exactly? And I suspect that Romney doesn't think "Jesus" and picture Karl Marx: http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/0...../index.htm
    3. No worse than BO, and possibly better since any new President has less motivation than an incumbent, to continue bad policies to save face.
    4. Whatever I think of the Fed, Ron Paul isn't exactly running in the General Election, and per Tulpa, we know what BO's intentions are.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    "anti-market"? You're an idiot.

  • BarryD||

    I don't debate things with buttplugs.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Oh yeah, and the innuendo about Leavitt being somehow corrupt in his advice is absolutely disgusting. If you're a health care consultant, what kind of work do you think you're primarily getting in 2011? Helping to set up health care exchanges. If you personally think that's a good idea, are you supposed to refuse all such work to avoid the appearance of corruption?

    Tell me Suderman, if someone called you about a consulting gig using your expertise helping to avoid setting up an Obamacare exchange, would you refuse to do so in view of the fact you've discouraged states from setting them up?

  • mr simple||

    I agree, the profiteer charge is straight out of the Dem playbook. Did you know that the Koch Bros' father made his money dealing with Stalin?

  • Tulpa the White||

    As long as no aries sex workers were involved.

  • Hell's Librarian||

    I dunno. One of the best/ wisest things my dad told me when I was an angry, idealistic teenager was that principles are expensive.

  • Tulpa the White||

    LOL. True true true

  • o3||

    "...he(romney)and his staff actively insisted upon the clear inclusion its most controversial feature: an individual mandate to purchase health insurance."
    _
    appropiate since the individual mandate was a conservative position until obamasatan endorsed it as well.

    just another example of the gop wailing n gnashing about their own positions when obama agrees.

  • Tulpa the White||

    As much as I hate to agree with o3...

  • PapayaSF||

    No, the individual mandate was not a conservative position, it was proposed by a few conservative think tanks and talked about a little. Not the same thing.

  • Tulpa the White||

    But they were "major" think tanks! Suddenly that word solves everything!

  • Randian||

    Wait, so do you think even the minor libertarian think tanks support mandates?

    Tulpa, this is a really poor showing for you today. I suggest you go home, take a breather, have a drink, and try again tomorrow.

  • Tulpa the White||

    He doesn't support the mandate, he advises the states to comply with the law just in case, by setting up the exchanges.

    As to my showing...I doubt you're in a position to judge.

  • ||

    he advises the states to comply with the law just in case, by setting up the exchanges.

    The exchanges are demonstrably superfluous and unnecessary, Tulpa. They are the backbone of any socialized, centralized approach, be it federal or state. That is the point you also seem to miss, and by a wide margin.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Great, if you disagree with him, make that argument. All day. 24/7/365.

    Just don't misrepresent his position as something it's not.

  • ||

    Just don't misrepresent his position as something it's not.

    You cannot have one without the other and be viable, particularly with the notion that medical care is a "right". He's lying, as is Flopney. That is my assertion and I stand by it. I'd prefer his position not rest on a pack of lies and the ignorance of the populous.

  • Tulpa the White||

    And I'd prefer a Ronald McDonald tattoo on my ass to a Grimace tattoo. But we can't always have what we want.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Why did you have no choice in getting the Grimace tattoo?

  • plu1959||

    Men, at this point the Supreme Court is our only hope.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Agreed. If Ron Paul were elected president the Dems would still be able to block any attempt at repeal.

  • ||

    You don't have to feed the troll, you know.

  • John||

    It’s almost as if Romney doesn’t really find ObamaCare or its underlying structure particularly objectionable, and is merely pretending to vehemently oppose the law because he believes that’s what the voters his campaign is targeting want to hear.

    Of course that is what he is doing. And if he were to win office and ever veto a repeal of Obamacare, his political career would be over. So, I really don't think what Romney actually believes means a whole lot. He will do the right thing out of survival instinct and cry about it later.

  • ||

    It's true, his complete lack of principles is his best feature.

  • John||

    Desperate times I guess.

  • ||

    Forget it. I predict they pull severability out of their asses and either Justice Kennedy or Ginsberg will write the majority opinion.

  • ||

    ^^Response to plu1959 @ 11:25

  • Tulpa the White||

    If Kennedy says he wants to uphold the law or uphold severability, I could see Roberts switching sides so he could write a narrow opinion.

    The worst case scenario is striking down the mandate but upholding severability. Then the entire private health insurance industry comes to a screeching halt in 2014 and we get de facto NHS.

  • SugarFree||

    Hay, guys! What's going on in this thread? Oh...

    Time for lunch.

  • ||

    Writing a lunch parser is trivial. I could do it in an hour.

  • SugarFree||

    You only bring up the dumb things I say because you don't like me.

  • ||

    It's true, but you must at least admit that you're utter scum.

  • SugarFree||

    I'll admit that when you admit your entire posting history on this board has been less substantial than a mouse fart.

    And not some big fancy mouse either.

  • ||

    There you go again, ignoring my substantial arguments.

  • SugarFree||

    It's easy to ignore that which doesn't exist.

  • JW||

    Glib! Glib!

  • ||

    TEAM GLIB ASSEMBLE!

  • Tulpa the White||

    Some people were actually having a substantive discussion of the topic of the blog post.

    Well, until your friends got here...

  • Randian||

    We were? I thought you were blessing us all with your Whetstone Argumentation.

  • ||

    Look, if you're trying to demonstrate how much of an Asshole you are, you're doing a good job.

    Sometimes some of the libertoids around here do get rather tiresome with their holier than though attitudes.

    And I've been around these parts quite a while.

    OMGZ A DISENTER! I SHALL CRUSS THEE WITH MY MONACLE!

  • Randian||

    Look, man, Tulpa said that he was the whetstone of argumentation around here, sharpening all of our abilities.

    Tulpa's the one who claims that reason is just so far downhill and he's the man to save it.

    I'm not the one who assumed the Mantle of Superiority in this.

  • Tulpa the White||

    I may have to shed that title, since several posters seem to get significantly duller when they argue with me. Maybe I'm more of a sander.

  • Randian||

    Let's see, on this thread you:

    1. Said that the only viable candidates come from the Big Two, because the Big Two are popular (thanks for that stunning observation)
    2. Misued the fallacy of argumentum ad populum
    3. Failed to understand my separate endorsement of a popular saying due to reading comprehension problems
    4. Committed the fallacy of hasty generalization by declaring that H'n'R had descended into hackery due to one person's limited agreement with you.

    Did I miss anything?

    You shouldn't be called a sander. you should be called the Proximity Mine of Bad Argumentation.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Randian, is this some attempt to "give me a taste of my own medicine" or something? Because you are doing all the things that people accuse me of.

    Of course, you're coupling everything with insults, which I never do and do not stand accused of. Which means you're failing pretty severely if you're trying to gander/goose me.

    It goes against my better judgement to even bother responding, since I've responded elsewhere in the thread to every one of those claims, but here goes:

    1. You asked me to say what viable means. And yes, in elections, popularity is a necessary condition for viability. That is indeed obvious -- though the fact that you needed the obvious pointed out to you denigrates you more than it does me.

    2. You were either making argumentum ad populum or engaging in a totally irrelevant sidebar (with nothing but a sidebar) in response to my criticism of the GBA. Certainly you can see how one would interpret that as making an argumentum ad populum even if it were the second case (which I frankly doubt -- I think you were hedging your bets).

    3. Same as 2. And you're insulting me again.

    4. No I didn't, I simply observed that people who agree with me are falling over themselves to apologize. Never made anything close to the claim you say I made.

  • Randian||

    I simply observed that people who agree with me are falling over themselves to apologize. Never made anything close to the claim you say I made.

    I am only going to address this blatant falsehood. You SAID:

    You know your political blog is headed to hackish territory when people have to apologize for agreeing with those with non-groupthink positions.

    based on ONE comment. That is a claim (this blog is in hackish territory) based on one bad piece of evidence (because this poster apologized for agreeing with me), evidence that is a) insufficient and b) was rendered by false by the person uttering the evidence (he said he apologized because of how frequently wrong you are).

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement