Obamacare

Mitt Romney Says He Hates ObamaCare, Defends It Anyway

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Mitt Romney wants everyone  to know just how much he hates ObamaCare: At a major speech on health care policy in Michigan this afternoon, the former Massachusetts governor told the crowd that the Obama administration is so anti-federalist that it "fundamentally doesn't believe in the American experiment." According to Romney, the Obama White House exhibits a pervasive "distrust" of states and state governments, "the most egregious example" of which so far is its health care overhaul: ObamaCare. Romney argues that the president's overhaul constitutes a "a power grab by the federal government" designed to put in place a one-size-fits-all solution that he firmly believes is a "government takeover of health care."

I love ObamaCare, I love it not.

But you know what Mitt Romney loves? RomneyCare—the suspiciously-similar-to-ObamaCare health care overhaul he signed into law as governor of Massachusetts—and, in particular, its individual mandate to purchase health insurance. No, he said, it's not a perfect system, but compared to ObamaCare's "government takeover," RomneyCare is a "more modest proposal," and he remains proud of it: "I in fact did what I thought was right for the people of my state," he said.

Here's the problem: ObamaCare, which includes a health insurance mandate, is a near carbon copy of RomneyCare: a hefty Medicaid expansion coupled to equally large middle-class insurance subsidies, new regulations that all but turn health insurance into a public utility, and an individual mandate to buy a private insurance plan. Indeed, the same Obama administration that Romney accused of being fundamentally anti-American has on multiple occasions explicitly cited the plan that Romney signed into law as the direct model for their plan.

Romney's only real contrast between his plan and the president's plan boiled down to a single, simple distinction: Obama's overhaul was a federal overhaul; Romney's was state-based. Romney would have us believe that the same system of mandates and regulations that constitutes an unconscionable imposition on individual liberty at the federal level is somehow a natural and great part of the American way of life at the state level. As for the mandate, well, it was a sensible way to enforce  encourage "personal responsibility," a conservative policy solution designed to fend off the "big-government approach" of making taxpayers cough up for uncompensated care while letting hospital emergency rooms crowd with uninsured.

Never mind the absurdity of the idea that complying with the government's orders is somehow taking "personal responsibility." The claim about uncompensated care is yet another way in which Romney effectively sides with the Obama administration, which these days is busy making the same point in favor of its health insurance mandate. It might be a more convincing argument if the mandate were successful in solving those problems: As The Wall Street Journal pointed out this morning:

Uncompensated hospital care [in Massachusetts] rose 5% from 2008 to 2009, and 15% from 2009 to 2010, hitting $475 million (though the state only paid out $405 million). "Avoidable" use of emergency rooms—that is, for routine care like a sore throat—increased 9% between 2004 and 2008.

Romney also decried ObamaCare for failing to lower health costs. He's right. But the overbudget RomneyCare doesn't either: Indeed, its designers have explicitly admitted that the state's plan was to increase coverage first and hope to figure out how to control spending sometime later.

That Romney would rely on the same mistaken defenses of the mandate as Obama may seem surprising, but in the context of this deeply confused speech, it's really not: Romney may want us to believe that he hates ObamaCare, but his speech resembled nothing so much as a defense of it. If anything, he made the case better than Obama did. And that's why, in the end, the same criticisms Romney lobbed at ObamaCare apply to his own plan. If there's a difference, it's that Romney doesn't distrust states. Instead, he distrusts individuals. It's a distinction, to be sure, but not one that makes RomneyCare any more appealing.

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  1. “What I did was okay, because, uh, FEDERALISM!”

    We’ll just ignore what a terrible plan it was.

    1. “Well I, for one, absolutely abhor 0bamaCare, but I support a patient’s right to health care. I’m not pro-0bamaCare, I’m pro-health. Only anti-health extremists are opposed to health care rights!”

  2. Talk about an “unserious” candidate. How are GOP primary voters even considering him, with idiotic policies like this under his belt?

  3. This ain’t gonna sell.

    People don’t hate ObamaCare because its federal, they hate it because it sucks.

    1. They hate it because they’ve been told to hate it by the right-wing media, even though for the most part it hasn’t been implemented yet.

      1. Fuck yeah. Dude, I thought Obamacare sucked because of the right-wingers, and shit. But then I started listening to Obama and the left-wingers, and now I think it’s fan-fuckin’-tastic. If it’s half as good as government education, we’re set. Free.

      2. Behold, “we can’t find out what’s in it until it’s implemented”, the new version of “we can’t find out what’s in it until it’s passed”.

        1. And soon it will be “we can’t tell you how much it REALLY costs until we spend the money.”

          1. “We won’t know how much it REALLY REALLY will cost until the Chinese begin demanding interest payments.”

            But take Andy Grifith’s word for it, Obamacare is worth every penny.

      3. I guess those 3 million regular fox news viewers really did a great job persuading the other 303 million Americans (at least 60% of them) that Obamacare sucks.

        1. Fox News viewers are lurking everywhere, don’t you know…

          1. Today, the Fox News TV channel, tomorrow the WORLD! BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

      4. Meta-man, you jack-wagon, parts of ObamaCare have already been implemented, e.g., the “child health insurance” provision for 25-year-olds, etc.

        Last I heard, all sorts of companies and unions were scrambling to get waivers from what has ALREADY been implemented. And they weren’t seeking waivers because their health care expenses were going down, but because ObamaCare mandates were threatening to send their expenses through the roof.

        Let me put it in a way even a retard like you can understand: the first two inches shoved up America’s ass hurts like hell; and you think that shoving the other ten inches in to the hilt is going to hurt less?

        Douchebag….

        1. Yes, I would like another 10 inches up my ass! I’m enjoying it. Get with the program.

    2. Uh, pretty sure they hate it because (a) they’re Republicans and their leaders purport to hate it, or (b) in the case of independents, because of the way it was passed.

      Few people have actually delved into how it would operate enough to realize that it sucks.

  4. What a fucking moron. His only chance was to repudiate the whole business.

    Buh-bye. Thanks for playing.

    1. A slave to his ego and a complete inability to admit error!

      This campaign will be fabulous<?i>!

    2. I think you seriously underestimate the good hair factor.

      1. Damn he looks presidential.

        1. NOT.

      2. He needs to switch to “touch of gray.” The slicked, jet-black style breeds suspicion.

  5. The evolution of politics leaves me confused. I find it puzzling that 1) A blue dog Democrat is seeking the Team Red nomination for President and that 2) Romney and the Republican establishment consider themselves “conservative”. Some help?

    1. American politics has fucking jumped the shark.

  6. WTF is it with these Republican parents giving their kids these names? “Mitt”? “Newt”?

      1. I thought “Rand” is short for “Randal.”

        1. I think we all know what the good doctor was going for there.

    1. For those two I prefer “Dip” and “Shit”.

    2. You mean Willard and Newton.

      1. I believe that it’s now legally “Newcular.”

        As in: Newcular Titties.

    3. Newt was originally short for Newton, which is a perfectly fine name. Now, it’s short for Newcular Titties. A subtle, yet significant difference.

    4. Tipper, Kitty, {whatever the jacked-up name of the RNC chair is}, Barack, Bella

  7. Yeah, RomneyCare is retarded, but he is right. If ultraliberal MA wants universal healthcare, then it should be allowed to have it. Romney has no chance anyway; if I want Bush to go four terms, I’ll just vote for Obama.

  8. “ObamaCare, which includes a health insurance mandate, is a near carbon copy of RomneyCare”:
    I think. I know why he likes RomneyCare

  9. The Onion had a great piece about how Mitt will never be able to live down the great conservative crime of helping people, especially those with no money.

    1. Helping themselves to some more of my money, you mean. Woopee.

      The leftist definition of “help” is “theft”, apparently.

      1. Mutual aid is not “theft,” even when you lose the election, ChrisO.

        A theft requires one party sure to take, and one party sure to be taken from.

        Ex ante, you don’t know if you are going to be giving or receiving a medical subsidy. Like all of us, you are one traffic accident away from an extended coma.

        If you’re lucky, you join the rest of us in paying for some poor schmuck who steps in front of a bus while texting on his cell phone. If you’re unlucky …

        It would be theft if you had to pay into the system for the benefit of others in need, but had no right to get anything out of the system for yourself in need. (That is what happens to immigrants under Social Security.)

        If it is theft, then every time you need to call 911 and I don’t, you’re stealing from me. I don’t see it that way, even though with your type, it’s tempting.

        1. No, the mutual aid concept is predicated upon agreement and consent. Mutual aid is a voluntary phenomeneon, not one borne of coercion.

          Just because you do not see the theft, does not mean we don’t see you thievin’.

          1. State coercion of mutual aid (or mutual protection) is not theft. You may want to argue that it is the moral equivalent as a matter of political debate, but it is not legally or instrumentally the same thing.

            “Theft” means something is taken from you in exchange for nothing. Taxation simply doesn’t fit that definition.

            It’s not just you. Death penalty opponents say the death penalty is murder. No it isn’t. And I say that as an opponent. It may be as morally repugnant as murder — maybe worse, because it implicates us all in the evil — but it isn’t murder.

            This “X-is-Y-because-I-think-Y-is-as-bad-as-you-think-X-is” mode of argument doesn’t clarify, and doesn’t do much to score points, either.

            Try stepping out of the bubble.
            Try tightening your game.

            1. No it isn’t illegal theft, it’s legal theft.

              1. Fine. But that isn’t a useful idiom for resolving any debates. You just presume your own conclusion with that kind of terminology.

            2. “Theft” means something is taken from you in exchange for nothing. Taxation simply doesn’t fit that definition.

              Really? So if I mug you but give you a complimentary keychain, it’s not theft? Theft is simply a coerced taking of property. It has nothing to do with what you do or don’t get.

              1. No. The keychain exchange is neither mutual nor in good faith. It is unilateral and it is bad faith.

                The question is whether the polity can say, ex ante, “if ‘X’ happens to you, you get benefit ‘Y’ from the treasury.” Then, ex post, ‘X’ happens to somebody. This is theft from the other taxpayers? Not.

            3. “State coercion of mutual aid (or mutual protection) is not theft.”

              If the state has not been legitimately given the authority to implement a system of coercive mutual aid, then the first theft is the theft of that authority from the People. Any wealth confiscated by the state for programs for which the state does not have the legitimate authority to implement is wealth which is illegally taken from the People and is thus stolen. There is no Constitutional authority granted for the Federal Government of the US to implement a coercive program of mutual aid so the wealth used to implement Obamacare is stolen. Whether or not Romneycare is funded by theft would depend on the MA constitution.

              “Death penalty opponents say the death penalty is murder.”

              Capital punishment is homicide, not murder. If capital punishment is a legitimately authorized power exercised by the state, then it is not murder. If capital punishment is not a legitimately authorized power exercised by the state, then it is murder. Simply calling capital punishment murder without supporting arguments regarding the lack of the authority of the state to implement it is lazy and nonpersuasive.

              Try tightening your logic and your understanding of the nature of political authority.

              1. *is homicide, but not necessarily murder.

              2. I’m not talking about that Tenther crap. I’m talking about the government generally, not the federal government and the whole “constitution in exile” Pre-Lochner commerce clause crap.

            4. So Danny, I break into your house, take your stereo, your computer and your autographed cardboard poster of Kathy Ireland, and leave a rose on your bed on my way out, and you would consider me not a thief?

              Very interesting….

            5. “Theft” means something is taken from you in exchange for nothing. Taxation simply doesn’t fit that definition.

              Most federal expenditures are on Social Security, Medicare and defense. SS will pay far less for my generation than even risk-free investments, Medicare is insolvent long-term, and I don’t receive any benefits from our national defense. The ability to wring anything break-even from SS or Medicare depends on increasing taxes on future generations.

              So, sure, money could be taken from me and spent on my behalf, which might be something a little less pernicious, but I fail to see how US taxation as-is is not theft.

              1. The systems to which you refer may be technically and actuarially deficient. That is a question of negligence and incompetence. Theft has to be intentional.

          2. Just because you do not see the theft, does not mean we don’t see you thievin’.

            “You didn’t SEE sh-t ‘cuz you was DOIN’ sh-t!” -Chris Rock, addressing burglar neigbors

    2. Just ignore me, I’m just a troll who speaks in platitudes.

    3. “The Onion had a great piece about how Mitt will never be able to live down the great conservative crime of helping people, especially those with no money.”

      Was it “great” because it attacked the opponents of your Democrats, because it endorsed your opinion that liberals actually “help people”, or because it was actually a funny piece (as theonion sometimes accomplishes). My money’s on the first 2.

    4. Screw reality; we’ve got The Onion!

    5. They also had this great piece about unwanted fellatio.

    6. I help women who don’t seem to be getting enough sexual attention. Those fucking conservatives want to punish me for helping. Vicious, cruel fuckers.

  10. Willard Romney will win the GOP nomination only because all the others suck more.

    1. No, I think he’s toast. I guess that could be wishful thinking, though…

    2. Romney won’t win. Why? Because the professional political gurus of the Republican establishment have already written him off. The key clue is that, almost as soon as Romney dipped his toe into the race, the pundit herd talking point was that Romney couldn’t win because of Romneycare. This was in spite of the fact that almost nobody outside of MA even knew about Romneycare. Clearly, the pundit herd was talking to the professional gurus who were pondering how Romney could be attacked by his opposition. The fact that Romney is an empty suit that Republican primary voters didn’t support last time around didn’t seem to be a consideration – definitely an “inside-the-beltway” perspective.

      With the support of neither the insiders nor the primary voters, how can Romney win?

  11. Yeah, RomneyCare is retarded, but he is right. If ultraliberal MA wants universal healthcare, then it should be allowed to have it.

    Absolutely. Right after electing a new Governor who would sign it into law, because Gov. Romney fucking vetoed it.

  12. Funny how he used the term “modest proposal.”

    Swift’s laughing from his grave.

  13. We could just take Congressional GOP’s advice and let bygones be bygones and forgive all the ugly GOP fearmongering in time for the upcoming election. “Our bad! Obamacare isn’t so bad after all.”

    1. So.. when it passes.. you gonna pay my ‘fine’ for me since I’m uninsured? That would be mighty liberal of you if you did.

  14. Geez. The guy’s comletely imploding. Doesn’t he have friends who can do an intervention?

    1. He only has his dog, and it quit coming when called.

      1. Dead puppies aren’t much fun.

        1. Neither are mendacious mormon morons.

      2. He only has his dog, and it quit coming when called.

        Can you blame it?
        http://abcnews.go.com/Technolo…..017&page=1

  15. Fuck yeah. Dude, I thought Obamacare sucked because of the right-wingers, and shit. But then I started listening to Obama and the left-wingers, and now I think it’s fan-fuckin’-tastic. If it’s half as good as government education, we’re set. Free.

  16. Fuck yeah. Dude, I thought Obamacare sucked because of the right-wingers, and shit. But then I started listening to Obama and the left-wingers, and now I think it’s fan-fuckin’-tastic. If it’s half as good as government education, we’re set. Free.

  17. Keep talking Mitt. I would offer you a shovel, but you seem to be digging your hole plenty fast without one. If only all the other giant douches would be as eager to commit political suicide, you know, like by endorsing the legalization of heroin or something.

    1. And just what do you have against legal heroin?

  18. lol, they are ALL bought and paid for, its the American way!

    http://www.anon-web.es.tc

  19. Ron Paul is such a superior human being to the mendacious mormon moron.

    1. Kiss your blame-America-first Messiah goodbye, Losertardmike: he reaffirmed his complete lack of credibility and signed his political death warrant when he said he wouldn’t have given the order for Bin Laden’s death. People would sooner vote a head of lettuce into office than this guy.

  20. Obamacare is fashioned after what Romney did in Massachusetts. Now he doesn’t like it. Being from Massachusetts most of us do not like what Romney did. What a clown.

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  22. Romney’s surprisingly pathetic explanation for his corporatist past is a good example of what it is that libertarians find so frustrating with conservatives. Conservatives see federalism as an end in itself, to the degree that they will defend idiotic state laws (see the right’s reaction to Lawrence vs. Texas). Libertarians are fine with federalism as a means to liberty, but I know I am not the only person who has imagined an alternate universe where a liberty-loving federal government uses the power of the commerce clause to crush state and local governments that intervene in the market.

    BTW, if Romney continues to defend his health plan, and Gingrich continues to defend his no-cuts-to-medicare antics from the health debate, how can either hope to win the nomination, given that opposition to Obamacare and government spending are the dominant forces in the Republican Party right now?

    Things keep looking up for libertarians in the GOP race right now: Romney and Gingrich have no shot at the nomination, Santorum and Pawlenty are winning over nobody, and Daniels is about to jump in.

    Best case for libertarians this GOP cycle: Johnson/Paul or Paul/Johnson. Worst case scenario: Daniels/Johnson or Daniels/Paul.

  23. Romney has 10,000 times better chance of getting the Republican nomination than Ron Paul. Paultards should really form their own party. Reason and The John Birch Society would help fund it.

    1. Who are you supporting in 2012, Max?

      1. Last time around he supported John Edwards, the poor thing. I imagine his messiah’s fall must have been like a thousand Balko nutpunches all at once.

        1. Barf! That explains a lot.

          1. Seeing as how his campaign headquarters were based out of Chapel Hill, I had a few good Democrat friends in college who helped him campaign. One of them even helped Nifong with his reelection campaign.

            The tears were endless.

            1. I had a friend who was a huge Edward’s supporter and even worked on his campaign. If I’m bored I’ll bring up his name just to watch him squirm a little.

    2. Edward,

      Your monomaniacal obsession with Ron Paul is so charming.

      Shine on you crazy diamond.

  24. Romney’s only real contrast between his plan and the president’s plan boiled down to a single, simple distinction: Obama’s overhaul was a federal overhaul; Romney’s was state-based.

    And Romney’s was supported overwhelmingly by the voters in the jurisdiction where it would take effect, passed by a huge margin in the legislature of said jurisdiction, was not beyond the power given to that jurisdiction’s government in its constitution, and was started in a time of budget surpluses for said jurisdiction.

    1. You know who else was supported overwhelmingly by the voters?

      1. Neville Chamberlain, for one. That whole “peace in our time” policy of his was staggeringly popular.

        Zero Boy, the current squatter at the White House, for another, though it wasn’t overwhelming even with John McCain as his opponent.

    2. Tulpa, this is a great argument… except for the last clause. What the hell difference does it make that MA was running a surplus? That means they were taking too much money from the people, instead of returning the excess to them. You don’t show wisdom by spending your surplus on RomneyCare. Of course the people of MA, by and large, don’t exhibit wisdom, so maybe your argument is that much stronger: Romney precisely mirrored the altruism-collectivism, statism, and lack of wisdom of his people.

      1. Well, I don’t think RomneyCare was a good law… just that it doesn’t share the worst problems of ObamaCare, as the anti-Romney forces would have you believe.

  25. “would have us believe that the same system of mandates and regulations that constitutes an unconscionable imposition on individual liberty at the federal level is somehow a natural and great part of the American way of life at the state level”

    Romney’s a libertarian after all!

  26. Looks like he’s going for a states’ rights angle. Eh, may be the best choice available. Still, not great when running against a black president. I guess some people are under the impression states’ rights has ever had anything to do with things other than oppressing black people.

    1. Barf.

    2. The abolitionists who used states rights to nullify the fugitive slave law would like to have a word with you…

    3. yep – States Rights = RACISM!11!!

    4. Have you ever even seen a history book?

  27. Romney has the looks of of a B-Movie president. I could imagine him sitting at the Whitehouse for “Wargames 2”, but not uh, the real Whitehouse. But hey, if we have an inexperienced, hack president now, why not another one?

  28. I believe that affordable health insurance should be guaranteed to all citizens, and I am hopeful that such a system will be put into place, but RomneyCare is a disaster, and Mitt has blood on his hands. Before RomneyCare, lower income people in MA had access to quality health care, either through MA health, or though various free or sliding scale care programs through networks that included excellent facilities such as Beth Israel. There was little complication, and we thought ourselves to be far more fortunate than residents of other states. Now, we’re left to die. RomneyCare did nothing but force everyone into a single, inefficient system that is backlogged and complicated, with people waiting MONTHS for urgent medical care. It is far less affordable for lower income working people than the old options were, but if people choose not to take part in the system, they are treated and fined as criminals. It is a complete disaster. I watched a friend die of Crohn’s complications this past summer thanks to RomneyCare. A few years ago, under the old system, she would have received the treatment that she required.

  29. Just becasue a candidate refuses to admit making a mistake in the middle of a campaign, that is not an excellent reason to interpret it as a defense of the mistake.

    In other words, candidates refuse to admit making mistakes for reasons that have nothing to do with the mistake itself. There are very small-minded individuals out there who think that admitting to having made a mistake is a good enough reason to disqualify someone from office. Many of these people are members of a larger group we have a name for. We call them “swing voters”.

    So, even if Romeny does think RomneyCare was a mistake, who would advise him to admit it publicly now?

    Meanwhile, anybody that votes for Obama becasue they want to get rid of ObamaCare is out of his or her mind. And if a Republican dominated congress repeals whatever portion of ObamaCare, do any reasonable people out there really believe Romney will veto it?

    I can promise you Obama will. Obama celebrated winning the individual mandate fight like he’s scored a touchdown in the Superbowl.

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