Election 2012

Romney Says He Likes Parts of ObamaCare. But the Parts He Likes Aren't In ObamaCare.

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On Meet the Press yesterday, Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney assured host David Gregory that just because he's promised to repeal ObamaCare doesn't mean he hates every single bit of the law.

"There are a number of things that I like about health care reform that I'm going to put in place," he said, one of which is "to make sure that those with preexisting conditions can get coverage." Watch the clip below:

This might be worrying to those who suspect that Romney, who continues to tout the nearly identical health reform he passed while governor of Massachusetts, is not terribly committed to repealing the health law and would rather tinker with it. But mostly I think it should be worrying to people who suspect that Romney is evasive regarding the truth about what he would do in office.

It turns out that when Mitt Romney says there are "things that I like about health care reform that I'm going to put in place," what he actually means is: there are some provisions in current law that I'm not going to get rid of.

Just a few hours after Romney went on Meet the Press, a spokesperson clarified to NRO that "Governor Romney will ensure that discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage is prohibited." But a version of this is already law, and has been since 1996, when the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act forbid insurers from denying new coverage to those who became uninsured briefly after a long period of coverage, regardless of preexisting conditions.

The Romney camp says there's nothing to see here; after all, Romney has publicly supported HIPPA's continuity of coverage rules before. And perhaps Romney could modify those provisions, which some believe have a number of undesirable loopholes.

But yesterday Romney was not merely saying that he supports those provisions. Instead he said that "I'm not getting rid of all of health care reform" because there are "things I like about health care reform" that "I would put in place." It's hard to interpret any other way than as a declaration that he wants to keep provisions from ObamaCare.

But that's not what he would do. The plan to "make sure that those with preexisting conditions can get coverage" that he goes on to mention is, according to his advisers' clarification, not a provision from ObamaCare, nor even a provision he'd have to "put in place" at all. It's part of a seperate law. 

The story is similar for another provision Romney mentioned. Asked about ObamaCare's rule allowing children up to age 26 to stay on their parents' insurance, Romney said that he wants to "assure that the marketplace" sells plans that cover dependents up to "whatever age" a buyer might like. But even though he's framed his response in the context of keeping the good parts of ObamaCare, his campaign has confirmed that he's not actually talking about keeping the parts of ObamaCare that require insurers to sell those policies.

Don't get me wrong: It would be a problem to adopt ObamaCare's preexisting condition rules, because, as we've seen numerous times at the state level, without a mandate, the result is a health insurance death spiral, in which the healthy wait to purchase insurance, leaving only the sickest, most expensive patients in the pool — and skyrocketing premiums as a result. Romney knows this, which is presumably why he coupled the preexisting condition rules in RomneyCare, the Massachusetts health reform, with a mandate. But of course, by the time you've gone that far you may as well just leave ObamaCare in place and tweak it a bit. Which is probably what Romney would prefer to do. He won't say that, though. And as usual, on policy, he's trying to say a lot without saying much at all, except that he likes things that everybody likes, and he wouldn't do anything that anybody doesn't. 

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  1. because my version of govt-run health care is better than Obama’s version. No, Mitt; it’s still govt-run health care.

    1. insurance regs =/ gumint healthcare

    2. It sure seems like that asswhipe is trying to lose.

  2. What’s telling, IMHO, is there rarely heard enthusiasm in Rombot’s voice when he goes on about the regulations he treasures.

  3. Willard, one of the things that’s likely to get you and a GOP Congress in power next year is the expectation that you’ll repeal ObamaCare (which is an odd expectation of you, given your history with such things). I suggest you do it, unless you really want to be a lame duck in after 2014.

  4. In related news, Barack Obama vowed to “fight privatizations” over the weekend.

    SEMINOLE, Fla.?Campaigning in a state that has long drawn retirees, President Barack Obama on Saturday promised to fight the privatization of Medicare and Social Security, the popular health and retirement programs for seniors.

    http://professional.wsj.com/ar…..12420.html

    I don’t know what’s worse, Obama’s open hostility to capitalism on the campaign trail or seeing president Obama going around touting having nationalized two-thirds of the American auto industry as some sort of achievement.

    Honestly, just because Romney isn’t all we’d like him to be on ObamaCare, doesn’t mean he isn’t head and shoulders above Obama on the whole capitalism business. I swear, as soon as we kick Obama to the curb, I’m gonna jump on Romney’s case as fast as the next guy, but until then?

    Shouldn’t we be calling out Obama for effectively completing the nationalization of AIG–instead of faulting Romney for not being as adamantly against ObamaCare as we’d like him to be?

    In all seriousness, isn’t Obama’s full support of ObamaCare more of an issue than Romney’s limited opposition?

    1. in today’s media climate, Obama can say just about anything he wants, including things that directly contradict one another. This is the same man who said Medicare/SS were the drivers of the economic crisis when his deficit commission was meeting.

      But now, he’s in full pander mode and few forces are easier mobilized than old folks when their free ponies are threatened. Besides, there is a huge segment of the population that think the GM takeover was a net gain for society. I know some of them; they give the appearance of being relatively intelligent and able to breathe on their own. Then, they claim he “saved the automotive industry.”

      1. This is the same man who said Medicare/SS were the drivers of the economic crisis when his deficit commission was meeting.

        It’s all about Paul Ryan being added to the ticket. Now Obama’s saying that the Romney Administration would privatize Medicare and Social Security…

        Sounds like a great idea to this libertarian! Unfortunately, there’s no way in hell Romney would ever do that, but here’s a great opportunity for libertarians to talk about what a wonderful world it would be if we actually had a private alternative to Medicare and Social Security…

        But noooOOOooo! We’re gonna talk about how Romney isn’t as against ObamaCare as we’d like him to be?

        Besides, there is a huge segment of the population that think the GM takeover was a net gain for society.

        Then they don’t have enough information.

        There’s no way the average taxpayer thinks squandering their future paychecks to keep GM’s UAW workers paid some $70 per hour on average is a good thing! There’s no way the average American voter supports Obama having done that with taxpayer money…

        But the important thing to remember is that Romney isn’t as opposed to ObamaCare as we’d like him to be?

        I know Romney isn’t the second coming of Adam Smith, but, really, are there any libertarians out there confused about which of the two major candidates is actively hostile to capitalism and which candidate made a bundle engaging in some good old fashioned creative destruction?

        1. I know which candidate started MassCare as the forerunner to Obamacare, and refuses to back down or admit he made a mistake.

        2. As much as I would enjoy in the short term the wailing and gnashing of teeth which would accompany an Obama loss, in the long term I’m afraid that capitalism is going to take the rap when the whole shithouse goes up in flames under Romney’s watch – and anyone who thinks that Romney is going to do anything effective to prevent it (assuming it even can be prevented, which is a dubious assumption at best) is, to put it as politely as possible, flat fucking delusional.

    2. In all seriousness, isn’t Obama’s full support of ObamaCare more of an issue than Romney’s limited opposition?

      I just have to get me one of these magical ballots where there are only two choices.

      I figure they have to exist, what with the number of seemingly coherent individuals who must have them in their possession.

      1. To be fair, both TEAMS are trying to make those ballot available to everyone.

        1. Apparently Ken Shultz is ok with that.

          1. Why don’t you go hump somebody else’s leg for a while?

      2. “The word ‘cunt’ is the reason there aren’t more female libertarians” =/= Coherent.

        1. I was trying to be charitable.

        2. I do still think we’re associated with stuff we’d rather not be associated with–and one of those things is hostility to women. Anything we do to reenforce that negative stereotype we do to our detriment.

          Although I’ll admit that if you think Romney not being as capitalistic as we’d like him to be is somehow worse than Obama’s outright hostility to capitalism, then you’ve got bigger problems than just being insensitive.

          1. “The Choice is Clear: Vote the man who is only 99% hostile to freedom!”

            Knock me over with a feather.

            1. Ahhhh you purists are funny, but usually incorrect. Romney is not 99% hostile to freedom, more like 40%..

              1. Seriously? I’d be willing to grant maybe 80, but there’s absolutely no way he’s less than half.

  5. When the Obama negotiated and crafted the Affordable Healthcare Act, a key aspect was the buy-in on the part of the insurance companies. They, predictably, objected to covering preexisting conditions without extra revenue from healthy people (that’s how insurance works..).

    So Mitt’s position here is absurd whichever way you slice it:
    1. If he only meant he was referring to people that had continuous coverage, it will exclude the bulk of people with preexisting problems (and that is already covered by HIPAA), and
    2. If he actually meant covering everyone with preexisting conditions, then he will also need to buy into the mandate, or the health care insurers will back out of participation and block him

    The math only works for covering preexisting people if you also make all young healthy people buy insurance.. hence the mandate option.

    I think he is checkmated himself…

    1. I think he’s just playing for moderate swing voters.

      The etch-a-sketch idea is rather appealing, actually, from a libertarian perspective, and I wouldn’t buy into him in the hope that, no matter what he says, he’s actually gonna turn out to be Ron Paul…

      But if the swing voters aren’t there yet, I don’t think a mistake in logic is a mistake for Romney if it gets him elected. And in terms of getting elected, I don’t think this election is really about Romney anyway. It’s all about Obama.

      Romney wants to present himself in such a way that people who are mad at Obama about the economy aren’t so scared of Romney that they’ll just stay home instead of voting. He’s not a libertarian candidate, so it’s not really about what the best policy is for him. Getting elected for a major party candidate is about telling the swing voters what they want to hear.

    2. “So Mitt’s position here is absurd whichever way you slice it:
      1. If he only meant he was referring to people that had continuous coverage, it will exclude the bulk of people with preexisting problems (and that is already covered by HIPAA”

      Maybe it is absurd, but it’s the same thing he’s been saying all along.

      “Prevent discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage”

      http://www.mittromney.com/issues/health-care

  6. “But a version of this is already law, and has been since 1996, when the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act forbid insurers from denying new coverage to those who became uninsured briefly after a long period of coverage, regardless of preexisting conditions.”

    Is this ignorance or intense hackery?

    Do insurance companies have to offer coverage for people with pre-existing conditions? Yes. Can they charge whatever they want for that coverage? Yes. Can they purposefully price those high risk people out of the health insurance market? Yes, and that’s exactly what they did before the ACA took effect.

    The ACA forces insurance companies to offer coverage to people with pre-existing conditions at the same rates as those without them.

    1. So how does what you said contradict what was written again?

    2. Forcing an insurance company to take on someone who already has a serious condition is not insurance, it’s welfare, you fucking idiot.

    3. Insurance is, by definition, to cover the unexpected.

      Pre-existing conditions are, by definition, not unexpected.

      Requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions is, by definition, not insurance.

    4. The ACA forces insurance companies to offer coverage to people with pre-existing conditions at the same rates as those without them.

      As someone who’s affected by this, I’d much rather have more control, in terms of choice, and pay the market rate–rather than have the prices leveled for me.

      I’d rather pay through the nose and get what I want, i.e., and I don’t think that’s going to be possible over the long term under ObamaCare.

      …what with colostomy bags being less expensive than many medications; wheel chairs being less expensive than hip replacements, etc.

      In other words, qualitative concerns don’t show up any bureaucrat’s spreadsheet, and yet being able to make quality of life choices–whether to walk again or to have to spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair–that’s the very essence of what I’m talking about when I talk about having access to quality healthcare.

      The infrastructure to deny people coverage for what some bureaucrat deems isn’t a “medical necessity” has already been in place for decades, too. ObamaCare already contains a provision actively discouraging providers from investing in new technology.

      The amount of money they’re projecting to fund isn’t about to cover all the people they’re offering what amounts to free care (by way of covering preexisting conditions or in other ways).

      Looks like something’s gotta give in that scenario, and if that’s gonna be my quality of life choices?

      I’d rather pay for myself.

      1. Looks like something’s gotta give in that scenario, and if that’s gonna be my quality of life choices?

        Riddle me this, Derider…

        Why does ObamaCare penalize providers for investing in new technology?

        If ObamaCare isn’t purposely meant to take away people’s ability to make quality of life choices, then why is there a huge tax on so called “Cadillac” insurance policies?

        Why does ObamaCare penalize companies that offer employees healthcare coverage that’s “too good”? What is the purpose of that?

        I’ll tell you why!

        They want the money we spend providing people with more quality of life choices to go elsewhere. They want that money spent so that more people get care. They want more beds. They want more nurses. They want providers to spend more money on stuff like that–instead of providing people with more quality of life choices.

        It’s as simple as that.

        I don’t agree with their worldview–that it’s a zero sum game between quality of life choices and the widespread availability of basic care.

        But that’s the way ObamaCare sees the world.

    5. I wonder if being the height of a dwarf its considered a preexisting condition.

  7. he likes things that everybody likes, and he wouldn’t do anything that anybody doesn’t.

    Beavis and Butt-head’s version is better: “I don’t like things that suck. I like things that are cool.”

    1. heh, heh, heh

      I am cornholio. I need TP for my bunghole.

  8. “Do insurance companies have to offer coverage for people with pre-existing conditions? Yes. Can they charge whatever they want for that coverage? Yes. Can they purposefully price those high risk people out of the health insurance market? Yes, and that’s exactly what they did before the ACA took effect.

    The ACA forces insurance companies to offer coverage to people with pre-existing conditions at the same rates as those without them.”

    Price according to risk?!! WTF?! Just hand the money over, Scrooge McDuck. What? You’ll just jack the prices up on everyoneto balance it all out?! Damn you evil, acutary table reading, capitalist running dogs!

  9. Oh, and irrelevant to the argument – that first picture of Mittens is hilarious.

  10. The last picture speaks volumes

    Repeal the shit that the other guy put in place.
    Replace it with the shit I want to put in place.

    Meet the new boss….(you know the rest).

  11. “‘I’m not getting rid of all of health care reform’ because there are ‘things I like about health care reform that I would put in place.’ It’s hard to interpret any other way than as a declaration that he wants to keep provisions from ObamaCare.”

    It’s only difficult if every time you read “health care reform” you see “Obamacare”.

  12. Mitt: “I will repeal Obamacare. I will replace it with… Romneycare!”

    1. Good luck getting Congress to fall for that crap a second time. God knows he would most likey try, however.

  13. “…why he coupled the preexisting condition rules in RomneyCare, the Massachusetts health reform, with a mandate.”

    Pointed this lazy error before, I’ll try again:

    “In 1996, the state had instituted rules requiring community rating (premiums could only vary by a certain amount based on age, geography and occupation) and guaranteed issue (no discrimination based on preexisting conditions)”
    http://www.factcheck.org/2011/…..alsehoods/

    That’s 10 years before Romneycare. Hardly something “coupled”

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