Obamacare

Romney Would Repeal ObamaCare Only to Pass It Again At the State Level

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One way to think of Mitt Romney's multiple, evolving personalities is as software iterations. Software companies often release a usable product, but then push out updates over time. So it is with Romney, who has been continually patched and upgraded over the course of the campaign.

The version of MittRom.ney that showed up last night was the best version I've seen so far: quicker, more responsive, more feature rich, less awkward and phony. He offered a convincing simulacra of presidential poise and was able to avoid many of the bugs that have plagued him in the past. It was a good demo, in other words, and I think it's pretty clear that he won the debate. (More on this in my column later today.)

But the latest update to the GOP candidates operating system still outputs problematic responses when it comes to health care. At the debate last night, Romney was asked how he would replace ObamaCare after repealing it, as he has promised he would do. In particular, he was challenged to explain what would happen to individuals with preexisting conditions. Romney, as his is wont, described his health care plan via a numbered list. The first item: "Preexisting conditions are covered under my plan." 

We've been through this before. And it's generally been clear that when Romney claimed to cover preexisting conditions under his plan, what he was actually doing was promising to keep in place protections that already exist in the law for those who have preexisting conditions but maintain more or less continuous coverage. 

But Romney added a new element last night. When Obama challenged Romney's assertion that he actually covers preexisting conditions rather than simply keeps existing law in place, Romney shot back with this interesting reply:

And with regards to health care, you had remarkable details with regards to my pre-existing condition plan. You obviously studied up on—on my plan. In fact, I do have a plan that deals with people with pre-existing conditions. That's part of my health care plan. And what we did in Massachusetts is a model for the nation state by state. And I said that at that time.  

Romney is right to distinguish between federal and state plans. But the difference here mostly is a difference in degree, not in kind. And it is not much comfort for those who think that both plans are problematic. What Romney seems to be saying is that he would repeal ObamaCare, and its preexisting condition exclusions, and instead have states set up their own versions of RomneyCare, which has essentially the same preexisting condition regulations as President Obama's level. The only difference is that the rules would be enforced at a state level. And if that's the case, then that leaves more states open to an insurance mandate, just like the one in Obamacare, just like the one Romney signed off on in Massachusetts. Romney may want to repeal ObamaCare, but it seems very much as if he would prefer to replace it with a state-by-state version of the same thing. 

Romney, who reportedly chose his chief campaign strategist in part because he was the only one who said he could continue to defend the Massachusetts health plan, can't seem to let this one piece of his legislative history go. What we saw last night was, in many ways, an upgraded Romney. But on RomneyCare, he's still stuck at version 1.0. 

NEXT: Presidential Debate Ratings Are Up over 2008. No, Really.

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  1. But since he won’t control the states, who cares what he wants at the State level? If he could repeal it, he can have fun spending the next four years begging the states to bring it back.

    1. Suderman didn’t pass Civics 101 or reading comprehension so he’s not really sure how the POTUS works this state control out.

    2. My first thought too. Why would the states care what the President thinks – as long as he isn’t trying to strong-arm them into something?

    3. In other words, he’s glossing over the actual effects of his plan to prevent people from really understanding. Because throwing cancer patients who don’t bother to have health insurance is not in vogue right now.

      1. ‘Throwing cancer patients’, is that anything like dwarf tossing? I can understand how some people might be offended, especially if you went around tossing the 12 year old bald girl with leukemia in the knit cap in that commercial with Aniston like a dwarf.

        1. Cancer patients are all really thin. The distances in those toss competitions are really amazing.

        2. there really should a been a bus for them to be tossed under somewhere in my statement, but got too distracted by the clarifications.

      2. Sort of like how parents spell out words when their kids are around.

    4. Don’t give him a hard time, John. Poor guy has a quota to fulfill.

    5. And of course, the HitAndRunpublicans seize on a minor detail in the title instead of actually trying to defend the indefensible crap Romney continues to say.

      And what we did in Massachusetts is a model for the nation state by state.

      He still claims that Romneycare is working out great for Massachusetts.

      1. So what? If he doesn’t want to pass it at the federal level who cares what he thinks about it in Mass?

      2. Minor detail? It’s the point of the whole article.

  2. Romney Would Repeal ObamaCare Only to Pass It Again At the State Level

    Yeah and…?

    Those of us in states that would never, ever pass such thing should would appreciate it.

    I don’t know what Mr. McArdle’s point here is.

    1. “I don’t know what Mr. McArdle’s point here is.”

      I believe his point is one of two things (or both):

      1) Peter hates federalism

      2) Peter’s voting for Obama

      1. Don’t forget the Reason Golden Rule:

        3) Republicans are just as bad as Democrats.

          1. Sometimes one is less bad than the other.

            1. The same on foreign adventurism? Check
              Both love out of control spending? Check
              Both pander to seniors? Check
              Both love the drug war? Check
              Both hate the free market? Check
              Both kill liberty? Check

              Looks like a draw to me on everything that really matters. The little bullshit where they’re different is just putting a silk hat on a different pig at any given time.

            2. I’m sure there’s a difference in getting your junk bit off by an alligator as opposed to a crocodile, but both circumstances are to be avoided.

              1. I guess between you and Epi, we could find out which is worse.

              2. Alligators have round noses while crocs have pointy noses. It’s all the difference in the world.

        1. I’m pretty sure their Golden Rule is: Both parties suck.

    2. Even in Blue Illinois, we are so #$ing; broke, it wouldn’t pass here.

      1. A few years ago in Tennessee we dumped Tenncare, which was our state version of Medicare, because we couldn’t afford it anymore. The hysterical cries from the left about people not having insurance was essentially shrugged off by most of the citizens who live here.

        The idea that we would ever ever ever pass a version of Romneycare in Tennessee is laughable on its face.

        So yeah, what the fuck is Sudes talking about?

  3. “What Romney seems to be saying is that he would repeal ObamaCare, and its preexisting condition exclusions, and instead have states set up their own versions of RomneyCare, which has essentially the same preexisting condition regulations as President Obama’s level.”

    No. It’s not what Romney “seems” to be saying. He has a plan. It’s on the internet. He says the federal gov’t should guarantee that individuals with pre-existing conditions that MAINTAIN coverage shouldn’t be discriminated against. Read it. It will keep you from having to guess.

    1. Yeah, but that was in place before Obamacare. Its not a program, its a law. Obama pointed this out and Romney disagreed with it. Now I don’t think he’ll try and pass a pre-existing condition new policy clause without the mandate, but he is trying to obfuscate his actual postion.

      1. His position on this issue is less popular AND better for liberty than the alternative, so that’s a good thing. RP should take notes.

        1. Its a shame he has to spend so much time fibbing about it. I imagine most of the people voting for him won’t have a clue what he plans to do once in office.

      2. “but he is trying to obfuscate his actual postion”

        Sure. That’s why it’s on the fucking internet for anybody that wants to can read it.

        1. There are a ton of things on the internet for anybody to read, yet few do. They prefer to take their talking points from politicians and the media. That hasn’t worked out so well.

          1. So it’s Romney’s fault that people jump to conclusions about his position?

            1. No, it’s his fault for always being vague about his positions, then evading whenever he’s asked about them.

        2. Yeah and every time someone asks him about it he denies the factual interpretation of what it is because he knows the soundbite makes it sound useless, which is exactly its point.

          1. Look, this isn’t any secret unless you don’t understand things, like words:

            “What Romney has isn’t so much a plan as it is an aspiration. Romney doesn’t want to forbid health insurance companies from rejecting people with pre-existing conditions or charging them more than healthy individuals, as does the national health care reform law, as well as Romney’s own 2006 Massachusetts law health care reform law.

            Instead, Romney essentially expressed a hope that states would individually adopt consumer protections for sick people after he repeals Obama’s national health care reform law.

            Because Romney’s campaign proposal only applies to people with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous health care coverage”

            Everybody knows this shit. Romney knows this shit. He has nothing against current law concerning pre-existing conditions and his plan continues to support that law. No. It’s not the same as Obamacare.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..f=business

          2. “Yeah and every time someone asks him about it he denies the factual interpretation of what it is”

            The factual interpretation of what his position is? The one published on the internet that hasn’t changed since the GOP primary? That secret position? I suppose you expect when someone says “Romney is going to throw millions off health care provider rolls” he should say “Sure, that’s what I want. My plan is to deny all the people we can health insurance”

      3. “Yeah, but that was in place before Obamacare”

        Yeah, and coverage for pre-existing conditions and community rating were in place in Mass before Romneycare, but how many times have you seen them distinguished.

  4. He’s still waffling on this. How hard is it to say:

    “I expect to see a very short bill, I believe one sentence might do it, repealing ObamaCare in its entirety, on my desk shortly after I take office. When I see it, I will sign it. The states, which have jurisdiction over health insurance in any event, are free to do adopt or reject similar legislation in part or in whole. Whatever. I’m running for Chief Executive of the US government, not Governor of all 50 states.”

    1. In other words, maybe throw some money at the states and let them do what they want…a non-healthcare healthcare plan. I’m fine with this, but very disappointed he has to lie about it.

    2. Shite – I heard that and I’d vote for him. Needless to say, I shan’t expect to hear such.

    3. It’s not hard to say. It is hard to get elected after saying that.

  5. But the latest update to the GOP candidates operating system still outputs problematic responses when it comes to health care.

    It doesn’t matter. There are no restore points for pre-ACA.

  6. Every Masshole I know says RomneyCare sucks.

    But I have been assured that this is only because the Democrat controlled state legislature fucked it up.

    President Romney with a Republican Congress they could get it right.

    After all, it’s all about having the right people in charge.

    1. Top.

      Men.

    2. Gold!

    3. But I have been assured

      Passive voice: not just for police spokespersons anymore.

  7. those who have preexisting conditions but maintain more or less continuous coverage.

    Here’s an idea; break the link between employment and health insurance. That way, people can continue to be covered, even if they switch jobs, or take time away from steady employment.

    Crazy, right?

    1. Crazy, right?

      Yep. Totally. First off, employers would not take their contributions to health insurance and pass them along to the employee. They’d all pocket it. Every single one. So right there everyone is making less money. That and those contributions are currently tax free, so you’d be talking about taxing them. That and individual policies cost more than group policies.

      So you’re talking about less total compensation, more taxes, and higher premiums.

      Sure, that argument is full of holes, but it works on an emotional level and in modern discourse that’s all that matters.

      1. ^THIS^

        And Libertarians never bother to explain why employee health insurance is so bad. They are like cats with water. They don’t know why it is bad, it just is.

        1. To me its bad because, among other things, I am not the customer of the insurance company, my company is. It restricts my ability to choose. It is also provided as a ‘benefit’ and in lieu of something that I’d rather have – more salary, and thus more choice.

          1. It is also provided as a ‘benefit’ and in lieu of something that I’d rather have – more salary, and thus more choice.

            No, no. Sarcasmic already covered that. The greedy employer is going to keep all the money.

            I wonder what other free benefits we can vote ourselves.

          2. No it doesn’t. You can always tell your employer you don’t want the coverage and buy your own. Most people don’t do that because their employers buy in bulk and can get better rates than you can individually.

            Tell your employer you no longer want health insurance. I am quite sure they will happily drop you from their rolls and save the premium money.

            1. The problem is that because they do it in bulk, the insurance companies prefer them. If everyone had to buy their own, things wouldn’t be so biased against the individual.

              1. Maybe or maybe insurance companies would take the opportunity to raise rates. And even they didn’t, it is still a wash.

                1. *head smack*

                  its a wash to the system cost, but a huge boon to flexibility between employee and employer, which results in employers willing to take more risks in growth and employees willing to risk leaving employment to start new businesses.

                  1. its a wash to the system cost, but a huge boon to flexibility between employee and employer, which results in employers willing to take more risks in growth and employees willing to risk leaving employment to start new businesses.

                    Unless you ban employers from providing insurance altogether, it is not at all. There is nothing to stop a company from not offering insurance now. And even if you got rid of the tax advantage, that would not prevent larger companies from using their purchasing power to provide health insurance as a benefit of employment.

                    1. Maybe you are right that big companies will continue to dominate the purchase of healthcare even if they were treated the same as the individual, but why do you insist that that has to be the case and that there are no benefits to greater flexibility for individuals. Why would I want to be taxed for my personal healthcare and not if I was employed by GE?

                    2. Why would I want to be taxed for my personal healthcare and not if I was employed by GE?

                      Right now you would not be. You get to have your health insurance as a tax free benefit. That is what you guys say is so bad. And I am just not seeing why.

                    3. You’re saying if I quit my corporate job tomorrow and started working as a consultant out of my house, me and my family would be able to write off the cost of my healthcare as a business expense?

                    4. No of course not. But maybe you should. I would be fine with making all insurance premiums tax deductible. But I don’t see why that makes employee provided health insurance bad or a market distortion.

                    5. Its a market distortion in a non-judgmental way. Any bulk purchasers change the way the pricing for the market works. Its not that I think companies should be restricted from getting discounts from large purchases, but when companies see that they can work more efficiently and effectively with large organizations, they tend to shove individuals away meaning improvements to the system for individuals is largely forgotten. Its just the way it is, but government does not need to further aggravate the situation by punishing individuals for not getting insurance through their corporations by taxing them on what the corporation writes off.

              2. “If everyone had to buy their own”

                What’s that? The individual health care policy mandate?

              3. If everyone had to buy their own, things wouldn’t be so biased against the individual.

                “had to”? Are you suggesting coercion?

                1. for the love of god tulpa, stop playing coy. health insurance is something people usually buy and if they bought it all individually, companies that sell it would tailor their products accordingly. Right now most don’t sell to individuals because corporate clients are easier to deal with. But I’m not suggesting that must be fixed by some regulation, but the government should stop discriminating on a significant cost borne by individuals compared with incorporated companies.

        2. And Libertarians never bother to explain why employee health insurance is so bad.

          Well John, an employer-provided health insurance plan is not per se bad, the problem arises when the system has been gamed so that employers may deduct health insurance from their taxes but individuals may not. Pile on Medicare (which is a blank check for anyone over 65 at the taxpayers’ expense) distorting the cost of healthcare and HMOs (which received loans, grants, and regulatory waivers) completed the destruction.

          1. Insurance is benefit and a cost to the business. A company can deduct the cost of buying a car and individuals cannot. That is true of all employee benefits. Employers get to deduct to the cost of salaries. But no one claims that distorts the labor market.

            1. Employers get to deduct the cost of salaries? Before or after they pay the salary tax? Most things everyone agrees businesses should be able to write off are depreciable assets purchased to run the business (printers, large equipment, office space, etc), but there are alot of things businesses write off that most people would call very sketchy (corporate trips to bermuda, mercedes for executive personal transport). Employee healthcare is not a depreciable asset and I don’t agree it should be written off. But if I’m going to have a stance, I’d rather anyone be able to write it off since its a universal cost everyone has (and a large one at that). Call it my practical side. I don’t see why you are making this argument unless you’re just happy that large businesses should have an advantage over individuals John. I mean, WTF?

              1. If a company provides a benefit to their employees as compensation for employment, that is a cost and can be written off on their taxes. There is nothing special about health insurance in that regard. It is no different than a paycheck. It is a cost. The difference is that in the case of health insurance, employees don’t have to claim it as taxable income like they do a salary.

                1. I don’t mind the extra compensation, but if I left and started my own consulting, without being incorporated it adds a huge burden on me to suddenly not be able to fully deduct it and so seriously discourages people from not being insured when they’re not employed by a corporation. How do you not see this as a problem? The market already punishes people for not being part of a corporate collective and you want to punish them further with the government?

            2. John, I don’t object to employers being able to deduct health insurance as an expense. I object to the fact that I as an individual cannot deduct my personal health insurance plan as an expense for the purpose of taxation.

            3. John, interesting. Perhaps ALL income tax should be calculated on “profit” to the individual. If you have to buy a car, pay rent, make mortgage payments, buy groceries, all of that is an “expense” and should be deductible. Let’s just tax individuals on how much they manage to save at the end of the year.

        3. And Libertarians never bother to explain why employee health insurance is so bad. They are like cats with water. They don’t know why it is bad, it just is.

          Where the fuck have you been?
          We’ve been doing nothing BUT explaining why it’s bad for years.

          It’s bad for NUMEROUS reasons.

          1) It causes perverse market incentives. Employees don’t see the cost of the medical care they are receiveing so they are not incentivized to spend less.
          2) Because of (1) it encourages medical providers to withhold accurate pricing information from consumers in general.
          3) It allows insurers to escape from the insurance contract when the employee gets too sick to work and has to quit.
          4) It prevent people with chronic conditions from changing jobs (job lock).
          5) It prevents employees from shopping for insurance, and thus inhibits competition in the insurance market.

          Need I fucking go on? I’m sure you have heard every single one of these reasons before.

      2. employers would not take their contributions to health insurance and pass them along to the employee

        Sure they would. They have to compete with other employers.

        those contributions are currently tax free, so you’d be talking about taxing them

        So create a tax write-off for health insurance.

        and individual policies cost more than group policies.

        That’s strange. I don’t buy my car insurance as a group policy. Or my home insurance. I wonder why there isn’t an economic incentive for me to do so there.

        1. Sure they would. They have to compete with other employers.

          They would give back some but not all in most cases. They will only give back the minimum it takes to keep their employee, which is going to be something less than 100%

          1. And the rest of the money will go to improving the business.

            This is the sort of the-unseen-doesn’t-exist thinking that Progressives engage in, John.

            1. Sure it will. But it won’t be going to you. So the employee is better off getting the insurance.

              From a macro level it is a wash. But that hardly makes the case the employee insurance is a bad thing.

              1. employers would rather not be involved in insuring their employees so it is a bad thing for them. Its compounded by the fact that they distort the market because of what they have to do. So employers have to factor in extra expenses when hiring and employees have to consider losing insurance before quitting. Can you see this is not an optimal way to run things????

                1. Its compounded by the fact that they distort the market because of what they have to do

                  Why does it distort the market? People pool together and buy other things in bulk without distorting the market. What is so special about insurance? When a company buy’s its employees hard hats and gets a bulk discount, does that distort the market in hard hats?

                  1. It’s not the buying in bulk that distorts the market. It’s the tax credit.

                    1. When a company buys hard hats for its employees or pays its employees salaries’ it gets to write off those costs too.

                      You could raise everyone’s taxes and make insurance benefits taxable income. But that wouldn’t change anything. Companies would still be able to buy it cheaper than individuals and individuals would still want to get an insurance because they like insurance and they would only have to pay the taxes on it instead of the full price.

                      You guys all claim it distorts the market. But none of you can ever explain why.

                    2. That’s sort of right. But it’s not just tax free for the employer. It’s all tax free for the employee. If the employer gave the employee compensation in the form of cash, that would be taxed. As it stands, the employer can give benefits instead of cash, and those benefits aren’t taxed because they’re business expenses. I guess you could expand it to other things like company cars, though. The hard hat analogy is a bit of a red herring, though.

                    3. To be fair John, everything you say about companies or groups of individuals could be explained as distorting the market. Not because they are banding together to get discounts, but because the government shows preferences to groups over individuals. When you incorporate you gain magical powers that make your expenses more moral than an individuals. Now, a pure libertarian would yell “OMG, that’s awful”. I’m not going to pretend I’m pure. I’m ok with alot of the write-offs because they do encourage some beneficial activities. Insurance really isn’t an activity that needs to be encouraged. Otherwise, why don’t we make companies cover our car and home insurance too. After all they can buy in bulk and write it off, so it must be good for society. Its a tax break too far really (though if you ask me there are a bunch of revisions that need to occur to the corporate tax code) and if you’re not going to repeal the tax, atleast give it to non-incorporated individuals.

          2. They will only give back the minimum it takes to keep their employee, which is going to be something less than 100%

            Unless, of course, another employer decides to give back 100% in hopes of out-competing other employers.

            1. It might. Depends on the labor market at that time. But even if you get it all back, it is still a wash at the macro level.

              1. Let’s say an employer is willing to employ 10 employees at $50,000 per year.

                The government comes in and offers a $1,000 tax credit for providing $3,000 of insurance. Now the employer can offer the same compensation for $49,000 per year out of his pocket. Maybe he pockets the money, but hires 2 additional employees since they’re now cheaper to employ. Maybe pockets half and hires 1 additional employee. Maybe he gives everyone raises, but is able to hire and retain better workers. All of these are good outcomes.

                Now, let’s say we take away that tax benefit. Assuming that market conditions are the same as before, we can expect total compensation to return to $50,000. Now give the employee a $1,000 tax credit. The same dynamics are in place as before, but a different person is nominally getting the tax credit.

                1. No one gets a tax credit for providing insurance. The business gets to claim the cost of providing the insurance as a cost and the employer doesn’t have to pay taxes on the insurance benefit as taxable income.

                  So your example doesn’t fit reality.

                  1. No one gets a tax credit for providing insurance.

                    Sure, John.

                    1. But that is just a carve out for small businesses pmains. If you want to get rid of that, be my guest. Its existence doesn’t change the argument about whether employee provided health insurance in general distorts the market.

                    2. You’re incentivizing employers to provide compensation in the form of benefits — which could be health care, company cars, whatever — instead of dollars.

                    3. Any market is distorted when bulk purchases take over, but that is neither here nor there because I don’t think there are any good and fair corrections that can be implemented. At best though the government should treat corporations and individuals the same when it comes to healthcare as a reasonable standard. Either both deduct or both are taxed. I’d prefer both deducted, but if both were taxed, businesses and individuals would be on the same side arguing for tax relief.

              2. John is probably right that this is a wash from the macro level. Over time (with sufficient employee turnover) wages will adjust higher to reflect that additional cost of insurance to employees and the extra budget the employer has to pay them.

                You could give this a kick by mandating the employers give people a raise when they drop insurance.

                But the benefits at the macro level aren’t really with employers having extra money (they’ll be paying people more). The benefits are largely to the employee (no more job lock), fluidity in the job market, and less overhead in terms of administrating the health plan.

          3. John, the employer has a budget they have in mind for that particular job. They figure out the maximum salary they can offer based on the amount that healthcare and overhead will cost, and they recruit accordingly. If the healthcare costs are removed, that maximum salary they can offer iwll rise.

            For CURRENT employees they will probably try to get some cost savings, but over time, as employees leave and they have to recruit new ones, the new ones will be demanding higher salaries, and tihngs will come back to equilibrium. This is no different from how wages adjust to inflation.

      3. Huh? Individual healthcare is more expensive because less companies have to offer it (since employers, especially large ones offer up the juiciest collections). There is no reason it would be worse than car or home insurance which are not covered by groups. So what if every single company drops healthcare coverage. Might even be better for company growth as they won’t have to figure that in when they’re thinking of expanding, allowing them to hire more people. And more people hired means more money for people to have health insurance, which means more dilution of the risk pool, meaning some companies will be able to offer better rates.

        1. Individual healthcare is more expensive because less companies have to offer it

          Why? I see no reason why that should be the case.

          1. If you’re fat and happy on corporate groups, why take on risks of individuals also? Its companies with few corporate clients that take all the risk so that drives up rates.

      4. Yep. Totally. First off, employers would not take their contributions to health insurance and pass them along to the employee. They’d all pocket it. Every single one.

        I can falsify that. My employer currently refunds their contribution to anyone who gets their own health insurance.

      5. Yep. Totally. First off, employers would not take their contributions to health insurance and pass them along to the employee. They’d all pocket it. Every single one. So right there everyone is making less money.

        Wrong. This might appear to be the case at first, but over time wages would adjust. They owuld have to. There is a market value for labor, just like everything else. You pay the employee out of a budget that you have for the position that includes the total overhead and total compensation of the employee. Many employers owuld try to save money at first, but eventually, the budget for the position is the budget for the position, and the salary offered would come to reflect that.

      6. First off, employers would not take their contributions to health insurance and pass them along to the employee. They’d all pocket it. Every single one.

        I’m not so sure.

        Employees may not have a detailed appreciation for the precise dollar amounts involved, but they do understand as a general proposition that health benefits are part of their total compensation package, rather than a freebie addon that employers throw in out of the goodness of their hearts.

        If employers can no longer take a tax deduction on what they pay in health insurance premiums, then yeah, many of them will stop offering employee health benefits. But I don’t think they’ll necessarily be able to pocket the money, because I think a lot of employees will demand more in salary to make up the difference.

    2. It’s so easy too:

      Just make all health insurance tax deductible.

      1. too simple, come back when you have a 90 page document.

      2. Make all medical expenses deductible. If health care is so important, why is it being taxed in the first place?

        1. Because taxes are your patriotic duty, serf. You should pay them with a smile on your lips and joy in your heart.

          Unless you’re GM, then you get an exemption from paying taxes.

  8. Why would the states care what the President thinks – as long as he isn’t trying to strong-arm them into something?

    I think that’s the point; there is a big pot of federal Medicare and Medicaid loot which will be used to cudgel them into submission.

  9. “RomneyCare, which has essentially the same preexisting condition regulations as President Obama’s level.”

    The pre-existing coverage mandate for insurers was passed in Massachusetts in 1996. Mitt Romney was doing his best to avoid paying his fair share of taxes and running Bain at the time. That it is part of “Romneycare” is true only in the sense that it was already the law of Massachusetts.

  10. those who have preexisting conditions but maintain more or less continuous coverage.

    You realize this has been the law (COBRA, its called) for quite awhile now?

    If you have coverage, you can’t be kicked off just because you get sick, as long as you pay your premiums, AND, you can pay your premiums and keep your insurance after you lose your job, AND, as long as there is no (significant? not sure) lapse in coverage, you get into your next policy regardless of pre-existing conditions.

  11. Romney Would Repeal ObamaCare Only to Pass It Again At the State Level

    Really?

    Thanks Romney!

    That’s a lot better than what we got.

    P.S. How likely is each state to include an individual mandate?

    P.P.S. Just about anything else Romney wants to drop to the state level will be fine with me, too.

    1. Uh, self-squirreled.

      1. squirrel-kari? squiruku?

        1. SQUIRREL’D!

  12. There’s a few ways that ObamaCare could be eviscerated without actually completely repealing it.

    1) Just repeal community rating. Let insurers set rates according to risk. That would render guarenteed issue meaningless anyhow.
    2) Lower the mandatory minimum to include high-deductible, and catestrophic-only plans. Same effect. Healthy people would buy the cheapest plans, and the market for all-encompassing comprehensive plans would collapse (as it should).
    3) Re-institute co-pays for “preventive” care.
    4) Eliminate the tax deduction for employer based plans and the requirement that employers pay for insurance.

    1. 4) Eliminate the tax deduction for employer based plans and the requirement that employers pay for insurance.

      Since when are employers required to pay for insurance?

      1. ObamaCare fines $2K per employee per year if you employ over 50 people and don’t offer a health plan.

        1. That is Obmaacare. I was thinking right now before that bullshit kicks in.

  13. There’s a few ways that ObamaCare could be eviscerated without actually completely repealing it.

    That is Obmaacare. I was thinking right now before that bullshit kicks in.

    Read you son of a bitch contrarion.

    1. obviously this is a reply to John.

  14. Who cares? Leaving it to the states is what libertarians want. If Vermont wants single payer, good luck to them. I won’t be living in Vermont.

    Peter Suderman this is an improvement right over Obama’s approach, correct?

    1. It still sucks at the state level.

      1. But its suckitude is more constitutional.

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