Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney Finally States the Obvious: "Without Romneycare, I don't think we would have Obamacare."

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Whitehouse.gov

During the 2012 presidential campaign, one of the most common questions about Mitt Romney was how he could serve as the Republican party's standard bearer when the party's biggest domestic policy priority was repealing Obamacare. After all, Romney has shepherded his own health care reform plan into law in Massachusetts during his time as the state's governor. That plan had served as the model for the national law, according to Obamacare's designers and top officials in the Obama administration.

Romney tried his best to distance himself from Obamacare by playing up distinctions between the Massachusetts plan and the federal law, and directing sharp criticism atthe president's plan. At one even giving an extended speech, with PowerPoint, contrasting the two plans, in which he forcefully rejected Obamacare, calling it a "government takeover of health care," an "economic nightmare," and a form of "big government." 

His two-step defense of his own plan and attack of the federal plan never quite worked, and always felt a little bit grudging. While he never quite said it directly, he seemed to actually believe that both laws were essentially good ideas, and that the real problem with Obamacare wasn't really the law itself, but who was in charge of running it. 

These days, Romney, who briefly considered another presidential run earlier this year, is more inclined to be clear about his opinion. Speaking at a funeral for Thomas Stemberg, a Romney supporter and founder of the Staples office supply chain, Romney praised Stemberg's push for the Massachusetts law and tied it directly to the federal health care overhaul. Via The Boston Globe: 

Romney also credited Mr. Stemberg with persuading him to push for health care reform in Massachusetts when he was governor.

Romney said that shortly after he was elected, Mr. Stemberg asked him why he ran for governor. Romney said he told him that he wanted to help people, and Mr. Stemberg replied that if he really wanted to help, he should give everyone access to health care, which Romney said he hadn't really considered before. 

"Without Tom pushing it, I don't think we would have had Romneycare," Romney said. "Without Romneycare, I don't think we would have Obamacare. So, without Tom a lot of people wouldn't have health insurance."

By connecting the Massachusetts law with the federal law, Romney is implicitly giving himself credit for Obamacare, and in the process confirming that his previous criticisms of the president's health law were as strained as cynical as they appeared to be. 

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  1. And then he left the people of Massachusetts strapped to the roof of his car.

    1. I might be the only person who didn’t think that sounded like animal abuse. My dog would love it.

      1. Yeah, this. We have 5 dogs. Other than Buddy, who USED to be OK in the car till he got sick one time coming back from the vet, they all just LOVE being in the car, in a motorcycle sidecar, in the back of a moving pickup, in a trailer…anything. LOVE it.

        Romney’s dog was in heaven.

        1. Obama’s dog was in the slow cooker.

  2. “Without Tom pushing it, I don’t think we would have had Romneycare,” Romney said. “Without Romneycare, I don’t think we would have Obamacare.”

    Aren’t eulogies supposed to, you know, be kind to the dearly departed?

    1. +1 speaker for the dead

    2. -1 political career for Romney

      so it works

  3. Oh good! Now I can continue to loathe his politics with a clear conscience!

    1. And while you’re loathing, add Ann Coulter in that group. She was the one pushing Romney’s h/c law as “totally conservative” because it was force & coercion at the STATE level. If it was at the FEDERAL level, well, that’s something else

  4. People who haven’t experienced it have little knowledge how messed up Masshealth (aka Romneycare) was.

    When my ex got fired from her job during the early days of our divorce I was forced to sign up for it for a few months. Every couple of weeks we’d get a nasty letter that would dis-enroll us, re-enroll us, accuse us about lying about our income. Phone calls to square away the mess would take hours and be undone a week later by an automatic update.

    I got health insurance for me, the ex and the kids as quickly as I could. Nonetheless, for a year the Masshealth people were after me, mainly because they wanted to know why I wasn’t taking our kids to the Masshealth plan pediatrician.

    I’m so glad that Mitt Romney subjected my family to that nightmare for a lark.

    1. Sounds like me and the tax board.

      Tax board: Your income is this according to your corrected W-2 and yet you only paid this according to your uncorrected W-2.

      Me: No, I paid this much as my corrected W-2 states which obviously you have since you’re quoting my income according to the corrected W-2.

      A few months later:

      Tax board: You underpaid your taxes. You owe us the difference between your uncorrected W-2 taxes and your corrected W-2 taxes plus penalties and fees.

      Me: No, again, I paid this much as my corrected W-2 states which obviously you have since you’re quoting my income according to the corrected W-2.

      A few months later:

      Tax board: You underpaid your taxes. You owe us the difference between your uncorrected W-2 taxes and your corrected W-2 taxes plus penalties and fees for underpaying your taxes and filing a false return.

      I should get a lawyer?

      1. Well, one recurring problem was the DOR (the MA version of the IRS); they kept deciding my ex had income from the job she had been fired from. My ex refused to talk to the Masshealth people, and they pretty clearly thought I was lying and so I would have an uphill battle each time I called. It prompted some of the disenrollments and also demands that I pay a larger share of the subsidized premiums.

        Ironically, my kids never saw a doctor under masshealth. They enjoyed 3 – 4 months of good health, and once I had health insurance continued with their original pediatricians. So literally we consumed no services, but I spent a good 15 – 20 hours on the phone with those people for the privilege of the subsidized insurance I never used.

        1. One thing I realized out of all this is that you could submit W-2s for every possible SSN (the uncorrected W-2 was from a third party) and the IRS would mindless go after people for the erroneous missing taxes since the IRS simply trusts the data it receives (kind of like email used to do?).

          Now, with Obamacare, that could screw with people’s health insurance, too?

      2. Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned

  5. Of what use is a Republican who can be convinced that helping people entails giving away stuff that is not properly the government’s to give?

    1. Let’s rephrase:

      Of what use is any Republican, other then Ron Paul?

      1. C’mon now, Rand is pretty good and so is Justin Amash. Thomas Massie is OK on most Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Don’t be such a downer.

    2. “Mr. Stemberg replied that if he really wanted to help, he should give everyone access to health care, which Romney said he hadn’t really considered before.”

      He’s even cool with the newspeak version of “access,” which now means someone else paying for something.

      1. “Sure, Stemberg, why don’t you open low cost health clinics in your Staples stores?”

        1. “I don’t want the responsibility. I want the government to take the responsibility.”

      2. He’s even cool with the newspeak version of “access,” which now means someone else paying for something.

        I need access to a luxury vehicle and a mansion.

  6. What a freak’n d-bag this guy is/was. The disruption in the Repub party is quite healthy if it gets rid of this type of trash.

    1. It’s trash all the way down.

  7. Well yeah. When I point this out, Republicans typically respond with the verbal equivalent of a fart noise.

    1. BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHH!

  8. Think of all the “help” he could have given us with a republican congress behind him. This is the first time I’m glad Obama got reelected.

  9. Romney said that shortly after he was elected, Mr. Stemberg asked him why he ran for governor. Romney said he told him that he wanted to help people…

    I know every time my wife asks me to do the dishes or mow the lawn I break out the campaign signs. If you want to help people, getting into politics is a terrible way to accomplish that goal and anybody who barfs up that sort of crap is either a liar or an idiot and should automatically be barred from holding office. If you want to help people, teach them how to help themselves by making themselves useful to other people instead of teaching them to put their faith in magical underpants or magical free lunches..

  10. TULPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

  11. But that hair. By God, that is the most Presidential hair I have ever seen, bar none. If Hillary had hair like that, I’d have to rethink my whole political outlook.

    1. Maybe she does have hair like that… downtown.

      1. I have little doubt that her carpet’s hairstyle is best described as “unwashed mullet”.

        1. That made me throw up in my mouth a little.

          1. Well, she’s a Carpetbagger, so I’m kinda picturing….like, a paisley pattern.

            *throws up*

            1. I’m sure no small amount of unwashed mullet yeasts have bloomed into some lovely floral patterns.

              1. +1 fairy ring

  12. Yeah, but will Reason own up to admiting that they advocated the same thing?

    https://reason.com/archives/2004/11/01/
    mandatory-health-insurance-now#commentcontainer

    You have the guts to not erase it from history, but no one ever seems to mention it when they denounce Obama/Romneycare.

    People like to act like it’s some left wing thing, but the left wanted a system like Canada or the UK, it was the right’s idea to force people to buy health insurance.

    1. Your link didnt work.

      The right forced people to buy insurance? How do you explain obamacare receiving not a single pub vote? The dems own the aca…it may have been based on romneycare but the difference is that was state and this is national. And the dems passed it nationally.

      Why didnt they do single payer then?

      Canada pays pretty high taxes for that healthcare. It is rationed and has long wait times. And america subsidizes drugs for them. No thanks

      I always dig the leftist doublethink…the aca is great! Republicans dont want healthcare by trying to get rid of it! Turn around….it was really a republican idea and forced upon us!

  13. So much for the myth of the conservative Mormon.

  14. If Romney had a D next to his name, the “conservatives” would have labeled him a socialist. Yet when he had an R next to his name, all of that was disregarded.

    Politics are as stupid as the Ford vs. Chevy arguments. These folks put so much faith in a brand, they loose sight of how screwed up they all are. GM with the help of gov’t robbed their loyal fans. Nothing to see here. Move along cause our team did it and MURIKA!!

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