As the presidential election nears its last few weeks, I think it’s important to know where the candidates stand on the issues. After all, their policies are going to set into motion the way we deal with major issues, such as homelessness, unemployment and health care. During both conventions, each candidate made it clear what their policies would look like. The lines between the candidates were drawn, so to speak. But after Mitt Romney’s recent appearance on NBC’s Meet The Press, his lines don’t seem to be nearly as defined.
Here’s an excerpt from Eugene Robinson’s Washington Post article entitled, “Romney’s Health Care Dither.” What do you think?
ROMNEY TO NBC’s DAVID GREGORY:
“Well, I’m not getting rid of all of health care reform. Of course, there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I’m going to put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage. Two is to assure that the marketplace allows for individuals to have policies that cover their — their family up to whatever age they might like. I also want individuals to be able to buy insurance, health insurance, on their own as opposed to only being able to get it on a tax advantage basis through their company.”
So Romney wants to repeal Obamacare and replace it with Obamacare, or at least the consumer-friendly parts of Obamacare that Romney knows are popular. What he would leave out is the part he knows is unpopular: the individual mandate compelling some Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a fine.
But as Romney knows, it’s the individual mandate that makes the other benefits possible by preventing young, healthy people from gaming the system. They would just wait until they got sick to purchase insurance, knowing they couldn’t be turned down because of the “pre-existing conditions” measure.
Romney is familiar with the problem of these so-called free-riders because he solved it when he was governor of Massachusetts. With an individual mandate.
To review, Romney was for Obamacare before he was against it before he was for it again, except the keystone element that makes the rest of Obamacare work, which he developed and implemented but steadfastly opposes.