Here’s what he said on “Meet the Press”:
“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 preexisting 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-advantaged basis through their company.”
Now, those are two of the very few popular parts of the ACA. People like the assurance that they won’t be turned down by an insurance company for pre-existing conditions, and of keeping their adult offspring on their insurance.
But it won’t work.
Romney later “clarified” his statement, saying he would encourage the free market to prod insurance companies to cover those pre-existing conditions.
But it won’t, because it can’t. And Romney should know that.
Mitt Romney was never going to be the Republican Party’s strongest opponent of Obamacare. But GOP voters chose him, presumably for his other qualities. It’s like buying a used car — you’re going to have to live with some of the dings.
But Romney’s flaws — particularly this latest confusing position on health care reform — weaken him.
He would have done better to just stick with his former position on health care reform — it was simple and clear.
“On his first day in office, Mitt Romney will issue an executive order that paves the way for the federal government to issue Obamacare waivers to all fifty states,” he web site says. “He will then work with Congress to repeal the full legislation as quickly as possible. In place of Obamacare, Mitt will pursue policies that give each state the power to craft a health care reform plan that is best for its own citizens. The federal government’s role will be to help markets work by creating a level playing field for competition.”
And that’s a solid position. The states can be used as laboratories to find what works best. And what works best in one state might not be what works best in another. Opening markets will help, as well.
What’s not helpful is muddling the message, and ignoring basic arithmetic.