Today Mitt Romney was interviewed on Fox News Sunday and discussed his new book, No Apologies. The title is a direct hit at what many believe to be the "apology tour" our President has taken across the world. Mitt Romney is sounding very conservative, but Chris Wallace had him defending the Massachusetts health care system which is under assault by many in the conservative movement. Romney proudly defends the health bill he helped pass in MA while governing there, but it does bear an eerie resemblance to the Obamacare that so many are protesting, including individual and employer mandates, minimum coverage standards, and subsidies for the uninsured...I hate to say it, but it does sound like Obamacare. Just a few months ago when all of this publicity started to surface about what has happened in MA since the system was implemented, I heard Ann Coulter comment that Romney should run the opposite way of this.
To the contrary, Romney defended the new system there, saying that this wasn't the whole picture; this was a State making a decision as opposed to the federal government; and further, no taxes went up, it didn't cut Medicare, and there were no controls on the premiums for insurance companies. As for the mandatory requirements, Romney says that these were added by the Legislature; he vetoed this, but they overrode the veto.
Some more interesting figures to consider: Wallace reported that MA residents have the highest rates in the Country, with per capita spending 27% higher than the rest of the nation; and MA has a budget deficit of $47 million. Romney countered that the health care system is coming in at $80 million under budget, and that residents of MA are only seeing a 5% annual rise in the cost of health insurance versus the 20% per year experienced by employers around the country.
Wallace also reported that the CATO Institute, a libertarian/conservative think tank calls it the mirror of the Obama plan, and that federal funds are actually being used to subsidize the program. With all of these numbers flying back and forth, it looks like this needs to be dissected a little further. As much as it grieves me to say this about something Romney proudly defends...I do have to say it seems to walk like a duck and talk like a duck...
A lot of questions come to mind here, but one that really sticks in my brain is, What good does it do to mandate insurance if there are no controls on what one can be charged, and one has no choice in the type of insurance they are allowed to buy? It just seems like mandates are where this all goes awry. Opinions please!