Sunday, July 8, 2012

Does Obamacare Really Equal Romneycare?

No it doesn't, according to Mona Charen, writing in National Review.  According to Charen, there are quite a few important differences between the two, which Romney's campaign should start pointing out.
The Massachusetts law contained an individual mandate (which states, unlike the federal government, are allowed to impose). But it did not consist of 2,700 pages of new regulations; 159 new boards and commissions; more than $500 billion in new taxes (and counting); the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a rationing board whose decisions are unreviewable by the courts and practically untouchable by Congress itself; restrictions on religious liberty; Medicare cuts; affirmative-action mandates for medical and dental schools; huge new authority over one-seventh of the U.S. economy for the secretary of health and human services, and open-ended regulations of the way doctors and others perform their jobs.
The way in which Romneycare was brought about (and modified under Romney's successor Deval Patrick) also needs to be told.  To further quote Charen:
Romney agreed to the mandate believing that Massachusetts citizens would get the opportunity to purchase inexpensive, catastrophic plans. But the legislature, together with Romney’s successor as governor, Deval Patrick, changed the law to require insurers to offer three tiers of coverage — all of them far beyond catastrophic care. Perhaps Romney ought to have foreseen what future legislatures and governors would do — but that’s a far cry from the accusation that Romneycare was indistinguishable from Obamacare.
The bill that passed the legislature contained a number of features Romney couldn’t countenance. He opposed the mandate, preferring to permit individuals to post a $10,000 bond in lieu of insurance. The legislature overrode him. He vetoed the employer mandate, coverage for illegal aliens, the creation of a new bureaucracy to be called the Public Health Council, a provision limiting improvements to Medicaid, and another provision expanding Medicaid coverage to include dental care. His vetoes were overridden.
See that?  Romney didn't even want a mandate.  He vetoed it (and some other provisions), but his veto was overridden.  Read the entire article.

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