Now that Rick Santorum has officially suspended his campaign, the only things in the way of Mitt Romney are Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich.
In other words, we now know who the Republican candidate for president will be. So I guess it is time to start examining the record of Mittens in earnest.
We all know that ObamaCare was strongly modeled after RomneyCare, under Obama’s mistaken impression that if he proposed health care reform that was pretty much invented by Republicans, that they would have to support it.
It didn’t work out that way, which left Romney in a predicament? How could he justify RomneyCare in Massachusetts, while opposing Obamacare? How could he promote an individual mandate in his state, while condemning it as the greatest threat to individual liberty when Obama promoted it?
Simple of course, he would turn it into a state’s rights issue. That is, the states are welcome to come up with health care reform, but the feds are overstepping if they do the same. In fact, Romney went so far as to claim that he had never advocated a federal version of his Massachusetts health care reform:
My health care plan, by the way, is one that under our Constitution we’re allowed to have. The people in our state chose a plan which I think is working for our state.
At the time we crafted it, I was asked time and again, “Is this something that you would have the federal government do?” I said absolutely not.
I do not support a federal mandate. I do not support a federal one-size-fits-all plan. I believe in the Constitution.
Except of course that’s a complete lie. In 2009, when Obama was proposing a public option, Romney wrote in USA Today that Obama should instead use RomneyCare as his model, including an individual mandate.
Our experience also demonstrates that getting every citizen insured doesn’t have to break the bank. First, we established incentives for those who were uninsured to buy insurance. Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages “free riders” to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others. This doesn’t cost the government a single dollar.
Romney also said:
Republicans are not the party of “no” when it comes to health care reform. This Republican is proud to be the first governor to insure all his state’s citizens. Other Republicans such as Rep. Paul Ryan and Sens. Bob Bennett and John McCain, among others, have proposed their own plans. Republicans will join with the Democrats if the president abandons his government insurance plan, if he endeavors to craft a plan that does not burden the nation with greater debt, if he broadens his scope to reduce health costs for all Americans, and if he is willing to devote the rigorous effort, requisite time and bipartisan process that health care reform deserves.
Of course, Obama did abandon the public option, came up with a bill that was revenue neutral, broadened the scope to reduce health care costs (remember “death panels”?). In other words, he did everything that Romney and other Republicans asked of him, and they still opposed it. And they continue to oppose it, ironically by claiming that the individual mandate, which they invented, is the greatest threat to individual liberty in history.