The following is cross-posted at Race 4 2012. It is my first front page post at that site, though I’ve long frequented the site. I’d like to thank Kavon for allowing me join the fabulous blogging pool there to aid in representing those who support Romney. For those of you unfamiliar with that site I recommend it highly. The site has bloggers from all corners of the big tent and is a great insight into all of the potential candidates for President in 2012, and is also an excellent source for conservative news. There has been a great discussion there today concerning this post at Race 4 2012, click here to view the comments. ~Nate G.
Just this afternoon there was a noteworthy article written at Newsmax.com by Ronald Kessler. This article is a much needed clarification of the record of the MA healthcare plan that has received so much criticism as of late, most notably from potential 2012 rivals Tim Pawlenty and Mike Huckabee. Most frequent of the complaints leveled against the plan is that it is just a failure – but seldom are any facts or reasons given and without such there is nothing to argue against. So, the second most common statement is that it is bankrupting the state. This simply is not true. Detractors point to total cost of the program for shock effect, but that value is hardly fair to the overall picture. A more accurate report would be the net cost of the program, since the plan does provide savings in other areas in the budget.
Central to the plan was Romney’s recognition that uninsured individuals were costing the state and federal government money because they showed up in emergency rooms for non-emergency care. If they had health insurance, Romney concluded, those government payments to hospitals could be applied to paying to cover the uninsured.
“We said, let’s take the money that the federal government is giving us and that we’re taking from our own state coffers that we use to give to hospitals to give out free care,’ ” Romney says. “Instead, let’s use that money to help low-income people purchase their own private market-based insurance.”
In this society of one-liners and 140 character encapsulations (Twitter), the full story seldom gets told, but the headlines stick. Someone like Huckabee, whose name has proliferated the conservative halls of this country, should have access to such information and be able to avoid falsely claiming that the MA plan is making the state go belly up. Unfortunately he and other have gleefully sounded the alarm and the echo chambers have sounded in return. The FACT is, the HC plan is little over 1% of the MA’s budget, and it is not the reason for their economic woes. Can someone tell me a state that didn’t have to close a budget deficit the year? Massachusetts is in the same boat, and opponents have in their political opportunism seized upon MA’s woes and said “Look at that! Romney must have done it.” The only thing this indicates to me is that Romney has a huge target on his back going into 2012.
But wait there’s more! Some would like give sole credit to Romney to the MA plan. Remember there was a legislature involved. Remember that this legislature is extremely liberal (what is it 87% Dem?), and they have major override powers, which they used in this plan. More from the article:
As initially proposed by Romney, “The plan would not have cost the state an additional dollar,” Romney says. “However, the legislature decided to add some features, which are ones that I did not support.”
For example, Romney says, “In my proposal, I said that every individual should have to pay some portion of their health care insurance premium. In the final bill, people with low incomes don’t pay anything. Also in my proposal, I said that there should not be any mandates directed to insurance companies as to what insurance policies must include, such as unlimited treatments for in vitro fertilization. Such mandated coverage made the product far more expensive.”
Romney observes that those are legitimate decisions by a legislature.
“I didn’t agree with all of them,” he says. “In some cases, I vetoed those provisions, but they were put back in. And yet in the final analysis, the program is very much in line with the forecasts that were made by the legislature at the time of its passing.”
There were 8 sections in the bill that Romney vetoed, 6 were overridden. One of which is the employer mandate to offer insurance if you had a payroll of X amount of dollars. If you want to do your own research regarding the bill, here it is in it’s entirety. (It’s 39,000 words!) Also noted in the text are the sections he vetoed. Hint: Press CTRL-F in your browser and search for the word ‘veto’.
Other thoughts concerning the MA health-care plan: Does it cover abortions for $50? Yes. Is Romney to blame for that? Definitely not. Will you explain why? Yes, in a future post. Is the MA plan good for the whole nation? No, the health care plans and regulations should be handled at the state level – what’s good for MA is not necessarily good for Alabama. What should national heath care reform entail? Nothing more than provisions to help lower the costs of health care, something an individual state won’t be able to do by itself. What provisions would those be? Open up markets to sell across state lines, tort reform, and reform of the entitlement programs.
Again that article by Newsmax can be found clicking here. It is your civic duty to read the whole thing. :)