Health Care Reform – Romney, Reason and Reality

On Wednesday January 19th, the House of Representatives passed a repeal of the recently enacted health care reform legislation, known as ObamaCare. The vote of 245 to 189 was cast along strict party lines, with only three Democrats joining the victorious Republicans. However the vote is widely viewed as merely a symbolic gesture from the GOP; as the measure is not expected to be brought up on the Democrat controlled Senate floor. 

With no “Replace” legislation waiting in the wings to be considered, Americans will have to wait and see what the GOP controlled House majority will devise, if anything. On Thursday, the GOP House leadership did take some initial action to begin looking at health care reform alternatives. Others suggest the GOP might drag it’s feet in replacing ObamaCare, since strategists eye it as a winning 2012 campaign issue for the GOP and its hopes of gaining control of the Senate, as well as the White House. 

Against this backdrop, potential 2012 GOP Presidential hopefuls will be jockeying to present their own ideas to voters. Some have the luxury of never having to face the task of resolving health care issues, while some have addressed the issue head on. The GOP presumed candidate with the most experience in health care reform is former Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney. His is famous – or infamous, depending on which GOP circles one travels – for enacting a health care plan during his tenure, which nearly everyone has cited as the model for ObamaCare. Surely this issue will be Romney’s biggest hurdle in seeking the nomination.  

While some are quick to throw brick bats at the MassCare plan, others take a more reasoned and pragmatic view of Romney’s actions. The following points were originally posted by Right Speak member Noelle, commenting in a blog post about the virtues of Romney’s plan. 

Here, with her permission, Noelle expresses some very good points in drawing distinctions between Obama and Romney’s plans: 

“This has been an interesting and lively debate. Just to add my 2¢ here, I think Romney’s has only 2 challenges in winning the nomination. The first is his health care reform that was passed in MA, and the second is his religious faith. Regarding his faith, that is clearly a ridiculous issue, but that won’t stop a few people from refusing to support him.” 

“The legitimate issue is his record on health care reform. I am a conservative; MA is a very liberal state. I’m glad I don’t live there and have to live under such liberal “leadership.” That being said, health care is a complex issue. Romney and others who worked on it spent a very long time researching, studying, analyzing, compromising, and fighting, to get a result that in the end was overwhelmingly supported by the people of Massachusetts.”

 ”There are elements of it that I don’t like and that are not well received by conservatives. The problem I see is with those who don’t support Romney. Rather than look at the complexities of the issue and plan, acknowledging both the good and the bad, they only talk about the points they don’t like. Arguing in sound bites, rather than really showing an understanding of the complexity of the issue.”

To say the MA healthcare reform is a model for Obamacare is ignoring some very significant factors:

 1.      Romney BALANCED THE BUDGET before tackling the health care issue. Obama didn’t.

2.      Romney DID NOT RAISE TAXES to implement the MA healthcare reform. 

3.      Romney’s bill was 72 pages long. Obama’s was 2,700 pages. That is significant because how much is hidden in those 2,700 pages? You can’t hide in 72 pages. 

4.      The MA healthcare reform bill was found to be constitutional in Massachusetts. The constitutionality of Obamacare is still in the courts, but I believe that it is unconstitutional, and the current VA ruling says so too. 

5.      The MA healthcare reform was designed specifically for Massachusetts. It is a relatively wealthy state, with already relatively low numbers of uninsured. Obamacare intends to impose the same solutions on Tennessee, West Virginia, Nevada, Oregon, California, Alabama, and all the rest, even though each state has its own unique issues to address. 

6.      Romney succeeded in getting support from both sides of the aisle. He was able to compromise and find solutions that were satisfactory to both. No one group was entirely happy, but all had the opportunity to participate and contribute to the debate. Obamacare was forced upon us all without getting input or support from Republicans.

 ————————– 

As realistic, rationale and reasonable as these points are, critics will no doubt continue to take the easier path, popping off slogans, platitudes and talk radio mantras. Campaign opponents of Romney will also attempt to make political hay of his reform actions. However, with so many offering so few solutions or even worse – advice bereft of actual experience – it may turn out, the man who did the most, will actually be the one voters will listen to.

Author’s Note: Doug would like to thank Noelle for her comments, which presented here, inspired this post. —– Cross-posted at Right Speak

Romney was a Tea-partier Before Tea Party was Cool

A point that I’ve long wanted to touch upon, just haven’t had the chance to write it up: Mitt Romney is the embodiment of the conservative principles that the Tea Party so passionately advocates.

A few months ago I expressed the estrangement I felt as a ground-level activist in the Tea Party. Supposed leaders of the Tea Party were coming out against a former Governor I had long admired: Mitt Romney. I was befuddled by this because, knowing his record, I had always considered Mitt Romney a perfect example of what I would want in my leaders — a problem solver who has respect for taxpayer dinero and looks out for the interests of businesses, large and small; an advocate for free-market enterprise and capitalism.

At the rallies I attend, Mitt Romney’s name is often floated as the man with competence enough to take down the Obama machine. Why, then, are ‘leaders’ of this group disparaging a good man’s efforts to make this country great again? I say to them as a fellow Tea-partier: “you do not represent me, nor are you my leaders.” I joined the movement with the understanding that there was no single voice for the Tea Party — that as individuals, we had our own voices, which were to be heard loud and clear through the corridors of Capitol Hill.

The best write-up I’ve seen on this matter comes hot-off-the-press today from Braden at BlogCritics.org: Dear Tea Party, Mitt Romney is Your Friend

Braden dissects Mitt Romney’s record and explains why, in fact, Mitt Romney was a Tea-partier before the Tea Party was cool.

Based on issues alone, it would be logical to conclude that Mitt Romney is in agreement with the vast majority of Tea Party principles. He balanced the budget for four consecutive years in a blue state without raising taxes. Isn’t that what the TEA in Tea Party stands for, Taxed Enough Already? The very premise of the Tea Party movement is in accordance with Romney’s record.

On Massachusetts Health Care:

RomneyCare, signed into law by Romney in 2006, is a state-based healthcare plan with striking similarities to ObamaCare. However, unlike ObamaCare, RomneyCare did not raise taxes. But the bigger and more important difference is that RomneyCare was a state program and not a federal one. If states’ rights and federalism are truly important to the Tea Party, they would readily recognize this distinction. And on top of all this, Romney has consistently voiced his support for the repeal of ObamaCare.

On Abortion “Flip-Flop”:

Well, considering that he flipped (not flopped) his position to pro-life, wouldn’t that mean that the majority of the Tea Party should agree with him now? Changing positions on the issue of life isn’t uncommon in either party. Both Jesse Jackson and Al Gore became pro-choice after previously being pro-life. Republicans like George H.W. Bush, Henry Hyde, and some would even say Ronald Reagan each had somewhat pro-choice pasts before becoming pro-life. And besides, it would be difficult for the Tea Party to claim success with a pro-choice candidate like Scott Brown while pointing the finger at Romney.

On Mitt Romney’s Mormon Religion:

True, Romney’s Mormon faith may be outside of the mainstream and considered unusual at best by some evangelicals. But by and large, basic Mormon values and morality are essentially identical to those of evangelical voters. Aside from doctrinal differences, what legitimate political problem would they have with a Mormon president?

Summary: Mitt Romney’s Recent Efforts for the Conservative Movement

He has also written op-eds expressing dissatisfaction with Obama’s policies. These articles should naturally curry favor among conservatives of all stripes who would like to unseat Obama in 2012.

Furthermore, Romney consistently polls ahead of or in a dead heat with Obama. He also garners more support among independents than other Republicans; and in some cases, he fares better than Obama does among that demographic.

If the Tea Party is interested in winning against Obama in 2012, perhaps they should give Romney another look. A united coalition of conservatives behind a candidate like him would be devastating to Obama.

Frankly, there’s little reason for the Tea Party to find dissatisfaction with Romney. I suppose a fondness for candidates outside of the so-called “establishment” would cause the Tea Party to lean against Romney. But until a candidate of his stature rises outside of the establishment with comparable credentials, Romney deserves a chance among those in the Tea Party movement. So to those who are afraid of the big bad Romney, remember that he is an ally and not an enemy.

I recommend heading over and reading the article in it’s entirety and spreading this out to your networks… Rapido!

h/t to Doug from MRC Chat.

~Aaronius

Romney-Endorsed Carly Fiorina Out of Hospital, Campaigning to Save California and U.S. Taxpayers


“Five more days. We’ve got to work hard.” -Carly Fiorina

Good news!

Carly Fiorina, who was hospitalized the last two days due to an infection related to breast cancer reconstruction, has jumped back on the campaign trail and is on the go. She is running against Ma’am – er, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and, according to the latest from Rasmussen, is just three percentage points behind Boxer.

There-isn’t-a-tax-hike-I-don’t-love Boxer has been on Capitol Hill for 28 California crippling years and is renown for her far-out, far-left ideology. Her voting has bankrupted the U.S. Treasury, the California treasury, and added trillions to the national debt. As a resident in her chronically poorly managed, brink-of-bankrupt, blue blue state of California, which struggles with 18% unemployment (yes, 18%), the thought of removing liberal career politician Barbara Boxer makes me giddy-glad.

Politico:

California Republican Senate nominee Carly Fiorina is back on the campaign trail and feeling “fantastic” after her two-day hospitalization, according to local reports.
[...]

Campaigning at a business park outside Sacramento, Fiorina thanked a small group of supporters for their concern.

“It’s fairly common, unfortunately, for women who have been through the kind of breast cancer and reconstructive surgery that I went through to sometimes get infections, and they need to be treated aggressively and quickly, and this one was,” she said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2009, Fiorina, 56, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, was successfully treated, thanks to a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. She remains cancer free, she said.
[...]

Click here to see Fiorina on Good Morning America today:

Here’s Romney-endorsed candidate Carly for California:

“Call me senator!” Director David Zucker writes and produces the hilarious, but sad, tale of Boxer’s disrespect of our Military. Ad not authorized by Fiorina – but worth watching!


While I don’t agree with Carly on every political point, she is what California needs now and stands a good chance of being elected. The choice between Fiorina and Boxer couldn’t be clearer:
● Jobs? Or, continued unemployment and bailing businesses?
● Lower taxes? Higher taxes?
● Restructure state pensions? State insolvency?
● California turns a corner and takes care of itself? America bails out California?

Republicans who are willing to do battle on the front lines in liberally entrenched blue states are extraordinarily courageous and deserve our full support. The odds are against them. The dynamics they face are fundamentally different from conservative candidates running in red states. They take unrelenting heat from their liberal opponents and often, unrelenting heat from those on the right who believe they aren’t conservative enough.

The fact that Carly Fiorina is within striking distance of one of the most progressive, cushy-sofa, career senators gives one hope that we, the people, even we, the conservative people in a blue state, with support – not condemnation – from other conservatives across the country, do have the power to save our state and our Republic.

As with many close races across the USA, it’s going to come down to voter turn-out. For California – and across America, let’s get it done! 


Go Carly!


► Jayde Wyatt

State of the Union Speech: President Obama Still Slugging, Governor McDonnell Responds

After the knock-out senatorial election of Scott Brown (R-MA), President Obama blatantly declared, “The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office.” Obama’s 71-minute State of the Union speech to the nation last night signaled he’s ignoring  Massachusetts’ cold-water-in-the-face message. He’s quickly toweled off and plans to keep slugging. With an overall combative tone, peppered with patronization and huge doses of hypocrisy, here are just a few jabs from last night’s speech:   

“We have the largest majority in decades and people expect us to solve problems, not run for the hills.” (Obama warns Democrats to stay in the ring with him. 78% of Americans believe the Democrat super-majority loss is a positive for America.  22% feel it is a negative for America.)

“Let’s try common sense. Let’s invest in our people without leaving them a mountain of debt. Let’s meet our responsibility to the people who sent us here.” (Obama’s policies have put us on a road that will triple our national debt to $22 trillion over the next ten years. The fiscal policies of the United States are unsustainable.)

“And what the American people hope — what they deserve — is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences, to overcome the numbing weight of our politics… Just saying ‘no’ to everything may be good short term politics but it’s not leadership.” (Capitol Hill doors have been locked – figuratively and in actuality - to prevent policy negotiations with Republicans. Update: House Republican Leader John Boehner (OH-8) said today that it had been over a year since he has been contacted by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel or anyone in the Obama administration.)

“One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by a severe recession, financial system on the verge of collapse and a government deeply in debt. Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a second depression. So we acted — immediately and aggressively. And one year later, the worst of the storm has passed.” (Of Obama’s controversial $787 billion Stimulus Bill, only $264 billion has been spent. That leaves $523 billion more for Obama’s pay-backs and pet projects. He promised us that passing the Stimulus Bill would hold unemployment at 8%. It’s now over 10%. The Labor Dept reports today that for the week ending Jan. 23, another 470,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits. UPDATE: Dr. Frank Luntz conducted a poll today among an equal number of Republicans and Democrats in Philadelphia, PA. This statement polled as the WORST MOMENT in Obama’s speech.)

“…I’ve proposed a fee on the biggest banks. Now, I know Wall Street isn’t keen on this idea. But if these firms can afford to hand out big bonuses again, they can afford a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need.” (TARP funds prevented our entire financial system from collapsing. Obama wants banks who have paid back TARP money – with interest – to now pay a fee. Obama ignores the federal government’s part in contributing to our economic crisis and is deflecting from the bonuses his own administration allowed.)

“Now, the true engine of job creation in this country will always be America’s businesses.” (Where has Obama been the last year? Government employees feel more optimistic about the economy than private sector employees. Hmm. Could it be because most job growth this past year has been in the government sector?)

“You see, Washington has been telling us to wait for decades, even as the problems have grown worse. Meanwhile, China is not waiting to revamp its economy.” (Of course China isn’t waiting.  They own us! Just a couple of months into Obama’s presidency, the Chinese were expressing concerns over his penchant for trillion dollar borrowing from them. U.S. taxpayers pay the Chinese government $50 billion per year on interest – alone.)

“Still, this is a complex issue [health care], and the longer it was debated, the more skeptical people became. I take my share of the blame for not explaining it more clearly to the American people.” (Does Obama really believe 61% of Americans want him to move off the health care issue and focus on job creation because he didn’t explain it well enough? 81% of Americans believe Obamacare will raise taxes.)

“Let’s put aside the schoolyard taunts about who is tough. Let’s reject the false choice between protecting our people and upholding our values.” (Obama foreign policy gobbledy gook.  The Commander-in-Chief conveniently forgot to mention his policy of giving U.S. constitutional rights to terrorists and trials in U.S. courts.)

“And, yes, it [clean energy] means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America. I know there have been questions about whether we can afford such changes in a tough economy. I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change.” (Obama is willing to cripple our economy further by refusing to even consider real science and the scandalous suppressing of evidence regarding climate change. Cap-and-Trade legislation isn’t global warming/climate change. It’s about creating profit – money out of thin air.)

A jaw-dropping breach of decorum occurred last night when Obama scolded the Supreme Court regarding the reversal of the McCain-Feingold bill. Watch Justice Alito mouth “that’s not true”:

Like us, Harry Reid has heard it all before

Governor Bob McDonnell’s (R-VA) response to Obama’s State of the Union Speech:

Obama’s condescension and arrogance doesn’t bode well for 2010. The President’s  hoped-for left hook last night may cost him seats in the mid-term elections. Will Blue Dog Democrats go to the ropes for him?  We’ll see.

Obama may have bloodied our noses this past year, but I feel a whopping right-hook coming on. The American people refuse to be his punching bag any longer.  

Read full text of Governor Bob McDonnell’s (R-WA) rebuttal speech here.
Read full text of President Obama’s State of the Union Speech here.

Hope Still Exists

Mitt Romney for President 2012
I was just browsing at mass.gov to see what mention the Commonwealth of Massachusetts gave of their best Governor ever. Sure enough, I found this short-but-legit bio of Gov. Williard Mitt Romney. It was refreshing to review all of his accomplishments leading up to his term as Governor, but an even greater respect was gained for Romney as I read over the important emphasis he put on education, promoting fiscal responsibility, cutting taxes, retaining businesses, creating jobs, and improving veteran benefits while serving as Governor:

Willard Mitt Romney (born 1947)
(Governor of MA 2003-2007)

Known for his keen business sense and his ability to turn flailing enterprises into highly successful ventures, (Willard) Mitt Romney was faced with the challenge of turning the Commonwealth of Massachusetts into a fiscally responsible state.

Awarded his B.A with highest honors as valedictorian from Brigham Young University in 1971, Mr. Romney earned an M.B.A. and the title of Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School while simultaneously receiving his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1975. He went on to serve as Vice President of Bain & Company, Inc, a Boston-based management consulting firm and founded Bain Capital which became one of the country’s most successful venture capital investment companies.

In 1994, Mr. Romney lost to Senator Ted Kennedy for U.S. State Senator of Massachusetts, but established himself as a national political figure. He expanded this political recognition into national attention several years later by serving as Chief Executive Officer of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games held in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Later in 2002, Mr. Romney replaced then Governor Jane Swift as the Republican candidate for governor and was elected governor of Massachusetts in November, 2002. Governor Romney closed a 3 million budget deficit his first year in office without raising taxes. His top priorities in office were: education reform, establishing the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Program which rewards top achieving high school students with four year scholarships to Massachusetts state colleges and universities; Melanie’s Bill, which enforces strict penalties on repeat drunk drivers; lowering the unemployment rate by attracting and retaining businesses in Massachusetts; developing the Welcome Home Bill and Massachusetts Military Enhanced Relief Individual Tax Plan which provides National Guard members and veterans with enhanced benefits; and signing legislation to mandate that all citizens in the Commonwealth have access to quality healthcare.

Mr. Romney’s term ended in January, 2007. He chose not to seek re-election. On February 13, 2007, Mitt Romney formally announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president in 2008.

My viewpoint is in sync with that of Josephine G., a MRC fan who shared her thoughts today on the MRC Facebook page:

In the last presidential race, candidates were debating and espousing the issues that I heard Mitt give before anyone else had entered the race. I had heard him early on and was impressed that he had ideas and plans and direction. I knew that he was the one who had those ideas and others were playing politics. He is a leader, has integrity and he loves family, his God and this country. If America has the second opportunity to elect Mitt as president ..how foolish it would be to not listen this time! How detrimental [it was] to this nation not to elect him in the last election! The nation must get over political parties, politics, and petty reasons and elect a good man based on principles and the Constitution.

Thank you all for your patriotism and continued input, support, and promoting efforts here at MRC. Hope does exist. Let’s do all in our power to ensure that Mitt Romney is elected next time around. This means getting the word out to your friends, family, and co-workers, making sure that all within the sound of your voice know that there is a movement underway, a reLOVEution as the Paulites would say, a coalition of conservatives uniting here at MRC with one common cause: to restore America. Who’s with me?

~Aaronius