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Dr. Romney Goes National - A Republican health-care plan.
National Review Online ^ | August 27, 2007 | An NRO Symposium

Posted on 08/27/2007 5:30:27 PM PDT by neverdem







Dr. Romney Goes National
A Republican health-care plan.

An NRO Symposium

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney laid out his health-care plan on Friday in Florida. The former Massachusetts governor has earned both contentious criticism and accolades for working with Democrats to reform health-care there while governor. National Review Online asked a group of health-care experts to take a look at what he had to offer Friday. Here are their reactions.


Michael F. Cannon

Mitt Romney just discarded two of the most counterproductive components of his Massachusetts health-care reforms.

Romney’s law is known for (1) its requirement that all individuals purchase health insurance and (2) the “Commonwealth Connector,” a government bureaucracy much like that was championed by First Lady Hillary Clinton in 1993 and rejected by Congress in 1994.

Romney appears to have traded those big-government ideas in for full tax deductibility of out-of-pocket medical expenses and health premiums. Romney’s tax reforms would not do as much to increase affordability or individual ownership as Rudy Giuliani’s would. Nevertheless, they are a dramatic improvement over Romney’s recent past.

Unfortunately, Romney still supports some reforms that would expand government.

Though he advocates block-granting Medicaid, he wants states to use the added flexibility to make more Americans dependent on government for their health care.

He wants to deregulate health insurance, but by having Congress strong-arm the states, rather than by letting Americans purchase health insurance from out-of-state. That’s one free-market reform that neither Romney nor Giuliani have fully endorsed.

Nevertheless, Romney’s abandonment of two major components of his Massachusetts law may signal the decline of big-government conservatism in health care.

Michael F. Cannon is director of health-policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute and coauthor of Healthy Competition: What’s Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It, 2nd edition (forthcoming).


Robert Goldberg
RomneyCare — like GuilianiCare or proposals being advanced by Senators Burr and Coburn — can win the national debate on health-care reform.

RomneyCare gives people cash and lets them choose the coverage that’s right for them. In Massachusetts, it signed up more people faster than SCHIP signed up in a decade. The difference? Private companies competed for consumers instead of government trying to enroll recipients.

Under RomneyCare people could shop nationwide for the best insurance product for them at the best price. The Democrats would shove everyone into something like the Veterans’ Administration or Medicaid.

Under RomneyCare people could keep the insurance they have or get something else. Under Hillary/Obama/EdwardsCare one would have to pay higher taxes, give up one's current coverage, and have one's choices decided by government. While our soldiers returning from Iraq were waiting six months to see a doctor, Hillary told John Stossel that the VA was an example of government success. Under the Clintons, the lifespan of people treated in Medicaid-funded mental-health agencies declined by ten years. Let the Democrats defend Medicaid and the VA. Romney should campaign for health-care choices at lower prices and take the fight to the Democrats at every campaign stop.

— Robert Goldberg is vice president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest.


John Goodman
Mitt Romney is the only U.S. politician who can credibly claim to have created universal health care coverage. His Massachusetts Health Plan may yet falter; but so far he has walked the walk, while his Democrat opponents have only chattered.  He alone owns the health care issue.
The Good.  In taking the Massachusetts plan nationwide, Romney has left most of the bad features on the cutting room floor.  There is no individual mandate, no employer mandate, and no managed competition.  States  would have the opportunity to go their own way.  

People who buy their own health insurance would get the same federal tax relief as those who obtain health insurance at work.  Subsidies would allow low-income families to buy private insurance.  A block grant of medicaid funds would give states the ability to move enrollees to the private sector.

The Bad.  People would be able to deduct all out-of-pocket  health costs.  This bizarre idea probably got added late at night when the Romney team was tired.  In New York City, where  the marginal tax rate is 50 percent, you would be able to buy an MRI scan or a stomach staple for fifty cents on the dollar.  The incentives would be to spend, spend, spend.  By contrast, Health Savings Accounts (which Romney also supports) create incentives to save.

The Question Marks.  What kind of subsidy will low-income purchasers of health insurance get?  Romney is still resisting tax credits.  That opens the door to a spending subsidy, which risks becoming another entitlement. As in Massachusetts, funds hospitals now use to provide free care to the uninsured would subsidize private health insurance instead.  That's good.  But if people turn down the offer and remain uninsured, surely the money needs to go back into the safety net.  That promise needs to be explicit.

 — John Goodman is president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis.


Scott Gottlieb
A patient recently told me he was switching doctors, because he was switching jobs. His new employer didn’t offer his current insurance — a plan incidentally that he was largely happy with. And the plans offered by his new job didn’t include my hospital in its roster of “preferred” practitioners. Even if my patient — I’ll call him Tom — wanted to go outside his employer and re-purchase his present insurance in the private market, tax laws that give unfavorable treatment to such a transaction would make it prohibitively expensive.

These tax rules, and the system of private, employer-based health insurance they spawned, has become the pervasive model in this country, but it was not the product of careful planning or policy design, but rather the result of a series of disconnected political decisions that have left reasonable insurance coverage too costly and incomplete for many Americans.

First was the decision by the Roosevelt administration to make fringe benefits exempt from wartime wage controls. That encouraged employers to offer more health insurance, since better benefits were one of the few enticements they could use to attract workers in a tight, wage-controlled labor market. Next, the government decided that money spent on health insurance provided by employers would not be subject to tax. The result? Increased demand for such benefits, since a dollar of health insurance was more valuable than a dollar of salary.

This leaves people like Tom, who live paycheck to paycheck, at a particular disadvantage. He is tied to his job — for better or worse — since he is unable to purchase economical insurance on his own. Even if he could scrape together the same amount of money his employer was spending to give him health insurance it wouldn’t be enough, since the unfavorable tax treatment means buying the same plan on his own could cost twice as much.

Governor Mitt Romney’s health plan aims to level the playing field, giving people like Tom the same opportunities offered to his employers, or to the wealthy Americans who have enough extra cash to go into the marketplace on their own and buy individual policies, forgoing the tax advantage they’d have if they got a similar plan through a large corporation.

Romney is proposing to change the tax code to allow more people like Tom to deduct their health-care premiums, co-pays, and out-of-pocket expenses. Romney would also give states more flexibility to design programs that help cover more low-income Americans. And the proposal includes medical malpractice reform through the use of specialized health courts and caps on punitive and non-economic damages.

Meaningful reform also needs to free people like Tom to buy health plans that are liberated from all of the extraneous and expensive state “mandates” — on everything from chiropractors to in vitro fertilization — that state legislators heap onto individually bought insurance policies in order to satisfy special-interest groups who use these requirements to make sure their services are covered even if people don’t want them.

The Left complains that the market for health care is broken and they use all the present shortcomings as justification for more government regulation and control. But the problem is that health care isn’t a market at all, and won’t be until people like Tom are liberated to become real consumers of these services, armed with the same tax advantages, choices, and freedom from costly mandates that are offered to big employers.

— Dr. Scott Gottlieb is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a practicing medical doctor.



David Gratzer
During his tenure in Massachusetts, Gov. Romney pushed through a comprehensive reform package that won praise from the people at the Heritage Foundation but, also, the people in Senator Edward Kennedy’s office. Critics on the Left and the Right tend to oversimplify the plan. Nevertheless, it is heavy in government requirements and subsidies, and light on deregulation.

Romney’s health-care advisers divide into two camps: the Massachusetts people and the uber-economists. Needless to say, the people who he’s brought from his Boston days see little wrong with RomneyCare. He also is advised by two of the sharpest minds in health policy: Glenn Hubbard and John Cogan. Hubbard and Cogan co-authored (with Daniel Kessler) the best book written in this field: Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise. They favor deregulation, greater competition, tax reform, and host of other free-market ideas.

Romney, in other words, has two sets of advisers, pushing in two separate directions. In Florida on Friday, Romney announced some principles for reform. Wisely, he listened to Hubbard and Cogan. The outline doesn’t have much in way of details, but the ideas are solid and worthy of serious consideration. Together, they offer a dose of needed medicine for American health care.

Voters will need to consider, though, why he didn’t seek the counsel of Hubbard and Cogan years ago.

— Dr. David Gratzer, a physician, is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. His most recent book is The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care. He advises the Giuliani campaign.


John Hood
I’ve always thought that one of the most reliable ways to assess a political program is whether it attracts the right criticism. For most politicians, the natural impulse is to find a way to fashion a plan or craft a message that has something for everyone. The impulse isn’t without its virtues. Indeed, most important policy reforms in Washington and state capitols have come from bipartisan or cross-ideological coalitions of some kind, though usually they aren’t 50-50 propositions — there is a senior partner (such as the Republican Congress on welfare reform) and a junior partner (the Democratic president who eventually signed the bill).

Judging by the criticism standard, Mitt Romney has found the right pitch on health care, where useful reforms will certainly require assembling a coalition. Previously, as a governor, Romney sang a bit sharp. Too eager to get his health-insurance measure through the Massachusetts legislature, he acquiesced to excessive regulation. Don’t ask me, ask Teddy Kennedy — who liked the outcome. Bad sign. Now, as a presidential candidate, Romney’s ideas on market reforms and federalism have drawn fire from John Edwards (“it will make a dysfunctional health care system even worse”) and Obama adviser Stuart Altman (“[Romney’s] run away from the Massachusetts plan”).

That’s a start.

— John Hood is president of the John Locke Foundation.


John McClaughry

Mitt Romney’s Health Care Vision is widely shared by almost every policy advocate not wedded to the government-run alternative. Indeed, every ingredient in it has long been on the agenda of Republican leaders in Congress and free market think tanks — including mine, dating back to 1993.

To his credit, Romney was the first governor to address the tax inequities in health insurance, and devise a scheme (“The Connector”) to allow employees to claim deductibility for individual premium payments through simplified employer cafeteria plans.

A major sticky wicket in Romney’s plan is his reliance on state insurance market reform - rarely if ever achieved, and not easily forced by federal pressure. The plan is also vague about the consequences facing impecunious non-participants seeking medical care in his “no free rider” participation system.

Romney’s surprising advocacy of coupling HSAs with even zero deductible insurance would reverse a hopeful trend toward reducing the role of third party payers for normal health maintenance.

That said, Romney’s articulate advocacy of this comprehensive package will add a strong voice to the pro-market side of a debate in which most other Republicans, including President Bush, have fared poorly. That’s a big plus.

— John McClaughry is president of the Ethan Allen Institute, a free market think tank in Vermont.


Robert E. Moffit
Romney’s health-care-reform proposal is a refreshing reaffirmation of federalism. At the federal level, he proposes a universal tax deduction for all health-care expenses. Every person would be able to get the same federal tax deduction for health insurance, for example, regardless of where they got it; health insurance would then be personal and individuals would be able to carry their health insurance from job to job. Romney would also strengthen health savings accounts by eliminating today’s minimum deductible requirement.

These are major and welcome changes. But the real heavy lifting would be up to the states. The Romney plan provides federal incentives for states to reform their insurance markets in ways that would reduce premium costs and expand private coverage options for consumers.

He leaves it to the states to determine how best to work out all the mind-numbing details, ranging from creating new risk pooling arrangements to drafting new underwriting rules. But under the plan, state officials would “earn” federal funds to help low income people get private coverage by making their insurance markets more affordable and consumer-friendly.

Romney’s got this exactly right: Essentially, he’s using existing government funds to do get the uninsured out of the hospital emergency rooms and into private health plans.

Romney’s national tax reform proposal would unify the tax treatment of health care for every American, while his encouragement of innovative state officials would respect the diversity of the states. After all, what works best for Massachusetts may not work well for Mississippi.

— Robert E. Moffit is director of the Center for Health Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation.


Sally C. Pipes

Mitt Romney launched his “extreme health-care makeover” on Friday, outlining his federal health-care agenda to the Florida Medical Association. The docs, who are calling for Romney’s individual mandate at the national level, must have been disappointed at the former governor’s reversal. Out of Massachusetts and into the primary states, he’s jettisoned the harsh individual mandate for calls for a gentler adjustment to the tax code, deregulation, and a crack down on medical malpractice. To this, I’d say welcome home, but that would require that we know his permanent and fixed address.

Meanwhile, to quote Bob Dylan, his past is close behind. Back in Massachusetts, a slew of new bureaucrats in well-paid jobs are filling in the details of his healthcare handiwork. Despite claims to the contrary, Romney’s legacy to Massachusetts is a more regulated health environment. The alleged market maker — The Commonwealth Connector — issued regulations that dictate the design of health plans, declaring that as many as 200,000 people who were already insured didn’t have the right kind, subjecting them to a fine or forcing them to purchase new insurance. Regulators exempted 20 percent of the uninsured from the mandate. This puts at risk a financial and philosophical pillar of the plan: a redirection of funds from the state’s charity care pool to the subsidized insurance market. Stay tuned to this event, a smash up is on the way.

— Sally C. Pipes is president & CEO of the Pacific Research Institute. She is author of
Miracle Cure: How to Solve America’s Health Care Crisis and Why Canada Isn’t the Answer. She advises the Giuliani campaign.


Grace-Marie Turner
Governor Romney is the most battle-tested of all of the Republican presidential candidates on health care issues. The proposal he initiated for the commonwealth of Massachusetts went through the maw of the legislative process, and he necessarily had to make many compromises with an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature in order to get some version of his plan passed. But many people, especially conservatives, are troubled about the over-reach of state control that has been the result of Massachusetts’s health-care legislation.

Now that he is running for president, Romney has an opportunity to talk to voters about his ideas, his true convictions, and the lessons learned from his experience in Massachusetts. To his credit, his latest proposal does not call for an individual mandate that would require people to purchase health insurance. He also clearly understands the importance of having the federal government address the tax treatment of health insurance: He recommends changes that would allow insurance to be portable and not tied to the workplace, and he also would provide new subsidies to the uninsured to purchase private insurance. He also understands, as a former governor, giving the states more authority and resources to improve health care delivery. It is important for Romney to reassure primary voters about his true convictions and to prove that he will stick with the free-market convictions he articulated before the AMA, that he has learned the consequences of over-compromising, and that he truly is on the side of competition and consumer choice.

— Grace-Marie Turner is president of the Galen Institute.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: elections; healthcare; romney; romneycare; romneytherino
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1 posted on 08/27/2007 5:30:30 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

2 posted on 08/27/2007 5:32:09 PM PDT by ConservativeofColor
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To: neverdem

Fred Thompson for president!


3 posted on 08/27/2007 5:33:43 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: ConservativeofColor

what is dat on the left?


4 posted on 08/27/2007 5:33:52 PM PDT by ken21
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To: ken21

A snowball or, more specifically, Romney’s chances of getting the Republican nomination.


5 posted on 08/27/2007 5:35:54 PM PDT by ConservativeofColor
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To: ConservativeofColor

lol!

i agree.


6 posted on 08/27/2007 5:36:33 PM PDT by ken21
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To: neverdem

No more government. NO MORE GOVERNMENT!


7 posted on 08/27/2007 5:38:06 PM PDT by John Leland 1789
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To: neverdem
Poliddiot
8 posted on 08/27/2007 5:41:41 PM PDT by hiredhand (My kitty disappeared. NOT the rifle!)
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To: Austin1; bcbuster; beaversmom; bethtopaz; BlueAngel; Bluestateredman; borntoraisehogs; Bosco; ...

Ping!

This is a nice post discussing the pros and cons of Mitt’s health care plan. Hopefully we can have a fair and rational discussion.


9 posted on 08/27/2007 5:52:13 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah (Catholic4Mitt)
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah; GOP_Lady; TAdams8591; redgirlinabluestate; MassachusettsGOP; ran20; ...

“Hopefully we can have a fair and rational discussion.”

One would hope, but some seem opposed to that.


10 posted on 08/27/2007 6:01:14 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (Illegal aliens commit crimes that Americans won't commit)
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah; Reaganesque; Rameumptom; Grig; sevenbak; Utah Girl; tantiboh; DanielLongo; ...

Gov. Romney: Healthcare Is A Republican Issuehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhJo_DlN1jk


11 posted on 08/27/2007 6:08:21 PM PDT by restornu (Elevate Your Thoughts!)
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To: neverdem; EternalVigilance
Mitt Romney just discarded two of the most counterproductive components of his Massachusetts health-care reforms. Romney’s law is known for (1) its requirement that all individuals purchase health insurance and (2) the “Commonwealth Connector,”

So RomneyCareI is out and RomneyCareII is in!

Unfortunately, Romney still supports some reforms that would expand government.

So in reality, Mitt is still a big government guy.

12 posted on 08/27/2007 6:12:54 PM PDT by Reagan Man (FUHGETTABOUTIT Rudy....... Conservatives don't vote for liberals!)
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah
Hopefully we can have a fair and rational discussion.

Yep, there's a first time for everything.

13 posted on 08/27/2007 6:40:02 PM PDT by WFTR (Liberty isn't for cowards)
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To: ConservativeofColor

have you thought about adding a pair of fuzzy dice for “chance”?


14 posted on 08/27/2007 6:43:20 PM PDT by asparagus
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah
Sen. Jim DeMint had some good things to say about the Romney healthcare plan:

----> DeMint: Romney's Health Plan Expands Freedom, Not Socialism

Columbia, SC - Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) made the following statement:

"Governor Romney's plan will dramatically expand access to affordable, private health insurance. By providing for full deductibility of all medical expenses, this plan will help millions of Americans who don't receive coverage through their employer to have a real choice in the individual market. It will also help equalize the tax treatment between employer-based and individual health insurance, allowing more Americans to afford a plan they can own and keep.

"This plan rejects socialized medicine that leads to fewer choices, lower quality, and higher taxes. Governor Romney has outlined a sensible plan that will harness the power of free markets to provide Americans with personal control of the highest quality care at the best possible price."

Romney is brilliant. He knows we cannot allow the dems to own this issue. Yes, the current system needs reform, but he understands that we need to come up with innovative ideas and solve the problems on our terms, not theirs.

15 posted on 08/27/2007 6:44:41 PM PDT by redgirlinabluestate
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah
Hopefully we can have a fair and rational discussion.

Okay fair and rational. Point out to me where it's the business of the national government to be forwarding health care 'plans', medical programs, retirement plans, or 95% of anything they do. Fair is giving Romney and every other big government advocate the time and ability to withdraw their 'solutions' and be quiet.

Cut taxes, return the money to the citizens of the respective states, and get out of our lives. Fair enough? If I choose to purchase medical insurance that's my business. If I choose not to that's my business as well and I accept the repercussions that may bring with it.

16 posted on 08/27/2007 6:47:53 PM PDT by billbears (Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. --Santayana)
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To: neverdem
It really surprises me how offended so many people are about the individual mandate in Massachusetts.

The fact is, people who can afford health insurance but don't buy it are being as irresponsible as people who don't buy auto insurance. As conservatives, we ought to be supporting personal responsibility.

I'm dissapointed Mitt didn't include an individual mandate in his national plan. It's still an okay plan, but as the heritage guy says, it will leave the heavy lifting to the states.

17 posted on 08/27/2007 6:48:22 PM PDT by curiosity
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To: Clintonfatigued; Canticle_of_Deborah
There is a good, honest, civil discussion in the article, perhaps readers will follow it's example.

"By contrast, Health Savings Accounts (which Romney also supports) create incentives to save."

To me the answer is Health Savings Accounts. It is good that Romeny is also supportive of the idea.

18 posted on 08/27/2007 6:57:30 PM PDT by TAdams8591 ( Guiliani is a Democrat in Republican drag. Mitt Romney for president in 2008! : ))
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To: restornu

LOL! Three pings (in a row) to this most informative article. There is NO WAY we could miss it! : )


19 posted on 08/27/2007 7:03:15 PM PDT by TAdams8591 ( Guiliani is a Democrat in Republican drag. Mitt Romney for president in 2008! : ))
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To: neverdem

Just say no to Romneycare!


20 posted on 08/27/2007 7:04:29 PM PDT by Jim Robinson (Our God-given unalienable rights are not open to debate, negotiation or compromise!)
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah

If the state mandates your payment, it is a tax and a socialization, whether the mandate requires the payment to a public or private entity.

You might choose to believe otherwise, but please understand that conservatives see through Willard’s spin.

Willardcare and Hillarycare are not materially distinguishable.


21 posted on 08/27/2007 7:07:30 PM PDT by Petronski (Why would Romney lie about Ronald Reagan's record?)
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To: billbears

Cut taxes
Cut spending
Cut government

Repeat.


22 posted on 08/27/2007 7:08:48 PM PDT by Jim Robinson (Our God-given unalienable rights are not open to debate, negotiation or compromise!)
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To: curiosity

Health care is not a right. Period.

Government laws to force individuals to do what is (arguably good for them) is not supporting personal responsibility.

The government is the primary reason that the cost of health care and health insurance is so high.

The government has destroyed any resemblance to free market in delivery of health care products. It has ruined health care and now the solution is to force individuals to purchase “insurance” against their will.

People that overeat are irresponsible. Ipso facto it is the government’s right to force them to eat less. Better yet, do as the Brits are doing, deny fat people access to doctors. Yeah, I have a lot of faith that the government should be the final arbitrator of what is good for me (and you).

You want to see a doctor? Better make sure your refrigerator is ready for inspection by your betters.


23 posted on 08/27/2007 7:10:11 PM PDT by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s........you weren't really there)
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To: neverdem

TheDon’s healthcare proposal is that the gov’t may not pass any laws regarding medical care.


24 posted on 08/27/2007 7:18:12 PM PDT by TheDon (The DemocRAT party is the party of TREASON! Overthrow the terrorist's congress!)
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To: curiosity

How many calories do you eat a day?.....ya know....it’s not GOOD to eat over a certain amount depending upon your height and build and exercise level....you DO exercise, don’t you?....the State will soon want to be sure of that! Are you seeing the direction GOVERNMENT health care will go? Each individual needs to be RESPONSIBLE for themselves and if they don’t want insurance....suffer the consequences....we have the best place on earth for healthcare, AND the best information about BEING healthy, but unfortunately, SOME people will NEVER care. MANDATING it will NOT make things better....just dumb all insurance down to the ones who do NOT CARE!


25 posted on 08/27/2007 7:30:28 PM PDT by goodnesswins (Being Challenged Builds Character! Being Coddled Destroys Character!)
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To: ChildOfThe60s

LOL....I just READ your statement.....birds of a feather, I guess!!!


26 posted on 08/27/2007 7:31:23 PM PDT by goodnesswins (Being Challenged Builds Character! Being Coddled Destroys Character!)
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To: Jim Robinson

Exactly.


27 posted on 08/27/2007 7:42:00 PM PDT by billbears (Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. --Santayana)
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To: neverdem

I have no problem with states experimenting with health care in their 50 laboratories (assuming those health care experiments do not violate state Constitutions). On the other hand, I have a very serious problem with the feds getting involved. As I’ve said before, I see a lot of reasons to like Romney — but this knocks him down quite a bit on my personal list.


28 posted on 08/27/2007 8:37:56 PM PDT by ellery (I don't remember a constitutional amendment that gives you the right not to be identified-R.Giuliani)
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To: neverdem; ConservativeofColor; mylife; redgirlinabluestate; TAdams8591; All

I haven’t read into Romney’s plan...seen negative and positive comments on it. I actually think Bush’s plan is fairly good...not sure of the small details...but sounds similiar to most free-market methods out there.

Unfortunately the man doesn’t sell things all too well or perhaps he’s doing it slowly so he doesn’t cause a political uproar. Not sure.

Read:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/stateoftheunion/2006/healthcare/

I do think ultimately insurance agencies will attach themselves to Bush-like plans or free-market avenues; but given there is huge incentives profit wise for them to keep it as is (atleast in some states), I’m sure they’re not too keen to change it. I’m not an absolute pro-corporate guy...more or less I think they only function well for the country when they have to compete...state laws impeding competition sorely puts everyone at a disadvantage (especially people living in high cost-of-living states).


29 posted on 08/28/2007 12:06:57 AM PDT by Rick_Michael (The Anti-Federalists failed....so will the Anti-Frederalists)
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To: Rick_Michael; All

They need to atleast allow people to buy across state-lines, and they should give the option to people to opt out of state safety nets or more importantly excess programs they won’t use. Not everyone needs a psychiatrist or chiropractor.

These sort of percentages (below) give us as conservatives an opportunity to work this out before Dems get all crazy. If they change it, we’ll be like Europe...unable to afford or military and our economy will be deeply erroded (especially in job growth). This issue is key to our party...everyone must educate themselves on the solution(s) and get their leaders going.

Don’t let the dems take the reins.


read please.........

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/medicarehealthinsurance/a/healthchioce.htm

Crossing state lines to get cheaper rates now illegal

A majority of Americans strongly support allowing people to cross state lines to find cheaper health insurance coverage, according to a new Zogby International poll conducted on behalf of the Council for Affordable Health Insurance (CAHI).

According the poll:

# 72% of those polled (1,001 likely voters) supported allowing someone living in one state to purchase health insurance from another state, if the insurance is state-regulated and approved. (15% were opposed and 13% were not sure.)

# 82% said they would be likely to purchase a policy across state lines if they were paying very high rates and needed access to more affordable health insurance policies.

According to CAHI, health insurance prices are rising, and this is partly caused by state imposed health insurance mandates.

# While mandates make health insurance more comprehensive, they also make it more expensive because mandates require insurers to pay for care consumers previously funded out of their own pockets. CAHI has identified 1,853 state-imposed health insurance mandates across America.

In addition, several states have passed guaranteed issue legislation, which requires insurers to accept anyone who applies regardless of health status. Every state that has imposed guaranteed issue in its individual market has seen its health insurance premiums rise significantly and insurers leave the state.

These mandates and guaranteed issue make health insurance unaffordable for millions of Americans, disproportionately affecting lower-income workers and minorities, who have less access to employer-provided coverage. As a result, minorities and low-income workers want more health insurance options. According to this poll:

# 86% of Hispanics and 85% of African Americans are most likely to be in support of allowing people to purchase policies being sold in other states.

# 80% of single adults and people with annual household incomes between $15,000 and $24,999 support this option.

Interestingly, Republicans and higher-income workers are more likely to be opposed.

Current laws prohibit individuals from buying health insurance across state lines. Rather, they must buy what has been approved in their own state.

“States must lower the cost of health insurance and reduce the number of uninsured by giving their citizens access to a wide range of affordable health policies without all the mandates and restrictions,” stated CAHI Director Dr. Merrill Matthews. “If they refuse, then Congress needs to take action to ensure that all Americans have other options. Judging by the results of this poll, Congress has the support to do just that.”


30 posted on 08/28/2007 12:23:10 AM PDT by Rick_Michael (The Anti-Federalists failed....so will the Anti-Frederalists)
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To: billbears

“I accept the repercussions that may bring with it.”

Which translates to the people of MA bailing hospitals out to the tune of $1 billion + per year for those who like you “accept the repercussions” (i.e. take the free care then don’t pay — or perhaps you think paying $50/month on a $25,000 hosital bill is more than sufficient to cover this personal responsibility thing you all love to refer to?)

Reality. It escapes most political debate — especially from the Paul supporters. MA, like every other state in the union, bails out hospitals for the free care they have to provide.

Let’s just keep that intact then — and pay no attention to those costs going spiralling out of control.

I know, I know -— “where in the Constitution does it state we have to bail out hospitals”...... see that reality thing I refered to.


31 posted on 08/28/2007 3:06:03 AM PDT by Lovebloggers
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To: ChildOfThe60s

Romney relaxed mandates on Health Insurance carriers and agrees with you that government should not be in the medical care business — reason why subsidizing the cost of private health insurance premiums (who are far better suited to combat fraud and abuse) is the only viable aternative to the out of control costs associated with bailing out hospitals every year.

Of course the bailing out hospitals aspect is always absent in the attacks on Romney’s health care reform act. It’s a mystery.


32 posted on 08/28/2007 3:09:09 AM PDT by Lovebloggers
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To: ken21
what is dat on the left?

That is where all the Romney-haters live.

33 posted on 08/28/2007 3:15:34 AM PDT by Edit35
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To: hiredhand

You Romney-haters are sick people.

There are several Republican presidential candidates with whom I (and many others here on FR) think are just awful.

Yet we are not obsessed with posting juvenile photos slamming and denigrating those particular candidates.

A sickness lies inside people like yourself who obviously feels so compelled to live in the muck.


34 posted on 08/28/2007 3:20:58 AM PDT by Edit35
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah
Hopefully we can have a fair and rational discussion.

Unfortunately, it might not be possible.

These Romney haters are mindlessly obsessed with slinging mud and posting juvenile photos.

Their hatred toward this conservative candidate borders on obsession.

Like I said in another post, I virulently disagree with several current Republican candidates on many issues.

Yet I am not out there denigrating and lobbing mindless slander at them.

It is early in the election process, and we at least should simply be tossing around the ideas these candidates put forth, instead of accusing them of "causing diahreah and death" as one Romney hater already wrote.

One more thing: I saw Ann Colter on the OReilly show tonight (Michelle Malkin substituted) and Colter indicated that Romney was probably her top choice, her favorite candidate, among the current crop of GOP hopefuls.

Now I supposed these Romney haters will accuse Ann Colter of not being "conservative enough".

35 posted on 08/28/2007 3:28:52 AM PDT by Edit35
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To: Petronski
but please understand that conservatives see through Willard’s spin.

Oh, I get it.

You Romney haters are the only REAL conservatives, and everyone else is just pretending.

Is that is?

36 posted on 08/28/2007 3:30:53 AM PDT by Edit35
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To: billbears
Fair is giving Romney and every other big government advocate the time and ability to withdraw their 'solutions' and be quiet.

Got some news for you there, Mr. Hardline Conservative.

Ronald Reagan supported (or at least didn't cut) Medicare or Medicaid.

Sen. Rick Santorum (my conservative hero) voted to continue Medicare and Medicaid.

I could go on and on and on, naming every single conservative YOU consider a hero. None of them "withdrew ... and were quiet' or whatever it is you demand regarding govt. involvment in health issues.

Romney's plan, in a nutshell, would REDUCE the meddling hand of today's government beaurocracy by encouraging low income/non-covered people to BUY THEIR OWN PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE (thru individual partial grants or subsidies).

Under the current system, (supported by almost every Republican in office today), the federal govt. decides what procedures doctors can do and at what cost.

Romney's plan, my friend, is a great first step in transferring the current Medicaid nightmare back into the hands of PRIVATE HEALTH INSURERS -- which is where it should be.

Again, Romney at least deserves some high praise for having the guts to suggest solutions.

Unlike other candidates who just complain and carp and "pretend" they would just cut off all Americans who can't afford all health care.

That aint never gonna happen, I don't care how much rhetoric is thrown around. I dont care how conservative one is.

A compassionate American just cant sit idly by and watch someone get sick and die, regardless of how irresponsible that person is or was to begin with.

37 posted on 08/28/2007 3:48:27 AM PDT by Edit35
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To: curiosity
people who can afford health insurance but don't buy it are being as irresponsible as people who don't buy auto insurance.

Not necessarily.

If someone without auto insurance slams into my vehicle, kids or home, I stand to lose millions if that slammer has no money.

If someone gets sick and doesn't have insurance, it doesn't affect me personally at all.

Yes, you could argue that we as a society must collectively pay for emergency rooms/hospitals.

But that doesn't pan out when you consider that many people who DON't have health insurance simply spend LESS on health care, not more.

Those who are covered by health plans (especially those covered by employers) will go to the doctor waaay more, studies show.

If a non-covered person gets sick and dies, it in fact costs society less than if they were covered by Medicaid or Medicare, or whichever.

38 posted on 08/28/2007 3:58:59 AM PDT by Edit35
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To: Petronski
If the state mandates your payment...

Romney's NATIONWIDE plan does NOT mandate everyone have health insurance.

Nor does it mandate that all employers provide healthcare insurance to all workers.

Romney's plan for Mass. had some individual mandates, I believe.

But Romney's NATIONWIDE plan is different than the Mass. plan.

Which is how it should be.

Differing plans for differing states, etc.

39 posted on 08/28/2007 4:03:25 AM PDT by Edit35
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To: MojoWire
"Unlike other candidates who just complain and carp and "pretend" they would just cut off all Americans who can't afford all health care.

That aint never gonna happen, I don't care how much rhetoric is thrown around. I dont care how conservative one is.

A compassionate American just cant sit idly by and watch someone get sick and die, regardless of how irresponsible that person is or was to begin with."

That is exactly right!

40 posted on 08/28/2007 4:38:24 AM PDT by TAdams8591 ( Guiliani is a Democrat in Republican drag. Mitt Romney for president in 2008! : ))
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To: Lovebloggers

What no politician will ever admit publicly is that the most significant single thing to affect costs is Medicare. Since its inception Medicare has been distorting and shifting costs to users in the private sector. When the government forces providers to furnish services at or below their cost, someone has to pay the difference. That would be those of us who use insurance or pay out of pocket.

There are obviously multiple variables at work, HC is a complex system. But the boogyman, the six hundred pound gorilla is the government/Medicare.

As as surely as that is true, it is also a guarantee that our system can’t and won’t be fixed because no one is going to stand in front of voters and say that Medicare has screwed up things. That until the government gets out of the business of price fixing via Medicare, things will not improve.

The government solution to fixing the problems it has caused is more government intervention. Welcome to socialized medicine, it is already halfway here.


41 posted on 08/28/2007 5:15:50 AM PDT by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s........you weren't really there)
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To: MojoWire
I could go on and on and on, naming every single conservative YOU consider a hero. None of them "withdrew ... and were quiet' or whatever it is you demand regarding govt. involvment in health issues.

You could? Because I don't consider Reagan nor Santorum a 'hero' I don't consider any politician of the 20th century a 'hero'. But please do continue.

Romney's plan, in a nutshell, would REDUCE the meddling hand of today's government beaurocracy by encouraging low income/non-covered people to BUY THEIR OWN PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE (thru individual partial grants or subsidies).

And just where does that grant or subsidy money come from? The money fairy? They won't be buying it, we will. With our tax dollars

A compassionate American just cant sit idly by and watch someone get sick and die, regardless of how irresponsible that person is or was to begin with.

Of course they can't. That's what charities are for. To help the less fortunate. Perhaps if we had a little more money in our own pockets instead of politicians suggesting 'plans' these charities might be doing a little better than they are.

42 posted on 08/28/2007 5:20:20 AM PDT by billbears (Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. --Santayana)
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To: MojoWire

he’s your

rino.


43 posted on 08/28/2007 6:01:43 AM PDT by ken21
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To: ConservativeofColor
I thought it was a powdered donut.

Of course, Americans more and more are in a vicious cycle of donut hell. It’s why we all need health care. Romney is the guy to save us all from our powdered donuts. ;-)

44 posted on 08/28/2007 6:36:47 AM PDT by sevenbak (Many things Jesus did... the world itself could not contain books that should be written. John 21:25)
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To: MojoWire
Oh, I get it.

I don't think you do.

You Romney haters...

I don't hate Romney, I just don't think he should be the nominee...not of the GOP anyway.

...are the only REAL conservatives...

I never said that.

...and everyone else is just pretending.

Not everyone else is just pretending, just Willard.

Is that is?

Was that was?

45 posted on 08/28/2007 7:02:59 AM PDT by Petronski (Why would Romney lie about Ronald Reagan's record?)
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To: redgirlinabluestate
So let's see, Gov. Romney's plan is going to help me by deciding that my health care insurance isn't good enough, forcing me to spend even more money on a health care plan that some bureaucrats think I need, rather than what I think I need.

That seems to be the same kind of proposal most socialists make. The people don't know what's good for them, so they need us to dictate to them.

What next. Will the RomneyCare bureacrats decide that what I am eating is unhealthy and start dictating to me what to eat?

"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security." - Ben Franklin.

46 posted on 08/28/2007 7:24:04 AM PDT by deebee1
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To: MojoWire

So we should be “Mind-numbed robots” and vote for whoever Ann tells us to?


47 posted on 08/28/2007 7:25:16 AM PDT by deebee1
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To: neverdem

Anyone mind if I scream?


48 posted on 08/28/2007 7:26:24 AM PDT by LIConFem (Thompson 2008. Lifetime ACU Rating: 86 -- Hunter 2008 (VP) Lifetime ACU Rating: 92)
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To: neverdem

I have no desire for Ronmeny-care any more than Hillary-Care.

If the issue boils down to Ronmeny vs Hillary this would be a very tough tough choice.

I have no more desire for romney stealing money from my pocket than i have for hillary to steal money from my pocket.

stick a fork in romney he is finished.


49 posted on 08/28/2007 7:33:09 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: MojoWire; Petronski; Canticle_of_Deborah; ken21; Squantos
I knew I'd draw fire for that graphic. I was wondering who would be first. :-) Don't get your shorts in such a knot. :-)

Romney is professional panderer, and a leftist. He'll tell anybody, any version of anything they want to hear. It's just what he does. I don't hate him anymore than I hate finding a Copperhead in the garden (which we do occaisionally). By the same token, we're going to cut the head off the snake. But it's nothing personal, just something that needs to be done. We don't try and pretend that the snake is a possum. Nor do we invent some reason for permitting the snake stay in the garden. We know from experience that if we do these things, eventually somebody is going to get BIT because the snake is a snake and he's simply dangerous.

I'll say it again... IF the GOP manages to get Giuliani, Romney, or McCain on the 2008 presidential ballot, they will do so at the peril of the nation because there are too many of my types who will simply vote for men like Duncan Hunter, irrespective of what the "Almighty GOP" thinks.

This will put Hillary Clinton squarely into the Oval Office. We will NOT vote for the lesser of two evils again, and we will not live in fear, or the fear of what will come because of those who do vote for the lesser of two evils.

I personally am dismayed beyond anything I can express here that the GOP has presented us with such a dismally lacking choice. They have failed us. But people down here at our level are picking nits off the dogs and trying to decide among themselves which stinking dog is the least offensive after its cleaned up as much as possible, which doesn't account for much. All three lack character and integrity and have established records of siding with the left on too many issues. They have records indicating that they give no heed to our Constitution. One is even a cross dresser. All three are terrible examples of the type of leader we need as POTUS and CINC, and it's pathethc that people continue to debate which is the best of the worst. It's a cowardly pattern and dangerous.

This behavior pattern I've noted above is quite a quandry for the cowards who exhibit it since practicing it is going to bring their worst fears upon them....having Hillary as the President.

So call us what you will, but I'm simply telling you what's going to happen. There's enough time to change the course of this disaster. But if things simply procede on their present course, Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the 44th President of The United States of America.


50 posted on 08/28/2007 7:40:33 AM PDT by hiredhand (My kitty disappeared. NOT the rifle!)
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