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Confirmed: Romneycare = Obamacare
MichelleMalkin.com ^ | January 26, 2012 10:32 AM | Michelle Malkin

Posted on 05/04/2012 10:19:37 AM PDT by SoConPubbie

Jim Pethokoukis spotlights a new Health Affairs study on how Romneycare laid the foundation for Obamacare, and what it portends for the federal health insurance scene. In short: Expanded government coverage, higher taxpayer costs. Read here for details and analysis. His conclusion:

The authors conclude that based on the Romneycare experience, Obamacare will improve coverage and not kill employer-based insurance, but containing costs will be a “considerable challenge.” That is probably the avenue Romney should use to a) attack Obamacare and b) present his own national health reform. But this study will perpetuate the meme that Romneycare was the prototype for Obamacare. Santorum hammered Romney on this point at the last debate more effectively than any other candidate throughout this campaign season, probably because he understands the issue better than his rivals. We’ll see if he or Gingrich follows up tonight.

No surprises, of course. We already heard from Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber in October:

The Obama administration may have relied much more heavily on Romney’s Massachusetts healthcare legislation as a blueprint for Obamacare than was previously believed.

White House visitor logs obtained by NBC News revealed that three of Romney’s healthcare advisers had up to a dozen meetings with senior administration officials, including one in the Oval Office presided over by President Barack Obama.

“They really wanted to know how we can take that same approach we used in Massachusetts and turn that into a national model,” MIT economist and Romney healthcare adviser Jon Gruber told NBC.

And back in September, I noted the analysis by Suffolk University’s Beacon Hill Institute showing the depths of the economic damage that Romneycare did in the Bay State.

Flashback:

Romney’s baggage. It is so heavy:

The Bay State’s controversial 2006 universal health-care plan — also known as “Romneycare” — has cost Massachusetts more than 18,000 jobs, according to an exclusive blockbuster study that could provide ammo to GOP rivals of former Gov. Mitt Romney as he touts his job-creating chops on the campaign trail.

“Mandating health insurance coverage and expanding the demand for health services without increasing supply drove up costs. Economics 101 tells us that,” said Paul Bachman, research director at Suffolk University’s Beacon Hill Institute, the conservative think tank that conducted the study. The Herald obtained an exclusive copy of the findings.

“The ‘shared sacrifice’ needed to provide universal health care includes a net loss of jobs, which is attributable to the higher costs that the measure imposed,” said David Tuerck, the institute’s executive director.

…Despite Romney’s vaunted business acumen as a successful venture capitalist, Bachman said the former governor “was a little naive about what would become of the law.”

The Beacon Hill Institute study found that, on average, Romneycare:

•    cost the Bay State 18,313 jobs;

•    drove up total health insurance costs in Massachusetts by $4.311 billion;

•    slowed the growth of disposable income per person by $376; and

•    reduced investment in Massachusetts by $25.06 million.

And remember that RomneyCare relied on FedGovCare as a sturdy crutch: “He also noted the state’s health-care costs have been heavily subsidized by billions of dollars in federal aid through a Medicaid waiver program.”

The SEIU may be attacking Romney in Floridanow, but Big Labor radicals made out well under Romneycare.

I repeat: RomneyCare and ObamaCare share not only the same ideological architects, but similar waiver programs in part set up to benefit Big Labor – via Boston Globe in February:

Massachusetts regulators granted more exemptions last year to residents who said they could not afford the health insurance required by the state, waiving the tax penalty for more than half of those who appealed, according to state data.

State officials said they excused the majority of waiver applicants in large part because of the protracted sour economy, which made insurance unaffordable for more people. Under the 2006 state law that requires most residents to have coverage, regulators have significant latitude to authorize waivers by taking into account factors such as a home foreclosure.

The number of people seeking exemptions in 2010 was about the same as in 2009, and state figures show that roughly 98 percent of residents were insured last year.

Even as Republicans and many states wage a bitter battle in Congress and the courts to block the mandatory insurance requirement in the national health care law, the provision appears to retain broad acceptance in Massachusetts.

Regulators’ flexibility may be part of the reason.

“We aren’t going to make someone pay just to make them pay,’’ said Celia Wcislo, a director of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and a member of the Connector Authority, which oversees Massachusetts’ health care law and grants the exemptions.

Refresher on the politicized “Connector Authority” via Cato:

When Romney signed his plan he claimed “a key objective is to lower the cost of health insurance for all our citizens and allow our citizens to buy the insurance plan that fits their needs.” In actuality, insurance premiums in the state are expected to rise 10–12 percent next year, double the national average.

…Although there are undoubtedly many factors behind the cost increase, one reason is that the new bureaucracy that the legislation created-the “Connector”-has not been allowing Massachusetts citizens to buy insurance that “fits their needs.”

Although it has received less media attention than other aspects of the bill, one of the most significant features of the legislation is the creation of the Massachusetts Health Care Connector to combine the current small-group and individual markets under a single unified set of regulations. Supporters such as Robert E. Moffit and Nina Owcharenko of the Heritage Foundation consider the Connector to be the single most important change made by the legislation, calling it “the cornerstone of the new plan” and “a major innovation and a model for other states.”

The Connector is not actually an insurer. Rather, it is designed to allow individuals and workers in small companies to take advantage of the economies of scale, both in terms of administration and risk pooling, which are currently enjoyed by large employers. Multiple employers are able to pay into the Connector on behalf of a single employee. And, most importantly, the Connector would allow workers to use pretax dollars to purchase individual insurance. That would make insurance personal and portable, rather than tied to an employer-all very desirable things.

However, many people were concerned that the Connector was being granted too much regulatory authority. It was given the power to decide what products it would offer and to designate which types of insurance offered “high quality and good value.” This phrase in particular worried many observers because it is the same language frequently included in legislation mandating insurance benefits.

At the time the legislation passed, Ed Haislmaier of the Heritage Foundation reassured critics that “the Connector will neither design the insurance products being offered nor regulate the insurers offering the plans.” In reality, however, the Connector’s board has seen itself as a combination of the state legislature and the insurance commissioner, adding a host of new regulations and mandates.

For example, the Connector’s governing board has decreed that by January 2009, no one in the state will be allowed to have insurance with more than a $2,000 deductible or total out-of-pocket costs of more than $5,000. In addition, every policy in the state will be required to phase in coverage of prescription drugs, a move that could add 5–15 percent to the cost of insurance plans. A move to require dental coverage barely failed to pass the board, and the dentists-along with several other provider groups-have not given up the effort to force their inclusion. This comes on top of the 40 mandated benefits that the state had previously required, ranging from in vitro fertilization to chiropractic services.

Thus, it appears that the Connector offers quite a bit of pain for relatively little gain. Although the ability to use pretax dollars to purchase personal and portable insurance should be appealing in theory, only about 7,500 nonsubsidized workers have purchased insurance through the Connector so far. On the other hand, rather than insurance that “fits their needs,” Massachusetts residents find themselves forced to buy expensive “Cadillac” policies that offer many benefits that they may not want.

Governor Romney now says that he cannot be held responsible for the actions of the Connector board, because it’s “an independent body separate from the governor’s office.” However, many critics of the Massachusetts plan warned him precisely against the dangers of giving regulatory authority to a bureaucracy that would last long beyond his administration.

Industrial-strength nose plugs can’t cover the stench.


TOPICS: Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: romney
And the Un-Masking of Mitt Romney, the lying, left-wing, Progressive Liberal, continues . . .
 
"If we must have an enemy at the head of Government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible, who will not involve our party in the disgrace of his foolish and bad measures." - Alexander Hamilton
 
"We don't intend to turn the Republican Party over to the traitors in the battle just ended. We will have no more of those candidates who are pledged to the same goals as our opposition and who seek our support. Turning the Party over to the so-called moderates wouldn’t make any sense at all." -- President Ronald Reagan
 
"A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice." - Thomas Paine 1792
 
"It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." - Samuel Adams
 
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams
 

1 posted on 05/04/2012 10:19:46 AM PDT by SoConPubbie
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To: SoConPubbie

Most of his crap we know but what are we going to do. The freeloaders and communists have done their job and Romney will be the nominee. Now what. King Obama for another 4 or Romney? Our only real savior was Newt and good by to that. America is finished.


2 posted on 05/04/2012 10:27:20 AM PDT by Logical me
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To: Logical me
Now what.

Romney got the nomination so it's another 4 years (or more) of 0bama.

3 posted on 05/04/2012 10:31:30 AM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: SoConPubbie
Governor Romney now says that he cannot be held responsible for the actions of the Connector board,...

More of this statement type to come soon.

4 posted on 05/04/2012 10:33:55 AM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: SoConPubbie
Pretty obvious that the powers that be loaded the deck. Americas vote is a Banana republic affair now.
5 posted on 05/04/2012 10:53:36 AM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: SoConPubbie
Pretty obvious that the powers that be loaded the deck. Americas vote is a Banana republic affair now.
6 posted on 05/04/2012 10:53:41 AM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: American in Israel

It sure is a Banana Republic. However, since they have stacked the deck you can sit it out or vote 3rd party thus allowing Big Ears 4 more yrs to drop us into a full on depression. I sure know what I will do.


7 posted on 05/04/2012 11:02:55 AM PDT by Digger (If RINO is your selection then failure is your election)
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To: SoConPubbie

DIDN’T Mitt promise time and time again to drive a stake into Obamacare the first day he’s walks into the Oval Office? What part of this pledge do you folks NOT get?...one thing for sure if Obama wins there will be no such stake driven....Annie Coulter backs him and has warned him not to dissappoint her....

Which situation are you going to put your money on? The answer seems clear. ANN AND I SAY BRING ON THE STAKE DRIVER! Again I dont get it....this seems like a ‘that was then this is now situation’


8 posted on 05/04/2012 11:15:29 AM PDT by jimsin
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To: SoConPubbie

This crap was posted over 5 months ago !
Are you trying to get Obama elected ?
You trashed Meg Whitman when Left wing Brown too. ?
Are u working for the Dems here ?


9 posted on 05/04/2012 11:17:52 AM PDT by ncalburt (NO MORE WIMPS need to apply to fight the Soros Funded Puppet !H)
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To: ncalburt

Sure seems like it...


10 posted on 05/04/2012 11:26:18 AM PDT by tatown ( FUMD, FUAC, and FUGB)
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To: SoConPubbie

The Presidential Race is about the relative light reflectivity of your Slavemaster.


11 posted on 05/04/2012 11:48:39 AM PDT by Uncle Miltie (The Presidential Race is about the relative light reflectivity of your Slavemaster.)
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To: jimsin
"DIDN’T Mitt promise time and time again to drive a stake into Obamacare the first day he’s walks into the Oval Office? What part of this pledge do you folks NOT get?"

I don't get the part where RomneyCare is identical to and the progenitor of ObamaCare, Romney is still proud of RomneyCare, and then pledges to kill his intellectual offspring.

12 posted on 05/04/2012 11:51:37 AM PDT by Uncle Miltie (The Presidential Race is about the relative light reflectivity of your Slavemaster.)
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To: jimsin

jimsin
Since Apr 23, 2012

Mitt, is that you?


13 posted on 05/04/2012 11:52:44 AM PDT by Uncle Miltie (The Presidential Race is about the relative light reflectivity of your Slavemaster.)
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To: SoConPubbie

As I have observed before when Ms. Malkin’s article was posted before, Romneycare is only approximately equal to Obamacare.

Both are bad policy.

Neither contains health care costs (quite the opposite).

Both are affronts to liberty.

But, Romneycare falls within the powers reserved to the states and to the people. If the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts want to lodge too much of those reserved powers with the Commonwealth, rather than the people, it is destructive of liberty only for those who chose to live in Massachusetts. Americans can vote with their feet by moving out of Massachusetts (or into Massachusetts if they fancy living in a nanny state). Obamacare requires the further destruction of the Constitution by the bizarre conceit that forcing people to buy a product which heretofore could not be sold across state lines due to the fact that health insurance is regulated by the several states is ‘regulating interstate commerce’. The only way for Americans to “vote with their feet” against it is to become expatriates. Thus, it is objectively worse than Romneycare.

(This is not an argument in favor of voting for Gov. Romney should he, as seems inevitable, secure the Republican nomination for President. I am merely pointing out that a flat out equation of the two programs is hyperbole as a critique of Romneycare and understates the destructiveness of Obamacare.)


14 posted on 05/04/2012 12:10:55 PM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: jimsin

Yes, Romney is campaigning on repealing Obamacare. If we get a conservative Senate this time, I expect a bill and a signature.

He’s also campaigning on letting the states, not the feds, do programs likes this. I think that’s the proper approach. I think that objectively what hurts him is any problems in MassCare reflect on his governance there.

Bottom line, without something happening, Obamacare rolls on. And with Obama as president, nothing going to happen.


15 posted on 05/04/2012 12:46:53 PM PDT by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: SoConPubbie
Governor Romney now says that he cannot be held responsible for the actions of the Connector board

I hear he's going to blame Bush next.

16 posted on 05/04/2012 12:49:13 PM PDT by Colonel_Flagg (Obama vs. Romney: Zero x Zero = Zero.)
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To: jimsin
DIDN’T Mitt promise time and time again to drive a stake into Obamacare the first day he’s walks into the Oval Office? What part of this pledge do you folks NOT get?

"you folks"...himmm

In the spirit of Jim Robinson's call for a truce I will flame neither you nor Mitt, but will say that I will be voting for someone whom I have discerned to be better at keeping their word.

17 posted on 05/04/2012 1:00:19 PM PDT by Sirius Lee (When we cease to be good we'll cease to be great. So vote for Goode.)
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To: Uncle Miltie

Well, again.. MITT promises to kill it..he said it was a Mass. experiment that went bad and was not meant to be a nationwide law....seems to me he’s ‘over it’ if he’s said he’s gonna kill it....AND... and we have ANNIE who says she’ll kill HIM if he doesn’t....

On the other hand we have the Dems, who will most certainly continue to try to kill US WITH IT if THEY win....so I’LL TAKE DOOR NUMBER ONE.


18 posted on 05/04/2012 3:43:07 PM PDT by jimsin
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To: jimsin

He’s never disavowed Romneycare, not even when he was going “severely conservative” in the primaries. His surrogates have suggested they CAN’T repeal all of Obamacare and will be working on a “Health Care Task Force” (yay, a new czar) to produce a new plan. Since Romney refused to disavow Romneycare even when he was under tremendous pressure to do so from the other candidates, you can assume he will be trying to push a similar plan to Romneycare on the other 49 states through his officially announced “Health Care Task Force.” They’ll probably put up some smokescreen to make it look like it was a “states’ rights” decision even though the feds pushed it on them.


19 posted on 05/04/2012 3:48:44 PM PDT by JediJones (From the makers of Romney, Bloomberg/Schwarzenegger 2016. Because the GOP can never go too far left.)
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To: jimsin

Show me when Mitt 0bamney apologized for forcing socialism onto people.

Show me when Mitt 0bamney apologized for presuming his government can force me to buy anything he says.

Otherwise, STFU, and go back to your GOP-e snuggle.


20 posted on 05/04/2012 3:55:57 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (The Presidential Race is about the relative light reflectivity of your Slavemaster.)
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To: Uncle Miltie

‘show me the apology’

WELL like i said yer talkin then im talkin now i.e. this is what Mitt said about OBAMACARE only about a month ago....this sounds like he hates the stuff; ... i’ll take it over an apology at any rate....’Days before President Obama’s signature healthcare law goes in front of the Supreme Court, GOP front-runner Mitt Romney vowed to repeal and replace the law, speaking to a supportive crowd in a suburb of New Orleans.

“It’s critical that we repeal Obamacare and, by the way, also replace it,” he said. “I think I’m the only person in this race who’s laid out what I would replace it with.”
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/23/news/la-pn-romney-healthcare-anniversary-20120323

just last week we find Mitt’s words on the topic...[i can not feel the love here either....so....]

April 30, 2012, 5:00 a.m.
In my column on Sunday, I quoted Mitt Romney’s warning last week that President Obama’s health reform law could doom the free-enterprise system in the United States.

“With Obamacare fully installed,” Romney said, “government will come to control half the economy, and we will have effectively ceased to be a free-enterprise society.”
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-romney-obamacare-socialism-20120430,0,2873181.story


21 posted on 05/05/2012 8:54:24 AM PDT by jimsin
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To: jimsin

I’m from MA, I don’t believe Romney on anything.


22 posted on 05/05/2012 9:21:54 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: Digger

Yes, the deck was stacked and the coin is being tossed. Heads, they win, tails, we lose.

Pick your poison.


23 posted on 05/05/2012 7:10:40 PM PDT by Principle Over Politics (Romney 2012 is McCain 2008. No more RINOs! It was good while it lasted, Sarah.)
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