Skip to comments.THREE CHEERS FOR ROMNEYCARE! (Coulter Finally Officially Signs Ownership of Soul Over to Mittens)
Posted on 02/01/2012 4:41:10 PM PST by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle
If only the Democrats had decided to socialize the food industry or housing, Romneycare would probably still be viewed as a massive triumph for conservative free-market principles -- as it was at the time.
It's not as if we had a beautifully functioning free market in health care until Gov. Mitt Romney came along and wrecked it by requiring that Massachusetts residents purchase their own health insurance. In 2007, when Romneycare became law, the federal government alone was already picking up the tab for 45.4 percent of all health care expenditures in the country.
Until Obamacare, mandatory private health insurance was considered the free-market alternative to the Democrats' piecemeal socialization of the entire medical industry.
In November 2004, for example, libertarian Ronald Bailey praised mandated private health insurance in Reason magazine, saying that it "could preserve and extend the advantages of a free market with a minimal amount of coercion."
A leading conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, helped design Romneycare, and its health care analyst, Bob Moffit, flew to Boston for the bill signing.
Romneycare was also supported by Regina Herzlinger, Harvard Business School professor and health policy analyst for the conservative Manhattan Institute. Herzlinger praised Romneycare for making consumers, not business or government, the primary purchasers of health care.
The bill passed by 154-2 in the Massachusetts House and unanimously, 37-0, in the Massachusetts Senate -- including the vote of Sen. Scott Brown, who won Teddy Kennedy's seat in the U.S. Senate in January 2010 by pledging to be the "41st vote against Obamacare."
But because both Obamacare and Romneycare concern the same general topic area -- health care -- and can be nicknamed (politician's name plus "care"), Romney's health care bill is suddenly perceived as virtually the same thing as the widely detested Obamacare. (How about "Romneycare-gate"?)
As The New York Times put it, "Mr. Romney's bellicose opposition to 'Obamacare' is an almost comical contradiction to his support for the same idea in Massachusetts when he was governor there." This is like saying state school-choice plans are "the same idea" as the Department of Education.
One difference between the health care bills is that Romneycare is constitutional and Obamacare is not. True, Obamacare's unconstitutional provisions are the least of its horrors, but the Constitution still matters to some Americans. (Oh, to be there when someone at the Times discovers this document called "the Constitution"!)
As Rick Santorum has pointed out, states can enact all sorts of laws -- including laws banning contraception -- without violating the Constitution. That document places strict limits on what Congress can do, not what the states can do. Romney, incidentally, has always said his plan would be a bad idea nationally.
The only reason the "individual mandate" has become a malediction is because the legal argument against Obamacare is that Congress has no constitutional authority to force citizens to buy a particular product.
The legal briefs opposing Obamacare argue that someone sitting at home, minding his own business, is not engaged in "commerce ... among the several states," and, therefore, Congress has no authority under the Commerce Clause to force people to buy insurance.
No one is claiming that the Constitution gives each person an unalienable right not to buy insurance.
States have been forcing people to do things from the beginning of the republic: drilling for the militia, taking blood tests before marriage, paying for public schools, registering property titles and waiting in line for six hours at the Department of Motor Vehicles in order to drive.
There's no obvious constitutional difference between a state forcing militia-age males to equip themselves with guns and a state forcing adults in today's world to equip themselves with health insurance.
The hyperventilating over government-mandated health insurance confuses a legal argument with a policy objection.
If Obamacare were a one-page bill that did nothing but mandate that every American buy health insurance, it would still be unconstitutional, but it wouldn't be the godawful train wreck that it is. It wouldn't even be the godawful train wreck that high-speed rail is.
It would not be a 2,000-page, trillion-dollar federal program micromanaging every aspect of health care in America with enormous, unresponsive federal bureaucracies manned by no-show public-sector union members enforcing a mountain of regulations that will bankrupt the country and destroy medical care, as liberals scratch their heads and wonder why Obamacare is costing 20 times more than they expected and doctors are leaving the profession in droves for more lucrative careers, such as video store clerk.
Nothing good has ever come of a 2,000-page bill.
There's not much governors can do about the collectivist mess Congress has made of health care in this country. They are mere functionaries in the federal government's health care Leviathan.
A governor can't repeal or expand the federal tax break given to companies that pay their employees' health insurance premiums -- a tax break denied the self-employed and self-insured.
A governor can't order the IRS to start recognizing tax deductions for individual health savings accounts.
A governor can't repeal the 1946 federal law essentially requiring hospitals to provide free medical services to all comers, thus dumping a free-rider problem on the states.
It was precisely this free-rider problem that Romneycare was designed to address in the only way a governor can. In addition to mandating that everyone purchase health insurance, Romneycare used the $1.2 billion that the state was already spending on medical care for the uninsured to subsidize the purchase of private health insurance for those who couldn't afford it.
What went wrong with Romneycare wasn't a problem in the bill, but a problem in Massachusetts: Democrats.
First, the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature set the threshold for receiving a subsidy so that it included people making just below the median income in the United States, a policy known as "redistribution of income." For more on this policy, see "Marx, Karl."
Then, liberals destroyed the group-rate, "no frills" private insurance plans allowed under Romneycare (i.e. the only kind of health insurance a normal person would want to buy, but which is banned in most states) by adding dozens of state mandates, including requiring insurers to cover chiropractors and in vitro fertilization -- a policy known as "pandering to lobbyists."
For more on "pandering" and "lobbyists," see "Gingrich, Newt." (Yes, that's an actual person's name.)
Romney's critics, such as Rick Santorum, charge that the governor should have known that Democrats would wreck whatever reforms he attempted.
They have, but no more than they would have wrecked health care in Massachusetts without Romneycare. Democrats could use a sunny day as an excuse to destroy the free market, redistribute income and pander to lobbyists. Does that mean Republicans should never try to reform anything and start denouncing sunny days?
Santorum has boasted of his role in passing welfare reform in the 1990s. You know what the Democrats' 2009 stimulus bill dismantled? That's right: the welfare reform that passed in the 1990s.
The problem isn't health insurance mandates. The problem isn't Romneycare. The problem isn't welfare reform. The problem is Democrats.
Exactly. He’s still saying it-—according to Pam Bondi, FL’s twit district attorney and Romneybot, he would like the states to adopt it “when he’s elected.”
Ann is being very selective in her research. I’m at a loss to explain her behavior.
i’ve come to the opinion that Ann has a very personal grudge against Newton Gingrich.
Heh, True, but does New Jersey vote like (and just as corrupt as) the New England states? I rest my case....
Ann, Ann, you stupid liberal ditz, you make my head hurt.
LOL, spoken like a lawyer. Yes, Ann, the problem is Democrats. We're all agreed on that. Which is why socialist strategies such as health insurance mandates, Romneycare and welfare reform DON'T WORK - because there are Democrats to exploit them.
At this late date, to actually present an argument based in the idea that "if there were no bad guys, everyone else would treat their responsibilities without greed malice or exploitation" is inexcusable.
Hey Ann - THERE ARE DEMOCRATS. So we can't afford to pass socialist crap, because they WILL exploit it into totalitarian communism.
Hope that doesn't wilt the daisy in your VW Bug vase, but that's the way it is.
Oh yeah, and a P.S. for the lawyer in you - you know the part of the Constitution that sets up a tripartite government of checks and balances? Refresh yourself on the REASON for it, m'kay?
Oh, and go find your brain - you know the one that made you one of the genuinely shining stars of conservative thought for so long? YOU LOST IT.
The word “prostitute” comes to mind, but I do not want to denigrate prostitutes.
Makes me glad I never bought any of them.
Ann Noonan really hit that one over the fence!
Musta drank two boxes of chablis in celebration.
Pray for America
I guess it wouldn't matter to people like you.
But for the rest of us who work hard and try to pay our own way,
try to stay viable without sacrificing our integrity,
stay off the dole and stay out of government jobs,
try set the course of our own lives no matter how much the government interferes,
OBAMACARE/ROMNEYCARE EVISCERATED HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS WHICH WERE A MUCH BETTER DEAL FOR THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE SERVICE PROVIDER -- (But not the government!)
Now you and your "know best" elitists can go STRAIGHT to hell, because I KNOW you would never spoil your manicure by taking a day out of your life to hold-up a sign pleading for your rights on the steps of the capitol.
It's McCain II, plus Mitt went the extra mile to add a few Obama
advisers on the payroll!
Ann has finally come out of the closet. Can we please officially put her in the RINO category and be done with her? She bores me.
That document places strict limits on what Congress can do to WHOM? The "People" perhaps? Human beings with natural, pre-existing God-given rights? And who will populate the States that MUST acknowledge those pre-existing rights in order to BE States?
Maybe that's why the 10th aknowledges BOTH the States AND the People - because the States still have to acknowledge the status of the People OVER the government, including the State government.
Given all the DEMOCRATS running around, I just thought that should be made clear.
I think the old rule of showing pics of Ann can now be taken out of the FreeRepublic list of do’s and don’t’s.
First Mitt Romney says he’s not concerned about poor people and almost simultaneously, Ann Coulter says “Three Cheers for Romneycare.” Is there something in the champange?
I blame the anorexia.
->Mark Levin just intellectually eviscerated this article of Anns` on his radio program.
Do you or anyone have this downloaded so we can hear.
“So shes making fun of Newts name now? What about MITT?”
His real name is Willard and he won’t even use that.
“Apparently she wasnt paying attention to Peggy Noonan who embraced the dark side.”
Yeah, it is really strange. I remember an old saying - I don’t know first said it - that went like this. “If you are young and not somewhat liberal, you have no heart. If you are older and not conservative, you have no brain.”
(a theory) Ann must be banking on getting a job with the Romney administrations...that is why she is pushing him. She realizes her days as a conservative columnist are pasts.
No, Ann, the problem is big-government regulation, period. It chokes the life out of business. Stop twisting simple logic into knots to justify Romneycare.
You know how prevent Democrats from screwing up Republican reform, Ann?! Don’t write anymore f*$#ing regulations. Start repealing regulations. That’ll stop Democrats in their libtard tracks.
You don’t get it, Ann. It’s more than just the mandate that we hate. It’s the entire concept of big-government whether it comes from the left or the right, the feds or the states.
I’m trying to find the audio.