Mitt Romney’s Confusing Health Care Comments

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Brian Snyder / Reuters

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach on Sept. 8, 2012

Now that Barack Obama is enthusiastically campaigning on the Affordable Care Act — even proudly referring to it as Obamacare — Mitt Romney is trying to blunt criticism that his plan to scrap health care reform is bad news for young adults and sick people. Responding to a question from David Gregory on Meet the Press, Romney said on Sunday:

I’m not getting rid of all of health care reform. Of course, there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I’m going to put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage. Two is to assure that the marketplace allows for individuals to have policies that cover their family up to whatever age they might like.

The Romney-Ryan campaign has been, as Paul Krugman points out, twisting itself in knots trying to clarify the GOP presidential candidate’s surprising and seemingly confusing comments. But is there really anything new here? As Katrina Trinko writes, back in June, Romney said he was in favor of health reform guaranteeing that people with pre-existing conditions have access to new insurance if they change or lose their job. This isn’t the same as Obamacare’s pre-existing-conditions policy. Romney’s plan refers to only people who already have coverage and, as far as I can tell, makes no allowance for people with a pre-existing condition who are currently uninsured and therefore sicker overall and receiving expensive care in emergency departments across the country.

But still, this is not the first time Romney has said that if he were in the White House, his health care policy would help cover folks with pre-existing conditions. What is new is that Romney used the word like in reference to how he feels about Obamacare, and the press is forcing him to defend his promise to “repeal Obamacare” on Day One.

(PHOTOS: Political Pictures of the Week, Sept. 7-14)

 

Let’s start with the like comment. Remember when Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said the move from a primary to a general-election campaign is “like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again”? With the conclusion of the convention, the Romney campaign has moved into full-blown general-election mode, and the candidate’s health care comments are part of that — an appeal to independent and undecided voters, for whom insurance coverage for 20-somethings and sick people is a popular policy idea.

Second, this is a lesson in how politics and the media intersect. The Democratic National Convention marked a noticeable change in how Obama talks about health care reform. As Ezra Klein writes, if “the first night of the Democratic Convention is to be remembered for anything aside from Michelle Obama’s speech, it will probably be remembered as the night that Democrats stood up and began fighting for their health-care law.” For the past two years, as the White House has avoided a full-throated championing of the Affordable Care Act, the media coverage of it has largely focused on unpopular pieces like the individual mandate, new taxes and Medicare cuts. Since Obama has shifted to a more visible defense of the law, the media focus seems like it has zeroed in on Romney’s and Republicans’ plans to repeal legislation that would expand coverage and help sick people get insurance. Maybe a foil like Romney is exactly what Obama needed in order to proudly tout health care reform.

Expect Romney to remain defensive on this issue. Health care was never going to be a winning issue for a Republican candidate who, as governor of Massachusetts, laid the groundwork for the Affordable Care Act by passing a similar law in his state. Romney is in an impossible political position. Republicans always knew that much of the power of anti-Obamacare rhetoric would be lost if Romney became the GOP presidential nominee. What they might not have anticipated is how powerful the pro-Obamacare rhetoric could be for the President.

61 comments
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David Wells
David Wells

It was the only way to get anything done in this country. The extreme right have wasted all their time trying to make sure President Obama was a one time president. Guess what? Anybody with even a little bit of sense knows that doing business that way is called OBSTRUCTION. Which in my book is the same thing as TREASON. They have hurt our country, and our citizens and they did it on purpose. I sure hope it comes back to haunt them. Maybe the smart people will get together and vote them out and not let them back in until they've changed their mind set.

David Wells
David Wells

Yeah Brett, he put out a pamphlet that says exactly nothing. Read it then you'll know.

David Wells
David Wells

Do some research into Mitt before you complain about things like that. Technically Mitt didn't raise taxes in Massachusetts either. But he jacked up FEES on lots and lots of stuff. Some of his fee increases added up to 4 or 5 times what they had been before. But he said they weren't taxes. We all know the difference.

bytebear
bytebear

Wow the liberal media is out in force today.  Wonder how many stories this particular author has done similarly on Obama not having concrete plans, or flip flopping on various campaign promises like closing Gitmo, or ending the war, or having 5% unemployment by his third year. 

I also wonder if the MSM is honest enough to admit that the "etch-a-sketch" comment was not about policy change, but was about strategic focus. 

Journalism is dead.

chuckshaz
chuckshaz

The only knots the Romney-Ryan campaign has to untie are the miss-information and lies the Obama campaign has spun. Let’s get the facts before you make a statement saying “as far as I can tell”!

davidwhitefieldjones
davidwhitefieldjones

Bretfox=Brainwashed

Sad for this country. Please step outside of Fox News, Hannity and Limbaugh to become truly informed. Everyone who has been doing so can see you have little idea of what you are talking about. Save you breath with tired out old jabs. They don't work on informed caring Americans who are not controlled by fear mongering.

DougH2
DougH2

You guy have generate more angry white guys. Keep trying. It could happen. Keep hope alive. 2016 is just around the corner.

Yeshuratnam
Yeshuratnam

Pickert is confusing health care with the current economic crisis. Krugman’s Krugmanomics, slavishly followed by Obama, has created

this mess in American economy. When Thatcher became PM she ditched Labor’s

economic policy   and introduced new measures to curb inflation.

I think, Ryan’s Ryanomics will inject new blood into the veins of dying economy

and bring about a bloom. Americans are witnessing today steep recession and

mammoth unemployment due to the wrong economic policy of Obama.  ‘I can't bear Britain in decline, I just

can’t’, Thatcher had insisted in 1979. Her aim was not just to reverse economic

decline but to boost Britain’s stature in the world. She flamboyantly combated

the centralizing tendencies of the European Union and, alongside President

Reagan, was a fierce critic of communism. Is Krugman a

liberal or a pseudo communist?  Apart

from the economic mess, the amount of money

the federal government owes to its creditors, combined with IOUs to government

retirement and other programs, now tops $15.23 trillion. Why not Americans use

Ryan to tide over this crisis as the British used Thatcher?

 

 

BushCheney2012
BushCheney2012

Support Mitt and our Tea Party Patriots, they have the plan to DEMAND additional tax cuts for the Job Creator Class!

Watch Fox News and learn the truth, obummer is a Kenyan born radical Muslim socialist waging jihad against America from our WHITE House!

dhbranx
dhbranx

Pre-existing conditions is the key phrase here. Harry Truman had a World War II condition when he took office. Eisenhower had the aftermath of the bombs in Japan. Kennedy came in to East Asian problems, the Johnson, and so on with Medicare introduction. Obama saw pre-existing conditions in Social Security Coverage, and so will anyone else who has to deal with health care in this country. Our problem, those of ud with these pre-existing conditions, is keeping the coverage we have for ourselves and others who are coming along into a well established system. The new ideas might bring about necessary adjustments to the business of healthcare, but the qualifications can't change from the policies that those who are participating have chosen to support.

PVT_Citizen
PVT_Citizen

Romney will only say things  that he think voters will not fault him on.  That's why he does not have any specific plan on anything.  His plan is to be vague about everything, yet speak to his talking points on everything.  Look at him as a whole...when he ran for Governor,he told voters that he had not problem with abortion, yet when he got into office, he changed his mind.

Denise49
Denise49

The poor folks who argue against Obama have such thin arguments, it is sad to see them still kicking and twitching.

If Romney had come out in the beginning and owned HIS healthcare act, pointed to the good things in it, compared it to Obama's plan and then said, yes, let's make this thing work and here is how I can improve upon that idea.... he would have had at least some respect from me.

Same with Bain. If he had said, yes, we made some really sucky decisions, hard decisions. We had to lay off this many people and cut out the fat, but here is an example of how well it worked.... and then showed how not only he saved the company, but was able to restore some or all of the lost jobs... he would have earned a hunk of respect.

Instead, he disowned everything he has "accomplished" over the years and tried to make it seem as if he is new and refreshed and with no connection to his past.

Why would that be?

And why are people still defending him and trying to demonize Obama?

Steve
Steve

Ever hear of the saying 1 step forward, 4 steps back?

96K jobs created last month, yet nearly 400K people gave up and

stopped looking for work altogether. Where do you think those people are

right now? They're now standing in the food stamp and welfare lines.

Who do you think pays for that Libs, Dems, and Whack job left-wingers?

This is Obama's vision of "Forward" in his new campaign slogan - 1

step forward, 4 steps back. Atta boy Barry, we're headed to a "better

place" now aren't we?

Phaerisee
Phaerisee

Romneycare included taxpayer funded abortifacients.  An abortifacient is a drug that causes an abortion.     Many catholics and evangelicals have decided to go with Obama.   This is part of the swing to Obama you are witnessing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

littlebear2
littlebear2

What makes you think that your doctors aren't already entering treatment into an electronic database. And you doctor's treatments are monitored by the insurance company, not to improve quality, but to make sure it is proifitable. News flash, your doctor currently has to choose between what's right for you and what the insurance company will allow him to do. And that decision is based solely on profit.

Insurance companies can and have denied care because they consider it too expensive. And up until now, they could just cancel you insurance because you require too much care.

Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2012...

Doug Mlyn
Doug Mlyn

 another argument against for profit health care

littlebear2
littlebear2

What makes you think that your doctors aren't already entering treatment into an electronic database. And you doctor's treatments are monitored by the insurance company, not to improve quality, but to make sure it is proifitable. News flash, your doctor currently has to choose between what's right for you and what the insurance company will allow him to do. And that decision is based solely on profit.

Insurance companies can and have denied care because they consider it too expensive. And up until now, they could just cancel you insurance because you require too much care.

littlebear2
littlebear2

And not to mention, it was passed by a congress of elected representatives. Elected by the people. Obama ran on health care reform. He won, and he did it.

Bretfox
Bretfox

 Obummer care was crammed down the throats of Americans. They didn't let us read the plan.  The Democrats told us "you can read the bill after we pass it".  Is that what you call FREEDOM? 

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 Sounds kind of like Robme's tax returns and economic policies doesn't it.

cameron glenn
cameron glenn

Had to laugh at the Paul Krugan link.  Laughed when I linked to it off his twitter, laughed again when I thougt the TIME  link would go to an actual article.  But really there's nothing to say, other than "watch the impressive tumbling routine." 

JohnYuEsq
JohnYuEsq

Only President Obama and the Democrats PROTECT America's MIDDLE CLASS. VOTE the DEMOCRATIC TICKET.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

It's like the Supreme Court never weighed in on this thing.

It's also like the neocons didn't do their darndest [i.e., waste taxpayer $ ] to kill it. 

Bretfox
Bretfox

 The Supreme Court ruled that Obummercare was a TAX !!

Obummer said it wasn't a tax. 

Who lied?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 That would be all the talking bobble heads on Fox who claimed it was unconstitutional.

NoOfor2012
NoOfor2012

Sec. 1311(h)(1) of the law says “qualified plans” can pay only doctors and hospitals that follow the dictates of the secretary, who is empowered to impose ANY regulation to “improve health-care quality.” Scary.  Your doctor will have to enter your treatments into an electronic data base, and your doctor’s decisions will be monitored for compliance with federal guidelines. Ultimately, your doctor could have to choose between doing what’s right for you and avoiding a government penalty.

NoOfor2012
NoOfor2012

Sec. 1311(h)(1) of the law says “qualified plans” can pay only doctors and hospitals that follow the dictates of the secretary, who is empowered to impose ANY regulation to “improve health-care quality.” Scary.  Your doctor will have to enter your treatments into an electronic data base, and your doctor’s decisions will be monitored for compliance with federal guidelines. Ultimately, your doctor could have to choose between doing what’s right for you and avoiding a government penalty.

dballantyne
dballantyne

Not what the law says. Data entered into medical databases related to patients and care givers is scrubbed in accordance with HIPAA to remove personal identifiers. The diagnostic and treatment data can be accumulated and extracted using data mining to produce patient care profiles called best practices. Best practices aka evidence based medicine is available to all physicians and other providers to help select the best care options from experiential data. New care models centered on Primary Care can benefit from the data to provide high quality, cost effective care. Under the PPACA some physicians will be rewarded for following these best practice algorithms. Poor quality, costly care will be passively penalized by the withholding of bonus incentives.

Thus your doctor will be choosing between what's right for you, using best practices data, and missing out on profit sharing in a capitated reimbursement system. This is as close to markets deciding winners and losers as healthcare is likely or should come.   

Bretfox
Bretfox

 You are right !!!  The doctor is "owned by the government".

Denise49
Denise49

Omg, DEATH PANELS!!!!11!!!

"Regulation to improve quality health care" shudders.. that is so scary!

I am so glad you pointed out that there will be regulation in place to ensure that treatments a doctor orders will IMPROVE a person's quality of healthcare. Maybe now that doctor won't do things motivated by the drug/device rep who took him to lunch or offered her kickbacks for using their product as much and often as possible.

Gosh, it might make our healthcare providers more responsible and caring about patients, not profits! Wait.. is that good or bad?

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Klein's wrong re "....[the first night of the DNC] will probably be remembered as the night that Democrats stood up and began fighting for their health-care law."       The fight's been won.  I think what he meant was that Dems are beginning to take ownership of the law and how it will help people.

Bretfox
Bretfox

 The fight will never end so stay on your toes.

bobell
bobell

As long as there's a plausible threat to repeal it, the law needs fighting for.

Fortunately, that threat is looking less plausible day by day.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

The pic looks like a visage of Ritt, slowly tryna morph into Raygun.

Partha Neogy
Partha Neogy

I think you meant that the comments were confused, not confusing.

Rajinder Goyal
Rajinder Goyal

As more and more people come to kno what the Affordable Health Care Act is all about and whatit means for them, the more they like it. Numbers are getting better for ObamaCare. He did not do a proper job of explaining it befr and after it was passed. But now Prez Obama is explaining it to the people and they seem to like it.

R=Money and Obam are pathological LIARS. They don't see eye to eye on majr policy issue and the GOP platfom approved at the convention has issues that Romney doesn't aree with. He should have the guts to say he won't accept the nomination unless the platformreflected what he believes in. But then that requires some guts which Roneydoesn't have. He changes his positionfaster than the weather. And his running mate tells more lies than one can imagine. He lied about his marathon win and has since backtracked. Same thing about the GM plant. He is a very clever cookie who thinks he can fool the people.

Bretfox
Bretfox

Obulmmer care means long waits to get treatment from their doctor, not your doctor.  Most services you may now have will be cut.  Doctors will have to get permission and direction from the government before they can treat you.  Cost will not go down. You will have less care, poorer care and higher cost.

iccerico1031
iccerico1031

MITT ROMNEY IS A FLIP-FLOPPING ASSHOLE!!!

FareedAnsari
FareedAnsari

Vouchercare is difficult to explain, especially when it defies all the rules of Arithmetic.  Howevre, wait for a different audience and Willard will have a different Lie.

Bretfox
Bretfox

 Vochercare means that I have a choice and I have control over my care.  Obummercare means that you have no choice and the government has control over your care.

lurch3
lurch3

Romney is just seeing people say they like the things in the healthcare law. They don't like being told they have to buy insurance. But they want the perks. The perks will not be sustainable if there's a smaller pool of insured. 

Bretfox
Bretfox

Obummercare is forced healthcare.  You have no choice but to buy it.  It will be taken out of your paycheck by force.  The government will own you and you will be its slave.

David Wells
David Wells

I've went 10 years without health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. I certainly don't mind paying for health insurance. I'll be VERY glad to do it too so I can be protected like most other people. The insurance industry never wanted to work with me before ObamaCare. I'm glad they'll have to now!

littlebear2
littlebear2

Seems like the anti-Obamacare crowd are the people who want the freebees without paying for them.

They don't want to have to buy insurance, but they still want the ability to sign up for Medicaid when they get sick.

thomas nash
thomas nash

THE most difficult thing to explain to a conservative is that we are already paying for those that are not insured. It is called emergency room care, which is very expensive and at the tail end of preventative medicine. Those w/o insurance can avail themselves and not be turned down. Like the Heritage Foundation determined  (sad to quote), ER care is passed along to premium payers and taxation. In MA Romney found the care cost $2 billion a year.  Which is why he created his plan.

Bretfox
Bretfox

Don't believe the socialist communist. They want you to  "belong to the government" and Obamacare is how "they will own you".  Wake up. Obama stole 716 billion from Medicare to fund his program.  Romney will not let that happen and will let seniors continue to have Medicare as they were promised.  Romney has an even better plan for non seniors, a plan that will give you greater choice and better care. 

Clay Houser
Clay Houser

 Democrats are not socialists or communists, or thieves. They have an opinion different than yours, but that doesn't make them less American than you, or less intelligent, or less capable. I'm an independent, I'm a voter, and your rhetoric (and that of your party) is turning me off. I'm not blind to the fact that your party has halted progress for the past 2 years, that you've spread hatred and mistrust of the President by calling him a socialist, or that you lie to the people if it gives you a bump in the polls. You and your party are ruining this country, you're on the wrong side of history, and you're scaring people that you need to embrace if you're going to win.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 The choice Romney has for seniors is simple... sell your house to pay for medical bills, sell your organs to pay for medical bills or just die.

EBrownE
EBrownE

...and Romney will take all the elderly and sick out to his grandma's farm in the beautiful countryside where they will live happy long lives in the sun and fresh air, all for free.  No, he can't tell you where the farm is.

David Wells
David Wells

Hey Brett, quit drinking the extreme right kool-aid. That lie you just told about the 716 million has been debunked over and over and over again. Don't you read the news? The 716 million comes from savings over 10 years. Now, Paul Ryan's plan DOES take 716 million from Medicare. His plan is just a cut though. He wants to TAKE 716 million from medicare. See the difference? 716 million in SAVINGS versus 716 million in CUTS. You really should do some research into these things before you start typing and not just believe what they want you to believe. By the way, I'm a moderate Republican who will be voting for a Democrat for the first time this year.

DougH2
DougH2

Ask people on Medicare the effect of the "stolen" funding? I think they would tell you they rather like the closing of the donut hole. What Obama did is law and is in practice. These are not the theoretical rankings of a presidential wannabe (Willard) but the actual law of the land. And Obamacare is working.

littlebear2
littlebear2

What makes you think for one minute that you don't already belong to the government? Remember the draft? All adult men belong to the government and in time of war can be called to fight. It can be re-instituted in about 15 minutes if needed.

Under Romney, when you find yourself needing nursing home care or have an incurable illness, you'll be down in the Medicaid line.

 Romney has not offered any plans. Referring to socialist communist exposes your ignorance. You are going to have another four years to whine and complain. The rest of us are moving forward.

The healthcare law was passed by the elected representatives of the American people. You don't like it, tough. That is just how the country works.

Bretfox
Bretfox

 I served my country when I was called to do so.  As an American Patriot I would do it again. 

Under Romney Medicare will be preserved for seniors and he has a better plan for non seniors.  If you think that you will not be in the Medicaid line under Obama then you haven't read the Obamacare plan. 

Romney does have a plan.  go to http://www.mittromney.com/issu...

If you call high unemployment, 16 trillion in debt, gasoline prices up 100%, food up 20%,  46 million on foods stamps, etc. "moving on", then you are walking backwards.  Turn around  and walk away from disaster.

The healthcare bill was crammed down the throats of Americans by socialist and we were told we "could read the bill after it is passed".

BGood2
BGood2

 Yes, let's try trickle down, again.  I'm SURE this time it will work.

Thank you for your service to our country.  But please don't use ANY candidate's web site as the source that validates your opinions.

bmann52
bmann52

"Socialist, communist?" You're joking right?  Paul Ryan's "716 billion" in cuts, oh I mean savings, are coming from where? Romney's "plan" that the marketplace will do a better job? What has been the market place been doing for the last 2 decades? THAT'S the reason we newer more healthcare reform.

Bretfox
Bretfox

 No, you lie.  Obama stole 716 billion from Medicare and now seniors are without care.  The marketplace has always performed better than the government.  The government is bloated with waste and bureaucrats.  Our country has done very well up until Obummer got elected.  We have gone downhill from day one.  If he is elected again, America is finished.

Clay Houser
Clay Houser

 No, you lie. (Wow, that's a refreshingly easy way to "win" an argument!) In response: The marketplace charges 30% to do something the government charges 3% to do. We lost 4.5 million jobs under President Bush, we've gained 4.5 million under Obama. When Obama took office the Dow was at 7,900, now it's at 13,200. We have healthcare and a thriving private sector, but you claim we have neither. So, again, YOU LIE! (and I win!) WINNING!

MrObvious
MrObvious

Don't believe the socialist communist

Don't double down on stupid please.

Bretfox
Bretfox

 Wake up moron.  Obummer is a Muslim socialist who hates America and given another chance he will destroy this once great country.  I say kick his skinny a** out and return to sanity.

dballantyne
dballantyne

Wow. Obama hasn't stolen a nickel from anything let alone Medicare. The $716 billion is projected savings over 10 years related to changes in reimbursement to providers, mostly by cutbacks in subsidies to Medicare Advantage, not benficieries. Moreover, healthcare related initiatives that are funded through the ARRA (EHRs) and the PPACA (medical homes, ACOs) show promise to further reduce costs without harming physicians or patients.

And how exactly is a voucher system letting seniors 'have Medicare as promised'? 

Bretfox
Bretfox

 You lie too.  That is what you looney libs do. Lie, Lie, Lie.  Obama has stolen the 716 Billion from the Medicare fund and placed it in the Obummercare fund.  Wake up dumb dumb.  If you really think Obummer is reducing Medicare cost by cutting back in subsidies to Medicare cost then you are really living in a cloud.  Medicare is not funded by subsidies but by taxpayer money that has been deducted from our paychecks by force.  We have paid the money into Medicare with blood, sweat and tears for decades and Obummer has taken OUR money and put into HIS plan.  His plan is nothing but a bunch of political appointees that he controls in order to "own you".

dballantyne
dballantyne

Pointless screed completely devoid of facts.

Ryan's 'Path to Prosperity' extracted the same $716 billion by doing the exact same thing i.e. cutting back on subsidies that paid for things like free diabetic supplies and gym memberships for seniors contained within Medicare Advantage plans created by private insurance companies that contract with CMS. In some cases these plans are a Trojan Horse since some Medicare Advantage plans require seniors to choose between free 'stuff' or high deductibles/less critical care coverage. 

The difference is where the savings is applied; Obama to extend healthcare coverage to millions of people, Ryan to a few hundred already wealthy people. You don't need to be a liberal to see the right choice, just a human being.

You might also want to consider a tad more civility in your comments if you expect to remain in the discussion.  

AfGuyReturns
AfGuyReturns

Wipe your chin... the spittle is starting to drip.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 Instead believe a man that won't tell us what he believes in and won't allow us to vet him properly.

Bretfox
Bretfox

 You are right, Obummer has never been vetted.  We know little about him other than he is a Muslim communist.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 How original. If I was to stoop to your level, would that be Robme the soul less android from the planet Kolob who wants to bring back polygamy to America?

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

And he paid how much in taxes prior to 2010...?

Bretfox
Bretfox

 Right, Obama paid very little.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

Romney's stated health care plan is that the marketplace will take care of it. Indeed, insurance companies must be clamoring to insure people with cancer and heart disease.

Oh, and cupcake, do a little reading about the $716 billion. I don't know who is informing your opinin, but you are quite wrong.

Bretfox
Bretfox

 The marketplace will work best if ALL insurers are legislated to play on the same playing field by insuring pre-existing and extended age care.  This is what Romney will do.  All insurance premiums will have a percentage placed in a pool for pre-existing cases and this pool will be funded by ALL insurance companies on an equal percentage basis.  Everyone pays into the pool and those with pre-existing conditions will not be denied nor charged unfairly for their coverage.