Approximately 16 hours ago, USA Today published an opinion piece by former Massachusetts Governor, and favorite of the GOP Elite, Mitt Romney.
Entitled Romney: As first act, out with ObamaCare, the editorial begins with the following:
Health care is more than just one-sixth of the American economy. It is a source of well-being for individuals and families. We are blessed with much that is good in American health care. But we have taken a turn for the worse with ObamaCare, with its high taxes and vastly expanded federal control over our lives. I believe the better course is to empower the states to determine their own health care futures.
First, the good news: Health care in the United States has made remarkable advances in our lifetimes. Dramatic improvements in medical technology have expanded both the length and quality of life. And the U.S. health care system continues to provide consumers with many choices.
But our health care system has several well-known problems: high and rising costs, significant numbers of Americans without insurance, and glaring gaps in quality and efficiency.
We can fix these problems. Unfortunately, with the passage of ObamaCare last year, the president and the Congress took a wrong turn. ObamaCare will lead to more spending, greater federal involvement in health care and negative effects on U.S. economic activity. The president definitely forgot the admonition to “do no harm.”
My plan is to harness the power of markets to drive positive change in health insurance and health care. And we can do so with state flexibility (unlike ObamaCare’s top-down federal approach), no new taxes (as opposed to hundreds of billions of dollars of new taxes under ObamaCare), and better consumer choice (as opposed to bureaucratic, government choice under ObamaCare). This change of direction offers our best hope of preserving both innovation and value.
If I am elected president, I will issue on my first day in office an executive order paving the way for waivers from ObamaCare for all 50 states. Subsequently, I will call on Congress to fully repeal ObamaCare.
The needle on my Irony Meter just pegged so hard it snapped in two.
Back in 2006, Romney was singing a different tune as he signed a massive health-insurance overhaul into law as Governor of Massachusetts. “Romneycare” was packed with subsidies, exchanges, and mandates to extend coverage to the uninsured. Four years later, it became the model for the national nightmare known as Obamacare, the very National Healthcare Law that he now promises to eliminate.
During a New Hampshire Presidential Campaign Debate on Jan. 6, 2008, the following revealing moment transpired:
Debate moderator Charles Gibson of ABC News: “But Gov. Romney’s system has mandates in Massachusetts, although you backed away from mandates on a national basis.”
Romney: “No, no, I like mandates. The mandates work.”
GOP contender Fred Thompson: “I beg your pardon? I didn’t know you were going to admit that. You like mandates.”
Romney: “Oh, absolutely. Let me tell you what kind of mandates I like, Fred, which is this. If it weren’t –“
Thompson: “The ones you come up with. Bingo”
Later, during an April 19, 2010 interview with Newsweek’s Andrew Romano, Governor Romney added the following:
I’d like to clear something up about that federalist argument. During one of the 2008 debates, Charles Gibson said, “You seem to have backed away from mandates on a national basis.” And your response was, “No, no, I like mandates. The mandates work.” Were you saying that you supported federal mandates then, even though you say you don’t now?
No. We created an incentive for people to get insurance at the state level. Our plan is a state plan. I oppose a federal plan for purposes of federalism. It would be like saying, a father has spanked his son. Do you think that the federal government should be allowed to spank children?
So people are misinterpreting that quote?
I do not favor the federal mandates that are part of Obamacare.
Back in February 2007, you said you hoped the Massachusetts plan would “become a model for the nation.” Would you agree that it has?
I don’t … You’re going to have to get that quote. That’s not exactly accurate, I don’t believe.
I can tell you exactly what it says: “I’m proud of what we’ve done. If Massachusetts succeeds in implementing it, then that will be a model for the nation.”
It is a model for the states to be able to learn from. During the campaign, I was asked if I was proposing that what I did in Massachusetts I would do for the nation. And the answer was absolutely not. Our plan is a state plan. It is a model for other states—if you will, the nation—it is a model for them to look at what we’ve accomplished and to better it or to create their own plans.
There are obvious similarities between Obamacare and what you did in Massachusetts. Do you acknowledge that what you did in Massachusetts has become a model for nation under Obama, whether you wanted it to or not?
I can’t speak for what the president has done. I don’t know what he looks at. He never gave me a call. Neither he nor any of his colleagues [gave me] a call to ask what worked and did not work, and how would they improve upon it and so forth. If what was done at the state level, they applied at the federal level, they made a mistake. It was not designed for the nation.
The lesson for today, boys and girls?
When is a mandate not a mandate?
When Mitt Romney signs it into law, or course.