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.
Make. It. Stop.
I don’t think anyone is going to argue that Coulter has jumped the shark this time.
I can’t stomach reading that.
Mark Levin just intellectually eviscerated this article of Anns` on his radio program.
Prediction: Her next book, immediate discount bin flop.
Sprinting towards irrelevance.
Apparently she wasn’t paying attention to Peggy Noonan who embraced the dark side.
Methinks Ann has become part of the problem. It’s like hearing a woman explain why she’s staying with a guy who treats her like crap. Sad. Very sad.
PS: Heritage has back-tracked from their position
This was the plan of the GOP-e to take over Obamacare from the beginning. Damn them all. And screw Coulter for going along with this crap.
I hear Mark Levin ripped her mercilessly for this during his first hour. I missed most of it, but I think you can download it for free at his site.
I’m beginning to think this is some kind of real-life “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” What is going on??
Ronald Reagans 1961 Coffeecup speech on socialized healthcare
Now back in 1927 an American socialist, Norman Thomas, six times candidate for president on the Socialist Party ticket, said the American people would never vote for socialism. But he said under the name of liberalism the American people will adopt every fragment of the socialist program.
There are many ways in which our government has invaded the precincts of private citizens, the method of earning a living. Our government is in business to the extent over owning more than 19,000 businesses covering different lines of activity. This amounts to a fifth of the total industrial capacity of the United States.
But at the moment Id like to talk about another way. Because this threat is with us and at the moment is more imminent.
One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. Its very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly cant afford it.
Now, the American people, if you put it to them about socialized medicine and gave them a chance to choose, would unhesitatingly vote against it. We had an example of this. Under the Truman administration it was proposed that we have a compulsory health insurance program for all people in the United States, and, of course, the American people unhesitatingly rejected this.
So, with the American people on record as not wanting socialized medicine, Congressman Ferrand introduced the Ferrand Bill. This was the idea that all people of social security age should be brought under a program of compulsory health insurance. Now this would not only be our senior citizens, this would be the dependents and those who are disabled, this would be young people if they are dependents of someone eligible for Social Security.
Now, Congressman Ferrand brought the program out on that idea of just for that group of people. But Congressman Ferrand was subscribing to this foot in the door philosophy, because he said if we can only break through and get our foot inside the door, then we can expand the progam after that.
Walter Ruther said Its no secret that the United Automobile Workers is officially on record as backing a program of national health insurance. And by national health insurance, he meant socialized medicine for every American. Well, lets see what the socialists themselves have to say about it.
They say: Once the Ferrrand bill is passed, this nation will be provided with a mechanism for socialized medicince. Capable of indefinite expansion in every direction until it includes the entire population. Well, we cant say we havent been warned.
Now, Congressman Ferrand is no longer a congressman of the United States government. He has been replaced, not in his particular assignment, but in his backing of such a bill, by Congressman King of California. It is presented in the idea of a great emergency that millions of our senior citizens are unable to provide needed medical care. But this ignores the fact that in the last decade a hundred and twenty seven million of our citicizens in just ten years, have come under the protection of some form of privately owned medical or hospital insurance.
Now the advocates of this bill, when you try to oppose it, challenge you on an emotional basis. They say What would you do, throw these poor old people out to die with no medical attention? Thats ridiculous and of course no ones has advocated it. As a matter of fact, in the last session of Congress a bill was adopted known as the Kerr-Mills Bill. Now without even allowing this bill to be tried, to see if it works, they have introduced this King Bill which is really the Ferrand Bill.
What is the Kerr-Mills Bill? It is a frank recognition of the medical need or problem of the senior citizens that I have mentioned. And it is provided from the federal government money to the states and the local communities that can be used at the discretion of the state to help those people who need it. Now what reason could the other people have for backing a bill which says we insist on compulsory health insurance for senior citizens on the basis of age alone; regardless of whether theyre worth millions of dollars, whether they have an income, whether theyre protected by their own insurance, whether they have savings.
I think we can be excused for believing that as ex-c0ngressman Ferrand said, this was simply an excuse to bring about what they wanted all the time socialized medicine.
James Madison in 1788, speaking to the Virginia Convention said: Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations.
They want to attach this bill to Social Security. And they say here is a great insurance program now instituted, now working.
Lets take a look at social security itself. Again, very few of us disagree with the original premise that there should be some form of saving that would keep destitution from following unemployment by reason of death, disability or old age. And to this end Social Security was adopted. But it was never intended to supplant private savings, private insurance, pension programs of unions and industries.
Now in our country under our free enterprise system, we have seen medicine reach the greatest heights that it has in any country in the world. Today, the relationship between patient and doctor in this country is something to be envied any place. The privacy, the care that is given to a person, the right to chose a doctor, the right to go from one doctor to the other.
But lets also look from the other side, at the freedom the doctor loses. A doctor would be reluctant to say this. Well, like you, I am only a patient, so I can say it in his behalf. The doctor begins to lose freedoms; its like telling a lie, and one leads to another. First you decide that the doctor can have so many patients. They are equally divided among the various doctors by the government. But then the doctors arent equally divided geographically, so a doctor decides he wants to practice in one town and the government has to say to him you cant live in that town, they already have enough doctors. You have to go someplace else. And from here it is only a short step to dictating where he will go.
This is a freedom that I wonder whether any of us have the right to take from any human being.
I know how Id feel, if you my fellow citizens decided that to be an actor, I had to become a government employee and work in a national theater. Take it into your own occupation or that of your husband, all of us can see what happens once you establish the precedent that the government can determine a mans working place and his working methods, determine his employment. From here it is a short step to all the rest of socialism, to determining his pay and pretty soon your son wont decide when hes in school, where he will go or what they will do for a living. He will wait for the government to tell them where he will go to work and what he will do.
In this country of ours, took place the greatest revolution that has ever taken place in worlds history. The only true revolution. Every other revolution simply exchanged one set of rulers for another. But here for the first time in all the thousands of years of mans relation to man, a little group of the men, the founding fathers - for the first time established the idea that you and I had within ourselves the God given right and ability to determine our own destiny.
This freedom was built into our government with safeguards. We talk democracy today. And strangely we let democracy begin to assume the aspect of majority rule is all that is needed. Well, majority rule is a fine aspect of democracy, provided there are guarantees written in to our government concerning the rights of the individual and of the minorities.
What can we do about this? Well, you and I can do a great deal. We can write to our congressmen and our senators. We can say right now that we want no further encroachment on these individual liberties and freedoms. And at the moment, the key issue is, we do not want socialized medicine.
In Washington today, 40,000 letters, less than a hundred per congressman, are evidence of a trend in public thinking.
Representative Halleck of Indiana has said, When the American people want something from Congress, regardless of its political complexion, if they make their wants known, Congress does what the people want.
So write, and if your this man writes back to you and tells you that he too is for free enterprise, that we have these great services and so forth, that must be performed by government, dont let him get away with it. Show that you have not been convinced. Write a letter right back and tell him that you believe in government economy and fiscal responsibility; that you know governments dont tax to get the money the need; governments will always find a need for the money they get and that you demand the continuation of our traditional free enterprise system. You and I can do this. The only way we can do it is by writing to our congressmen even we believe that he is on our side to begin with. Write to strengthen his hand. Give him the ability to stand before his colleagues in Congress and say I have heard from my constituents and this is what they want.
Write those letters now; call your friends and tell them to write them. If you dont, this program I promise you will pass just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow and behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country. Until, one day, as Normal Thomas said we will awake to find that we have socialism. And if you dont do this and if I dont do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our childrens children, what it once was like in America when men were free.
She's embraced the dark side with open arms and legs....
So she’s making fun of Newt’s name now? What about MITT?
She jumped ship when she insisted that her nominee was Chris Christie - another New England liberal with minimal conservative attributes. Romney is very similar - another repeat of the last election.
Maybe those that say we actually have one party control are right! Our choices are limited to those that the establishment selects for us.
Wow! Talk about jumping the shark. One of Ann’s points is that Romneycare is preferable to Obamacare because it’s at the state level.
It’s still a government compulsion to buy something.
Keep digging deeper Ann, we just about totally lost sight of you, bye-bye.
She's now Coulterann, to me.
Heritage did back track - which is important but is only half the point. The other half of the point is that Heritage’s mandate was based on self responsibility and Obama Care’s is based on control. Heritages gave a lot of options, including Heath Savings Accounts and high deductible plans or simple proof of ability to pay - Obama Care (and probably Romney Care) gives very few options.
So there’s two huge points there.
Yep. The first hour of Mark Levin is done to educate Ann Coulter tonight on her cheering of Romneycare. Don’t miss it!
One of the biggest problems in health care today is the state-by-state Balkanization of insurance plans. Obamacare does nothing to fix that but if I had to choose between a national approach and a state-by-state approach to health care, I might actually choose the national. But I am opposed to either.
"Mitt"? Try Willard.
Good Lord. If Romney ever needs to give a stool specimen, all they’ll need to do is take a scraping of Ann Coulter’s nose.
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