Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 14, 2011

THE SOLE ACCOMPLISHMENT ROMNEY CAN'T BRAG ABOUT.... Gallup reports today on which states have the highest and lowest rates of residents without health care coverage. The results should cause one presidential hopeful to boast, but won't. (via Ezra Klein)

Here's the best states in the country for the lowest rates of uninsured:

1. Massachusetts, 4.7% uninsured
2. Connecticut, 9.9% uninsured
3. Minnesota, 10.5% uninsured
4. Hawaii, 10.6% uninsured
5. Pennsylvania, 11% uninsured
5. Vermont, 11% uninsured

Texas and Louisiana are at the other end, with roughly a fourth of state residents going without coverage.

There's obviously a regional imbalance here, with "blue" states in the Northeast faring very well, and "red" states in the South struggling badly. But what's especially interesting here is not just that Massachusetts is leading the nation, it's out in front by a significant margin.

This isn't an accident. It's the direct result of Mitt Romney's health care policy, which was ultimately duplicated by President Obama at the national level, and which has made Massachusetts the national leader on bringing residents into the system.

Except, as Greg Sargent explained, you won't hear the Romney camp bragging about any of this today.

People forget this, but Romneycare was initially supposed to be one of Mitt's tickets to national office. Of course, that was before Obama passed a plan containing the individual mandate, leading many conservative to decide that the mandate is the greatest threat to American liberty since King George the Third. Now what was originally one of his greatest accomplishments is suddenly one of his greatest liabilities, and Romney needs to figure out how to explain the fact that thanks to his leadership, the state he presided over now ranks lowest in the nation in the rate of the uninsured.

At a certain point all you can do is marvel at how topsy turvy the debate has become.

Yep, this was Romney's signature accomplishment during his one term as governor -- his only experience in public office -- and at the time, his success on health care cast Romney in a positive light. And why not? It demonstrated his ability to tackle major policy challenges and work with members of both parties to pass a sensible, mainstream legislative milestone. It was the sort of thing a governor can build a presidential campaign around.

This was fine in 2008, when the individual mandate was still a Republican idea, and Romney faced practically no criticism at all. It's not at all fine in 2011 and 2012, now that GOP officials and voters no longer like their idea.

And so today's Gallup report is great news for a presidential hopeful, which he hopes no one will notice.

Steve Benen 2:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (18)

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Comments

Honestly, I can feel sorry for poor Mitt. He seems like a decent enough man. Good education, significant political accomplishments and a good business record. But then he turns into a Retard doufus who has to repudiate his own record, renounce his religion and generally turn away from all his good qualities in order to run for the office. It just doesn't seem worth it.

It's an indication of the depths our political discussion has sunk to with the TPee party and media fascist pundits.

Posted by: Darsan54 on March 14, 2011 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Times change. Romney thought working on health care back them would help him get elected president later. He also thought working against marriage equality back then would help him get elected president later.

The moral of this story? If the "Mittster" says buy, sell like hell!

Posted by: K in VA on March 14, 2011 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Poor Mittens...
"Refudiate" your record!
"Refudiate" your accomplishments!

I wonder where Mississippi is on the list? Probably around TX and LA.

That can only mean good news for Haley Barbour!

Posted by: c u n d gulag on March 14, 2011 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe THIS is the awesome Obabma jiu-jitsu we've all been waiting for: since half the Republican party is motivated by racial hate, the Pres knows that any halfway good idea that the he takes from them is automatically thereafter lost to them as a strength/feature/credential.

Explains his deliberate and his passive bi-partisanship?

Posted by: Betsy on March 14, 2011 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Oh mods,
Nice troll takedown in the "Quote of the Day" comments.
That was beautiful.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on March 14, 2011 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Imagine doing something that does so much good for so many people and not being allowed to be proud of it.

Posted by: Dan on March 14, 2011 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

and thanks to Bachman, he can't even take credit for The Shot Heard Round the World...

Posted by: andyvillagera on March 14, 2011 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

And this isn't the first generation in his family to be kneecapped by the irrationality of the American voter. The presidential aspirations of Romney's father were wrecked when he recognized the war in Viet Nam was a bad thing, and used the unfortunate turn of phrase that he had been brainwashed by the US military and diplomatic officials in Saigon support the war.

He would have been a much better President George W.!!

Posted by: Johnny Canuck on March 14, 2011 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe THIS is the awesome Obabma jiu-jitsu we've all been waiting for: since half the Republican party is motivated by racial hate, the Pres knows that any halfway good idea that the he takes from them is automatically thereafter lost to them as a strength/feature/credential.

Explains his deliberate and his passive bi-partisanship?

Posted by: Betsy on March 14, 2011 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

I do not feel the slightest bit of compassion for Mittens.

It is poetic justice that the one accomplishment, in the public life of Mitt Romney, is something of value to working people and is, therefore, to be despised by republicans and their tea partiers!

Let no good deed go unpunished by the republicans!

Posted by: SadOldVet on March 14, 2011 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

May be Obama does play a long term 259 dimensional game of chess, and his championing of the health care bill was a pre-meditated strategy to deprive Romney of the opportunity to crow about his greatest achievement as a governor.

Posted by: samsa on March 14, 2011 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Wouldn't independent voters go for Mitt in a big way if he stopped catering to idiots and bigots?

Pride in Ignorance is just about the most fascinating human conundrum. However, placating that misconception is downright pathetic.

Posted by: Rochester on March 14, 2011 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

There's obviously a regional imbalance here, with "blue" states in the Northeast faring very well, and "red" states in the South struggling badly.

And there is the obvious "socialism" being bandied about in that these same blue states receive less back from the fed than paid in. Also these same blue staters are paying for the healthcare of those uninsured red states through medicare disproportionate share hospital reimbursements using tax dollars and higher insurance premiuns.

Posted by: flyonthewall on March 14, 2011 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Pride in ignorance comes from the same place as fanatic fundamentalism: fear. Fear of recognizing that someone knows more and better than you do, fear that your faith is not so firm as you claim, and the need, no matter how low you are on the status ladder, there is someone worse off (which is why it is so easy for demagogues to play the race card with the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, and for Palin and Bachmann to attract as much support as they do.)

Human, all-too-human.

Posted by: jrosen on March 14, 2011 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, better coverage is a good thing. In theory it should make people healthier and reduce overall health expense. So does it? Does MA have lower per capita health care cost than TX?
Anyone?

Posted by: DK on March 14, 2011 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

DK, the state did report which concludes that while the cost is still high there are some key contributing factors.

◦High concentration of physicians (especially specialists);
◦Greater availability and use of academic medical centers for both inpatient and outpatient hospital based-services, and use of outpatient hospital-based facilities for some services that could be provided in less costly settings;
◦Richer health insurance benefits compared to the nation; and
◦Use of payment methods that are not designed to incentivize efficiency and coordination of medical care.
•Most of a health insurance premium goes toward spending on health care services as opposed to administrative and other non-medical services.
See http://bit.ly/etnm61

Posted by: footie on March 14, 2011 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks footie.

Posted by: DK on March 14, 2011 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

Want to know more about this individual mandate everyone is talking about? Healthcare reform droids can help explain key concept. http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=3618

Posted by: Jeremy Engdahl-Johnson on March 15, 2011 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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