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June 14, 2012 2:00 PM Disguising “Repeal and Reverse”

By Ed Kilgore

In a speech in Florida today, Mitt Romney repeated his frequent claim that in a post-ObamaCare world, he would fight to prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions.

That’s not just a lie, but a pretty big, pretty important lie.

First off, when Romney talks about protecting insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, he’s talking about those with “continuing coverage”—i.e., those who quit jobs with employer-based health insurance. But they are already “protected” under current law, if you consider “protection” the “right” to buy crappy, overpriced HIPAA policies, or to temporarily continue old policies via COBRA (which involves paying employer as well as employee premiums)

Challenged with these facts, Team Romney once again changes the subject from federal guarantees to the alleged ability of states to provide “high-risk pools” (again, available under existing law, and providing crappy, expensive coverage) and/or to use the new flexibility Mitt and Paul Ryan want to give them to cover whoever they want under a Medicaid block grant. I’m just sure they will choose to focus on that problem even as Mitt and Ryan slash federal funding for Medicaid, threatening the eligibility of millions of poor and disabled folks who are Medicaid’s core responsibility.

But so far critics of Romney’s health care plans haven’t focused much on another disaster he would create for the un- and under-insured: his support for interstate insurance sales, which would almost certainly destroy existing state regulation of insurers, who would be able to stampede to whatever state offered them the opportunity to deny coverage and make premiums strictly dependent on health conditions.

So it’s not just a matter of Romney denying the wisdom of his own health care plan in Massachusetts (which depended, BTW, on the kind of generous federal Medicaid subsidies his and Ryan’s budget proposals would make a thing of the distant past) and offering dishonest and threadbare “solutions” to the problem of pre-existing conditions and other shortcomings of the status quo ante. By supporting interstate insurance sales and major reductions in federal Medicaid funding and (for dessert) the herding of people now covered by employer-based policies into the individual market, Romney would make the coverage and affordability problems far worse than they were in 2010. I know I’m becoming a broken record on the subject, but it’s important to understand the GOP’s agenda for health care is not “repeal and replace,” or even “repeal and do nothing”—it’s “repeal and reverse,” and a cruel trick on anyone looking for genuine reform.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • Josef K on June 14, 2012 2:27 PM:

    I'm becoming strangely reconcilled to the thought of a Romney Administration. It honestly feels like the American body politic is willing to endure nearly anything the Republican Party will dish out. Just look at what the last Republican President inflicted on us all.

    This latest outrage? It just makes me tired and cynical.

  • jjm on June 14, 2012 2:44 PM:

    Romney IS Theodor Bundy. Dressed like a cop, just like Bundy, to intimidate women. Lies like a rug. Just like Bundy.

  • stormskies on June 14, 2012 3:45 PM:

    And all these cretin like Repiglicans, and all other who intend to vote for pathological liar Romney, cheer on: "Yes, we want to pay more for our health insurance, yes we loved being lied too over and over, yes we want to pay more taxes while the rich get even deeper tax breaks, yes we want to go to another war for no reason, yet we don't want our social security or medicare, yes we want to become indentured servants to the corporate/ oligarchal state, yes we want to pollute our Earth even more, and so on" ........

    my god ...

  • j on June 14, 2012 3:57 PM:

    What in the world is the matter with our media, how often have you heard any pushback on Romney's many lies?
    We must by now know that our supreme court is as crooked as can be, also the corporations must feel they are free to steal, pollute, pay slave wages and deny health insurance, otherwise they would not be investing so much in Romney.
    I think we have lost our democracy, never again can we say we want to spread democracy throughout the world, because we do not have it in this country.
    We have lost the right to chose our government by citizens vote, it will be very hard if not impossible to repair the damage the republicans will inflict. Boehner and McConnell are criminals who have been bought and paid for, and laugh in our faces while they
    block jobs to destroy this president.
    Pray for some democratic billionaire to take pity on us
    and help us fight

  • gus on June 14, 2012 4:16 PM:

    Buck up, folks!

    He抯 not gonna win.

  • jjm on June 14, 2012 4:17 PM:

    Follow up on my comment above re Romney's resemblance in truthfulness, intimidating women and dressing up like a cop: I just learned that Ted Bundy DID join the Mormon Church when he was in law school in Utah. Of course, the church excommunicated him when he was revealed as a serial killer. But apparently they thought he was a perfect match up to that point.

    I'm not saying Romney is a psychopath, but he is not simply 'normal': there is a 'hypernormality' to him, a commitment simply to LOOKING perfect man, the perfect hair, the perfect conservative style of dress, etc., that can mask a lot of horror.

  • emjayay on June 14, 2012 4:21 PM:

    gus: Of course the American people will see through this amazingly lying piece of shit. Like they always have. Oh wait......

  • boatboy_srq on June 14, 2012 4:46 PM:

    God's Own Party, while it reveres as Divinely-inspired the founding Documents of the US, seems Hell-bent on taking the US to somewhere not far removed from Tsarist Russia: a handful of wealthy and hordes of serfs.

    We've had our February revolution in 2006-8. When is the October one?

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