Political Animal


June 22, 2011 10:50 AM Huntsman’s bogus claim to healthcare credibility

By Steve Benen

Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman’s new line on health care only makes sense if you ignore reality altogether.

Huntsman told ABC News that Mitt Romney “has little credibility” on health care. […]

“If you’re talking about free market health care, the kind we did in Utah, and the kind that is needed in this country, then he has little credibility,” Huntsman said. “Little credibility based on the model that was created in Massachusetts.”

Huntsman doesn’t appear to have faced any pushback on this from ABC, perhaps because the reporters weren’t briefed on the relevant details, but if we’re going to talk about candidates, health care, and credibility, Huntsman needs to hope folks aren’t paying any attention.

First, the “model” Romney “created in Massachusetts” has been a terrific success. That’s not a credibility killer; that’s the opposite.

Second, when Huntsman pursued health care reform in Utah, he endorsed an individual mandate. In other words, he and Romney have been on the same page.

Third, the plan “we did in Utah” hasn’t been particularly effective — after Huntsman was forced to drop his support for a mandate, the result was a policy that’s done little to bring coverage to the uninsured.

Huntsman must know all of this, meaning that he’s falling into some dishonest habits as he makes the transition to national candidate.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


Post a comment
  • c u n d gulag on June 22, 2011 10:56 AM:

    Republican Motto # 10,545:

    When faced with the truth - lie like a rug.

  • Lifelong Dem on June 22, 2011 10:57 AM:

    Huntsman doesn’t appear to have faced any pushback on this from ABC ...

    All the media is busy swooning over Huntsman for reasons that escape me. In other words, they are not doing their job, which is not breaking news. Pun intended.

  • Mr. Serf Man on June 22, 2011 11:15 AM:

    Give him a couple of sorry polls and he'll be goin' all teabagger on us ....none of that "Civil Discourse shit for us.
    Mr. Huntsman, wait till you see the Nasty Machine your primary opponents have cranked up and waiting in the wings.
    The citizens united is going to make Bush Vs McCain in the 2000 primary look like a ladies afternoon tea.

  • DAY on June 22, 2011 11:20 AM:

    reporters weren’t briefed on the relevant details"

    Hey, with Hair, Makeup, and How To Hold a Microphone, who has time for" relevant details"?

  • karen marie on June 22, 2011 11:40 AM:

    "because the reporters weren’t briefed on the relevant details"

    Seriously? Briefed by who? Shouldn't reporters who are, you know, reporting on issues related to health care, after over 10 years, be conversant in at least a general way with the history of this debate and the positions of the players they're covering?

    There is absolutely no excuse, given the extensive "debate" that went on prior to and subsequent to passage of the ACA, for reporters to need briefing on this subject.

    No, the reporters asked no follow-up questions not because they weren't briefed but because asking follow-up questions isn't their job. They're stenographers. Except, of course, if they're talking to an elected Democrat, in which case they "challenge" the Democrat with Republican talking points.

  • TCinLA on June 22, 2011 12:17 PM:

    Why does anyone give a rat's patootie what Huntsman thinks about anything? He's on the Nowhere Express in the Republican Party. All this proves is that he's as bad a liar as the rest of the Seven Dwarves.

    There's only one thing anyone ever needs to know about any Republican: they're wrong. If a Republican tells you it's Wednesday, go check the calendar before taking any action based on that information. Republicans. Are. Wrong. About. Everything.

  • Anonymous on June 22, 2011 12:32 PM:

    First, the “model” Romney “created in Massachusetts” has been a terrific success. That’s not a credibility killer; that’s the opposite.

    That depends on what you mean by "success." If you mean a policy that is beneficial to the average citizen, then yes, it was a success. However, if you were a Republican who measures success by how well a policy furthers your ideological agenda, you may think otherwise.

  • Gridlock on June 22, 2011 2:28 PM:

    Does Huntsman realize that Utah has put into place an insurance exchange? Yes, the same kind of insurance exchange that is required of states in PPACA? Utah put it in awhile back now.

    You can check it out here http://www.exchange.utah.gov/