Monday, September 10, 2012

What's missing from Romney pander on health care

Posted By on Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 6:09 AM

THERE HE GOES AGAIN: Tall talk from Mitt Romney on Meet the Press
  • THERE HE GOES AGAIN: Tall talk from Mitt Romney on Meet the Press
Mitt Romney proclaimed yesterday that he'd toss the bad parts of President Obama's health care reform law and keep the good. Easy to say. Impossible to do.

Kevin Drum explained long ago a core problem in merely ending the insurance company ban on coverage of people with pre-existing conditions. Drum wrote then that Obama hoped to maneuver Republicans into precisely this position.

For Obama, this is the ballgame. My guess is that he wants to maneuver Republicans into either (a) admitting that they're unwilling to regulate this, which would be highly unpopular, or (b) admitting, however grudgingly, that the practice needs to be banned. Because if they admit it has to be banned he can make the following argument:

If insurance companies are forced to take on all comers, then people can game the system by buying insurance only when they get sick. This would obviously decimate the private insurance industry.

So you have to require everyone to buy insurance at all times. It's the only way to have a broad pool that keeps costs down (another frequent Obama talking point.)

But obviously you can't force poor people to buy insurance they flatly can't afford. So if you mandate coverage, then you have to subsidize low-income families that can't afford insurance, and you have to provide incentives for small businesses so that they can cover their employees.

And if you do that, you have to have a funding source. Preferably one that also helps rein in premium costs. Like, oh, an excise tax.

Romney's magic wand and Paul Ryan's amazing secret plan, to be revealed only AFTER the election, are only so much more snake oil.

Oh, and by the way, Romney really hasn't changed anything about his position on health care. If you already have insurance, you're OK. Otherwise ....

UPDATE: Romney's pre-existing condition coverage would OMIT 89 million Americans. No rich ones, you may be sure.

Romney's tax plan is similarly problematic.

Tags: , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (16)

Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • In defense of Planned Parenthood and abortion rights

    An op-ed in today's New York Time by Katha Pollitt says what I've been struggling to say about the reaction to the attack on women's reproductive rights launched by means of the undercover videos made by anti-abortion activists.
    • Aug 5, 2015
  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • 2nd guilty plea in bribery case over state mental health services

    Arkansas Business reports here on a federal court filing Wednesday that shows a second person has pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme to help a major contractor of the state Department of Human Services.
    • Sep 17, 2015

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Arkansas is the perfect place to try out this new health trend. Read all about the what, why, where and how here.

Most Viewed

  • Gunman shot by police early today in River Market

    KARK reports that police shot a man in an alley behind Ernie Biggs on Clinton Avenue in the River Market district about 2 a.m. today. His condition was not known, but initial reports said he was in surgery.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation