I am absolutely stunned by the content of this video of Mitt Romney, the latest from Andrew Kaczynski. It is not from 2006, not from 2002, not from 1994, not from some campaign of yore when he was appealing to a different audience. It is from just last year, in reaction to President Obama’s health care law. Romney says: “I hope we’re ultimately able to eliminate some of the differences, and repeal the bad and keep the good.”
A couple of notes:
Romney applauds the “incentives” to purchase insurance in Obamacare, which he says “works.” This, of course, refers to the individual mandate. The “incentive” is a fine.
Romney also inaccurately describes why his exchange functions – again leaving out the taxpayer funded subsidies which are inevitably redistributed from other taxpayers. Of the 412,000 people added to the insurance rolls in Massachusetts since 2006, only 7,000 of them have coverage not subsidized in whole or in part by the taxpayers.
Romney says that the “rates are lower than they otherwise would be” according to this. That’s an item for further debate, but premium rates in Massachusetts are the highest in the nation and double the national average. They have increased dramatically since his plan passed – he really believes they would be even higher without it?
Romney claims that he opposes the aspect of Obamacare that will determine pricing of premiums – this is a bit of an inaccurate description, but even so, how does this not conflict with exactly the same policy approach in Massachusetts today, an inevitable result of his law?
In all, this is a very disturbing video given how recent it is. Considering that this follows on Philip Klein’s discovery that Romney plans to use a waiver method for the states which does not kick in until 2017, and leaves much of Obamacare intact, my concerns about Romney’s intentions have never been higher.
At the very least, Romney must explain to us what he means by “repeal the bad and keep the good.”
UPDATE: Philip Klein points out to me that this was consistent with what Romney was reportedly saying elsewhere at the time in 2010 – that he would repeal “the worst aspects” of Obamacare.
So what’s the good?