Los Angeles Times: Romney Promises, Then Retracts, Key Aspects Of Healthcare Reform
At first glance, it looked like Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had once again altered his position on healthcare reform. "I'm not getting rid of all of healthcare reform," he said on "Meet the Press" over the weekend. "Of course, there are a number of things that I like in healthcare reform that I'm going to put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage. Two is to assure that the marketplace allows for individuals to have policies that cover their family up to whatever age they might like." Jeepers. Those are a couple of biggies under Obamacare. Has Romney seen the light? Maybe not so much (David Lazarus, 9/10).
The Washington Post: Romney's Health-Care Dither
I'm trying to figure out just where Mitt Romney stands on health-care reform. Obviously, so is Mitt Romney. In an interview broadcast Sunday on "Meet the Press," I thought I heard Romney say he liked some aspects of President Obama's Affordable Care Act and would keep those provisions in place. ... After the "Meet the Press" appearance, a Romney aide clarified that Romney didn't actually intend to guarantee that people with preexisting conditions could get insurance. Rather, he would somehow encourage the free market to provide such coverage -; even though, as anyone with diabetes or kidney disease can attest, the free market does no such thing. My advice is that before making a serious attempt to understand what Romney might actually do, make sure your health-insurance policy covers whiplash (Eugene Robinson, 9/10).
The Wall Street Journal: Romney's Pre-Existing Politics
When Mitt Romney ventures into health care, political trouble usually follows. So it went this weekend, as the GOP standard-bearer made his own policy sound worse than it is. On NBC's "Meet the Press," the Republican was asked what he would do about people with pre-existing medical conditions who would supposedly "no longer be guaranteed health care" if he repeals the Affordable Care Act. "I say we're going to replace ObamaCare," Mr. Romney replied. "And I'm replacing it with my own plan," without defining the substance of his own agenda (9/10).
The Wall Street Journal: Massachusetts Lessons About A President Romney
When it came time to craft the piece of legislation that has become Mr. Romney's biggest Massachusetts legacy and perhaps his chief national political liability-;the 2006 health-care overhaul that would become known as RomneyCare-;he again turned to private-sector consultants. Leaders of major stakeholders, including insurance companies, played important roles. So did some lawmakers. But Mr. Romney relied on the consultants to dig deeply into a fundamental problem: Why were so many people not buying health insurance? Overall, the governor and his aides approached the problem of uninsured state residents as a financial challenge that needed to be solved. The driving motivation was to stop forcing hospitals to provide expensive care-;especially in emergency rooms-;for free. Democratic legislators, with some cajoling, got behind the measure on the grounds that expanding the rolls of the insured was morally the right thing to do (Eric Convey, 9/10).
Politico: Bill Clinton On Health Care: Double Count Of Medicare
Former President Bill Clinton is reportedly headed to Florida in an attempt to put it solidly on the Democrat side of the ledger. Presumably, one plank of his argument will be to defend President Barack Obama's handling of Medicare -; particularly, doubling down on his now-discredited double counting of Medicare dollars. Recall that Clinton gave a full-throated endorsement of the Affordable Care Act in his Charlotte speech last week. ... As the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Clinton is wrong on his facts here. The ACA does cut $716 billion out of Medicare over the next 10 years, but it spends those funds elsewhere and does nothing to extend the life of Medicare (Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 9/10).