Mitt Romney said congressional Republicans were wrong to accept a deal last year that could ultimately result in across-the-board spending cuts, including massive cuts to the military.
“I thought it was a mistake on the part of the White House to propose it,” Romney said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think it was a mistake for Republicans to go along with it.”
I’m just reeling at that. The spending cuts were Obama’s idea? And the Congressional GOP went along? And now we need to undo those spending cuts? What on Earth is Mitt Romney talking about? Oh, wait … it gets better:
And while the Republican nominee has repeatedly vowed to work towards a repeal of President Barack Obama’s health care reform, Romney said in the interview he favors some measures found in the law.
“Well, I’m not getting rid of all of health care reform. Of course there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I’m going to put in place,” he said.
Romney listed the provision that ensures those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage as one aspect he would include in his own health care plan, which he said would “replace Obamacare.” The former Massachusetts governor has taken heat for opposing the federal health care law despite the fact it was largely modeled after the 2006 law he signed in the Bay State.
It is just a week past Labor Day and Romney is already conceding bits of the agenda. To be fair, some commentators think he means going back to the pre-Obamacare law which said that you could transfer insurance and not be denied for pre-existing conditions. But if he does mean that people should be not be barred from insurance for pre-existing conditions in general, something Republicans have supported, that, uh … won’t work without a coverage mandate.
The “good news” is that Obama is matching Romney in the Flip-Flop Voter Flip-Off Sweepstakes. You remember the Ryan Plan and how evil it was to offer seniors the option of a private plan? Well, it looks like HHS is about to implement … the Ryan plan:
In his convention speech in Charlotte, President Obama vowed to block the Republican Medicare reform plan because “no American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies.”
But back in Washington, his Health and Human Services Department is launching a pilot program that would shift up to 2 million of the poorest and most-vulnerable seniors out of the federal Medicare program and into private health insurance plans overseen by the states.
The administration has accepted applications from 18 states to participate in the program, which would give states money to purchase managed-care plans for people who are either disabled or poor enough to qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. HHS approved the first state plan, one for Massachusetts, last month.
Medicare only covers 80% of medical expenses. Seniors have to find the other 20% from other resources. And for poorer seniors, Medicaid is that other resource. What the states want to do is roll these dual-coverage citizens into private plans that will used managed care to cut expenses. California estimates this could save them half a billion a year.
It’s not a bad idea, actually. Medicare and Medicaid are notoriously wasteful, paying out just about any claim. If private companies get involved, there might be some actual resource review. Hell, there could even be — gasp! — fraud investigation! Bowles-Simpson recommended it. And the list of opponents is practically a whos-who of bad healthcare reform ideas.
No, the policy is not necessarily the problem; the hypocrisy is. Either moving patients to private system is an evil abandoning of our commitments or it isn’t.
So Romney is embracing Obama policies and Obama is embracing Romney policies. The closer we get to this election, the more it looks like no choice at all.