This Week in Flip-Flopping

Ugh:

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.

Comments are closed.

  1. richtaylor365

    I guess it’s all a matter of interpretation. I see it as wise to play it close to the vest, to appear strident and resolute in the face of the prospect of raising taxes or abandoning principles, he ain’t gonna do it. Sure, as we have seen with Obama and every other successful candidate, making campaign promises (while running) is not the same as governing. Before the election he has to rally support and feed his base, after, he has to reach a consensus and actually get stuff done which requires working with the opposition, something Obama has not (and will never) figure out.

    Let’s not forget that this whole issue is linked to Obama’s failures, he was the guy that put together the debt commission, he was the guy that said ,”Thanks for all your hard work, you guys did a terrific job, but I was always going to do what I want to do, so now, go bugger off”.

    Sequestration was meant to be the sword of Damocles, the carrot (or stick) that got the super majority motivated to actually do something, but both parties came up wanting, they could not work together to get anything done so now they both get whacked, and I’m all for it.

    Re: Romney on Obamacare, I’m not sure what your complaint is, I think his response was measured and sensible. There are some things in Obamacare( precious few) that are good and worth keeping. He is not saying that once Obamacare is repealed, that we will go back to the status quo, that wasn’t working either. Healthcare still needs fixing, take some of the good things in Obamacare and scrap everything else.

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  2. Mississippi Yankee

    Re: Romney on Obamacare, I’m not sure what your complaint is,

    Hal has a genetic condition that will not allow him to post anything about the right without finding fault. Often times disingenuously, but that’s neither here nor there… (well actually it’s here in his post)

    So by you asking him what his complaint is makes you seem insensitive, combative and quite frankly RACIST. Kindly adjust your tone sir.

    Oh and everything else you said…YES.

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  3. Kimpost

    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.

    Why would he be referencing pre-Obamacare policies, while discussing which parts of Obamacare to keep? Makes no sense to me.

    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.

    Perhaps he’s hoping that few would actually leave the market just because it would be cheaper to opt out? I.e. “No need for a mandate, because 99% would pay because people are nice”.

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  4. Hal_10000 *

    Rich, I pointed out my problem.

    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,

    If he is serious about retaining that part of Obama’s plan, that will not work without a coverage mandate. It simply will not work. People will wait until they are sick to get insured. This is why Massachusetts has a coverage mandate. And I thought … maybe I was wrong .. that the coverage mandate was one of the principle conservative objections to Obamacare.

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  5. richtaylor365

    I guess I am more willing to see what he has to offer, then judge THAT on it’s own merits. Given that the costs of healthcare are running way ahead of actual dollars available to pay for it, and that Obamacare is a bad solution to this problem (too costly, too bureaucratic, and too arbitrary) and given that it is understood that something must be done, the only answer I would find unacceptable would be if he decided to do nothing (as Obama is doing with the debt and the economy). The days of kicking the can down the road are over. Repealing Obamacare but not having something to replace it would be more can kicking as far as I’m concerned.

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