The Right’s Coming Romneycare Defense

June 2nd, 2011 at 9:00 am David Frum | 82 Comments |

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Here’s an interesting exchange: NRO’s Kathryn Lopez and radio host Hugh Hewitt walking back from their ardent support for Mitt Romney of 2008.

LOPEZ: Is Romney the best man in the field?

HEWITT: There are lots of good men (and soon to be at least one woman) in the field. At this point it seems clear to me that Governor Romney is the most electable, though Governor Pawlenty is very close on that scale.

On the other hand, if Romney does prevail, give Hewitt credit for being among the first to articulate the rationalization that will allow talk radio to swing back into line behind Romney next year:

LOPEZ: Can Romney overcome what is conventionally, universally considered his health-care problem?

HEWITT: Yes. I gave a speech on this to the Federalist Society earlier this year, emphasizing the core values of federalism and state sovereignty, and I expect more and more conservatives as they focus on the race will discount Team Obama’s attempt to confuse the Massachusetts plan and Obamacare.

LOPEZ: Is it unfair to consider it the precursor to Obamacare?

HEWITT: Yes, but that is a powerful narrative for Team Obama to spin and their friends in the MSM have picked it up. Among the many huge differences: The Massachusetts plan was constitutional and Obamacare isn’t. The Massachusetts plan was a negotiated compromise between two branches and two parties while Obamacare was a one-party jam down. Obamacare raised taxes and cut benefits massively and Massachusetts care did neither. The list goes on and on.

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82 Comments so far ↓

  • ottovbvs

    Hardly an amazing prediction. Whoever is the Republican candidate from Palin to Romney will find conservative talk radio falling in behind them. Do birds fly, fish swim, dogs bark? Apparently conservative are going to claim Romneycare is different from Obamacare despite the fact they are identical twins. I’m sure the country will be convinced.

    • Smargalicious

      …Among the many huge differences: The Massachusetts plan was constitutional and Obamacare isn’t. The Massachusetts plan was a negotiated compromise between two branches and two parties while Obamacare was a one-party jam down. Obamacare raised taxes and cut benefits massively and Massachusetts care did neither.

      Did you care to read this??

  • indy

    Oh, c’mon already. I expect a little more depth than this. They ALWAYS swing back into line.

  • TerryF98

    So he is going to base his argument on total falsehoods, Talk Radio is a cesspit of lies so they will sure fall in line.

  • mikewaz

    “LOPEZ: Is it unfair to consider [Romneycare] the precursor to Obamacare?

    HEWITT: Yes, but that is a powerful narrative for Team Obama to spin and their friends in the MSM have picked it up. Among the many huge differences: The Massachusetts plan was constitutional and Obamacare isn’t. The Massachusetts plan was a negotiated compromise between two branches and two parties while Obamacare was a one-party jam down. Obamacare raised taxes and cut benefits massively and Massachusetts care did neither. The list goes on and on.”

    Question: Why was the Massachusetts health care reform plan backed by members of both the Republican and Democratic Parties (I can’t find evidence that this is the case but I assume it is true) but the federal health care reform plan was unilaterally opposed by the Republican Party? Did it have something to do with the differing contents of the laws? Or could it have been something a little more like blind, ideological opposition to the law because many in the Republican Party believe Obama is worse than Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao Tse-tung, and Stalin all rolled into one person?

  • Frumplestiltskin

    The Massachusetts plan was constitutional and Obamacare isn’t.
    Wow, I had no idea that the Supreme Court struck down Obamacare as being unconstitutional.
    Wait, you mean that they didn’t, that Hewitt is talking out of his ass? Who’d thunk it?

    And you mean that the Ryan plan was also a negotiated compromise between two branches? You mean that isn’t, and that the Republicans holding the debt ceiling hostage as an attempt to force Obama to cave into Republican desires to gut Medicare is potentially a bad thing?
    And when does 60 votes in the Senate and a majority in the house and the President not equal majority? The fact is the ACA was negotiated between both branches of Government, and within the Legislative branch as well.

    My oh my Hewitt really is a lame ass, isn’t he?

    As to the whole states rights thing, the ACA accommodates that, as long as States adhere to the minimum standards how they implement the ACA is up to them. Is Hewitt stating that there should be no national standards for health care at all? If States decided to harvest organs from children to give to rich people (hmmm, such supple young organs…to quote Montgomery Burns)
    that he would be fine with that since it is a state decision?

    • Chris Balsz

      “Wow, I had no idea that the Supreme Court struck down Obamacare as being unconstitutional.
      Wait, you mean that they didn’t, that Hewitt is talking out of his ass? ”

      Was Thurgood Marshall talking out his ass when he argued segregated school districts were unconstitutional PRIOR to Brown v. Board of Education?

      • baw1064

        Hugh Hewitt is going to make the oral arguments against the unconstitutionality of PPACA before the Supreme Court??!! I’ll have to tune in for that one…

        • Chris Balsz

          Obviously it could never get there unless and until somebody ACTED on the theory that it was unconstitutional, despite the lack of a Supreme Court ruling.

        • Frumplestiltskin

          Language. It is called language. Saying the Mandate should be ruled unconstitutional at the federal level (as opposed to the state level, because tyranny I guess stops at state lines…or something) is a hell of a lot different from stating that the ACA is unconstitutional.

  • Chris Balsz

    Hugh Hewitt went from saying hourly “John McCain. Great American. Lousy Republican. Horrible Senator” to endorsing his campaign, in one weekend in 2008.

  • Chekote

    This is defending Romneycare? Frum grasping at straws again.

    • John

      start with some truisms:

      1. Romneycare and Obama care are functionally VERY similar (universal coverage enforced with a mandate and supported by subsidies for those who cannot afford it)
      2. Republicans HATE Obamacare
      3. 1 + 2 = Romney liability

      so, yes, the alleged distinctions articulated by Hewitt are most certainly a defense of Romneycare; the only way to defend Romneycare is to distinguish it from Obamacare (no small task given truism number 1).

      I agree with Mikewaz that some of those ‘distinctions’ are pretty flimsy. To take Frumplestiltskin’s point on the constitutionality front – its not at all persuasive to ‘argue’ (i say argue, rather than ‘declare’ because the highest court has yet to hear arguments much less issue a ruling on constitutionality) that Romneycare is and Obamacare isn’t constitutional without saying why. Neither of the two other ‘distinctions’ supports a claim. The constitution, to my knowledge, does not strike down laws validly passed by Congress even when the MINORITY party uniformly rejects them. Ditto for raising taxes and cutting benefits.

  • baw1064

    Apparently, Tea Partiers hate the Post Office and the IRS, but love the DMV and their State’s tax office.

  • The American Spectator : AmSpecBlog : Hugh Hewitt Defends Romney -- Again

    [...] David Frum, I see that Hugh Hewitt is previewing a conservative defense of Romneycare in an interview with [...]

  • Chris Balsz

    “Language. It is called language. Saying the Mandate should be ruled unconstitutional at the federal level… is a hell of a lot different from stating that the ACA is unconstitutional.”

    Well you’re absolutely right Frumplestiltskin, the language is important. Saying “the Mandate should be ruled unconstitutional at the federal level” indicates the speaker has absolutely no power or control over the matter, and can only approach authority as a supplicant or a student seeking enlightenment.

    But in this country, the People are soveriegn, and the constitutionality of ACA is a fact from its passage. Either it is constitutional, or it is not, and we the People are capable of apprehending the truth of the matter.

    For example, the Court ruled in 1892 that segregation was perfectly fine under the 14th Amendment. It reversed itself in 1954. I don’t think any thinking person then or now believes the Court was right both times. We can judge the Court. We can say the Court blew it. We can say, “Damn we live in dark times until some better Court reverses Citizens United / Kelo / Roe / Hamdan / Bush v Gore“.

    (By the way some people think per the 10th Amendment, the states have reserved powers whereas the federal government has delegated powers under the constitution, so, MA can have mandates and the feds can’t. As the 14th Amendment amended the prior 13 Amendments as well as the Articles, this doesn’t hold water.)

    • John

      do you think Obamacare is unconstitutional? How about Romneycare? Do you think it was incumbent upon Hewitt to explain why he finds Obamacare unconstitutional? Pre-1954 opponents of segregation would have pointed to relevant language in the constitution rather than just making a blanket statement.

      • Chris Balsz

        I think the 10th and 11th Amendments preclude the Congress from exercising commerce power to BAN interstate commerce in a commodity, and then, set requirements for fifty separate intrastate commerce systems.

        Allowing that, I have a 9th Amendment liberty to avoid buying anything at the direction of the federal government.

        Even granting that, I have a 5th Amendment right to refuse to declare to the government whether or not I have met that requirement. Even granting that I must do that, the 4th Amendment bars the federal government from imposing a punitive fine without a trial. It’s certainly innovative, which raises a question of whether it violates the 8th Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

        If you disagree so far, I have a proposal to decriminalize controlled substances, and instead we’ll require everyone to declare on their 1040 whether they’ve been naughty. And if they admit to it, we’ll fine them. If they lie, we’ll hit them for perjury. If they refuse to answer, we’ll punish them for tax evasion. And if they don’t pay, we’ll garnish wages and foreclose homes.
        Ditto for obscene pornography, illegal residency, gun control, using the wrong light bulbs, shopping online instead of using local merchants, giving in-kind political donations of internet commentary to the benefit of a candidate, and anything else Congress thinks up.

        And even allowing all that, the 14th Amendment precludes them from exempting people from this just and constitutional form of administrative punishment on the basis of personal income.

  • talkradiosucks.com

    “Either it is constitutional, or it is not, and we the People are capable of apprehending the truth of the matter.”

    If it were that clear-cut and simple, there would be no disputes and no need for judges or courts. Even leading legal minds disagree on many complex issues, but you think you can just hand-wave everything away.

    You continue to demonstrate your lack of understanding of, well, pretty much everything.

    • Chris Balsz

      A confusion shared by every traitor who dares presume disagree with Citizens United. Which would include the president.

      • talkradiosucks.com

        A non-response that ignores all of the salient issues. Again, not surprising coming from an abject idiot.

        • Chris Balsz

          I’m sorry, I was sticking to the topic “Should anybody dare opine a law is unconstitutional absent a Supreme Court ruling to that effect” and I interpreted your digressive remarks as if they related to that point.

          Can a citizen decide whether a law is unconstitutional? Sure, only an idiot obeys blindly.
          Does that halt laws from having effect? Hell no.
          Does that justify disobeying a law? Disobedience may be a moral duty; but punishment must follow as if the intent was evil.
          Does that stop government from following the court? The people in government generally swear to obey as a condition of employment.
          Does that stop the Court from hearing disputes? No.

          Did I miss anything?

  • baw1064

    For example, the Court ruled in 1892 that segregation was perfectly fine under the 14th Amendment. It reversed itself in 1954. I don’t think any thinking person then or now believes the Court was right both times.

    The actual argument that Marshall made wasn’t that the Court had blown their decision in Plessy vs. Ferguson. Rather, it was calling into question the plausibility of the doctrine of “separate but equal” (since equality, but not integration per se, was mandated).

    He did this by presenting a lot of empirical evidence that separate was not equal, nor was it ever likely to be in the foreseeable future. So, while “separate but equal” could hypothetically uphold the equal protection clause in some alternate universe in which human nature were different, segregation denied people equal protection in this one, and therefore needed to be abolished.

    Significantly, Marshall’s argument couldn’t really have been made (at least as strongly) in 1892. He had the benefit of 60 additional years of history which made the empirical case overwhelming.

    • Chris Balsz

      Nobody is going to take a school district and attempt to produce wonderful statistics to pursue a reversal of Brown v. Board of Education. The public understanding of the wrongness of segregation is more in line with Taney’s excellent ideological dissent to Plessy. If that suggests the American public has a legally incorrect theory of the constitution with regard to segregation, so much the worse for the legal profession.

      • baw1064

        I personally believe that segregation is wrong regardless of whether it’s permitted under the Constitution, and I’d like to think that I would have thought the same thing had I been alive 80 years ago.

        But for some law to be unfair, ill-conceived, stupid, etc. doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unconstitutional. Slavery was just as immoral when it was permitted under the Constitution.

        If you think something is really bad policy, the court case route is only open if you can come up with some specific reason why it violates some specific clause of the Constitution. Otherwise, you have to go through the legislative process, including in the case of a constitutional amendment.

        So yes, I think most people do misunderstand the whole desegregation issue (not a lawyer, BTW)

  • politicalfan

    Watching his annoucement on CNN. He needs a bit more excitement behind that annoucement.

    We need to pipe in the “Eye of the tiger!” Come on Romney jazz it up, the news is cutting into your speech. Oh, no! That’s not right.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEjgPh4SEmU

  • Deep South Populist

    This is true. Romney acted using state powers under America’s system of Federalism. That’s the only argument he needs.

    So much for Team Obama’s double-barrelled lies on HCR: 1) a national individual mandate is Constitutional, and 2) Romney-care was the precursor to Obamacare.

  • talkradiosucks.com

    “This is true. Romney acted using state powers under America’s system of Federalism. That’s the only argument he needs.”

    Gotta love the irony of someone who uses a moniker that includes the word “Populist” naively thinking that Romney will be able to sell his support for Romneycare and opposition to Obamacare based on obscure legal hair-splitting.

    • Deep South Populist

      Since when is Federalism — the basic structure of governance in the United States since the founding — an obscure theory?

      EDIT: If your point is that most ordinary people don’t understand Federalism, I agree.

      • John

        lets assume, arguendo, that Obamacare and Romneycare are literally identical except that “Romney acted using state powers under America’s system of Federalism” and Obama relied on the commerce clause. Their understanding or ignorance of federalism would have little to do with a voter’s assessment that Romney is splitting hairs. Just take a look at ANY of the right’s criticism of Obamacare – 99% of it could equally apply to Romneycare. Universal coveage and mandates are either good policy or bad policy.

        If I were Romney I would defend the parts of Obamacare that are good policy and promise to remedy the parts that aren’t. Trying to distinguish two virtually identical laws because you’re too much of a wuss to take on the TP isn’t very presidential.

        • Deep South Populist

          If I were Romney, I would counter that by arguing my plan was designed for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the 1990s not a nation of 310,000,000 people in 2011 and that any comparisons between my plan and Obamacare are superficial and dishonest for that reason.

        • John

          umm, romneycare was enacted in 2006. so, speaking as romney, you would say, “universal coverage and an individual mandate made sense for the commonwealth of massachusetts in 2006 but its so tyranical and unconstitutional to apply that same blueprint to the united states in 2009 that i pledge to repeal the entire law if i’m elected president in 2012″??? i think that might provoke a follow-up question or two from the faithful.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    DSP: New Democrat slogan: Tyranny is fine as long it’s done at the Federal level.

    But no Democrat is claiming that the mandate is tyranny (and not too long ago neither did Republicans), but because Republicans are claiming that the mandate is now tyranny they (or Romney) has to be convincing why it is not tyranny at the state level.
    I don’t believe the mandate is tyranny, I think it was unwise politically, Democrats should have gone with a tax and credit plan, which is the exact same thing in reality as a mandate but which is already known to be constitutional and a thing that enjoys wide support (as in mortgage interest deduction)

    • Deep South Populist

      I agree. But Obama backed himself into a corner with his promise that no one making less than 250 would ever see a tax increase so he couldn’t use the tax approach.

    • mikewaz

      Actually, I don’t think they’re any different in the wake of the ruling in Arizona v. Winn. The majority opinion in that case stated that when the government offers an individual a tax credit, what they are really doing is refusing to collect that sum of taxes from the individual. So if you have a $3000 tax liability before any credits are assessed and you collect a $1000 tax credit for which you are eligible, the IRS is not collecting $3000 from you and giving you back $1000. What they are doing is collecting only $2000 from you and refusing to collect that last $1000.

      What does this mean to the difference between the penalty and the tax-and-credit structures of the individual mandate? Let’s consider your $3000 tax liability under both cases with the minimum $695 for not having health insurance. If you don’t have health insurance, under the penalty structure, your tax liability increases from $3000 to $3695 because of the penalty being tacked on. Under the tax-and-credit structure, the $695 tax has already been assessed, so your tax liability is $3695. If you do have health insurance, under the penalty structure, your tax liability stays at $3000. Under the tax-and-credit structure, the IRS refuses to collect $695 of your tax liability, so your liability is $3000.

      In a nutshell, your tax liability is the exact same, both monetarily and semantically, under both structures. The sole difference is the use of a penalty because it is arguably simpler to administer than a tax-and-credit. So why is just about everyone in agreement that the latter is constitutional while there’s lots of conflict about the constitutionality of the former?

      • Chris Balsz

        “In a nutshell, your tax liability is the exact same, both monetarily and semantically, under both structures. The sole difference is the use of a penalty because it is arguably simpler to administer than a tax-and-credit. So why is just about everyone in agreement that the latter is constitutional while there’s lots of conflict about the constitutionality of the former?”

        Because the constitution limits the ability of government to impose penalties. I’m sure much of the criminal justice system would be “simpler” if we required the guilty to admit their guilt and take a fine without the government having the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. China does it. They aren’t bound by the Bill of Rights. Congress and the IRS are.

  • Phil Mueller

    The individual mandate is indeed questionable constitutionally… which is why a single-payer solution would be better.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    DSP, could be. I knew the mandate was problematic from day one. Still I don’t think that people would have viewed it as a tax increase just as people who don’t have a mortgage consider themselves as having a tax increase, though their taxes are indeed higher than those that have a mortgage. If that was his rationale, then I think the Democrats were wrong.

  • talkradiosucks.com

    “New Democrat slogan: Tyranny is fine as long it’s done at the Federal level.”

    The biggest problem for any tone-deaf demagogues who try this line is that most Americans don’t consider providing universal health coverage to be “tyranny”.

    • Deep South Populist

      Yeah, well most Americans believe it. I guess that settles it. Let’s not even bother with the law.

      EDIT:

      Regarding this gem of a line…

      most Americans don’t consider providing universal health coverage to be “tyranny”

      I take you are not familiar with the concept of the “tyranny of the majority”?

      You need to brush up on your Constitutional law and political theory.

      Stay out of the deep end in the meantime.

    • wileedog

      It bugs me to no end how much the word “tyranny” and the like are thrown around by these aging, white baby boomers in the Tea Party who have never in their lives seen anything of the sort.

      A health care plan isn’t tyranny. You want to see tyranny, go spend a weekend in Syria.

      • Chris Balsz

        ACA isn’t a health care plan. It’s a compulsory insurance cooperative enforced by permanent, nondischargeable tax levies and self-incriminating disclosures.

        • wileedog

          OMG the tyranny! I’m not allowed to freely leach off the health care system anymore!

        • John

          hahaha, nice! that’s the funniest part of conservative opposition to the mandate: it was their idea! the mandate was a conservative answer to how to avoid those who would free-load on universal coverage (by waiting until they were sick to purchase coverage). be careful what you wish for?

  • talkradiosucks.com

    “I take you are not familiar with the concept of the “tyranny of the majority”?

    You need to brush up on your Constitutional law and political theory.”

    This isn’t about me — it’s about the average American voter, and how Romney is going to sell his healthcare flip-flop. You know, the sort of people stupid enough to think Sarah Palin would be an effective president.

    I stand by what I said.

  • gmckee1985

    Of course Republicans are going to fall in line behind whoever is the nominee.

  • ottovbvs

    “If I were Romney, I would counter that by arguing my plan was designed for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the 1990s not a nation of 310,000,000 people in 2011 and that any comparisons between my plan and Obamacare are superficial and dishonest for that reason”

    There’s a very lengthy story in this week’s New Yorker about the Romney and Obama health plans. Not only is the architecture of the two programs exactly the same many of the same people were involved in devising them. The piece quotes extensively from Romney on his health plan, it’s merits, the importance of the mandate, and how he hopes it will become a model for a national program. All this is on the record, much of it captured on video, so how the hell he disowns this while maintaining a shred of credibility will be a very interesting exercise in pretzel politicking. DSP might fall for Romney’s tortured logic but somehow I don’t see it achieving much beyond reinforcing his reputation for flip flopping. Btw Romney’s plan was signed into law with great fanfare in 2006 not the 90′s.

  • talkradiosucks.com

    “Not only is the architecture of the two programs exactly the same many of the same people were involved in devising them.”

    Some of whom, no doubt, will be on millions of television screens in a little over 12 months if Romney is the nominee.

    • ottovbvs

      TRS: the amusing thing about all this is that in 2008 when Romney was pursuing the nomination against McCain his plan was still an electoral asset. De Mint of all people is on record as prasing Romneycare when he endorsed him. It’s only in the past two years with the passage of Obamacare that Romneycare has become toxic among Republicans. If Romney is the nominee this is a huge exposed flank that Obama and the Democrats are going to attack remorselessly. Romney is going to be made to look a total ass.

      • nhthinker

        The polling shows 70% of Republican primary voters already enthusiastic or pleased if Romney is the nominee.

        Where is this supposed huge exposed flank that Obama can attack?

        RomneyCare was 77 pages and constitutional and paid for.
        ObamaCare was 2000+ pages and unconstitutional and not paid for.

        • ottovbvs

          ObamaCare was 2000+ pages and unconstitutional and not paid for.

          The CBO says it is paid for and it’s a national program covering 50 states. Do the math

          77 pages x 50 = 3850…by that standard Romneycare is a bureaucratic monstrosity.

        • nhthinker

          If 50 states want to 50 fifty different versions of RomneyCare at 77 pages each, then that is their constitution prerogative.

          I repeat: “Where is this supposed huge exposed flank that Obama can attack?”
          Spell it out.

  • talkradiosucks.com

    “If Romney is the nominee this is a huge exposed flank that Obama and the Democrats are going to attack remorselessly. Romney is going to be made to look a total ass.”

    Romney is a lot of things, but stupid isn’t one of them. My guess is that if he becomes the nominee, as soon as the primaries are over we’re going to hear a lot less from him about anything related to health care. He’s going to try to go after Obama 90% over the economy.

    “The polling shows 70% of Republican primary voters already enthusiastic or pleased if Romney is the nominee. Where is this supposed huge exposed flank that Obama can attack?”

    What does Obama have to do with the primaries? He’s talking about how Romney is perceived by the majority of Americans who are not Republicans, you dolt.

    • ottovbvs

      He’s going to try to go after Obama 90% over the economy.

      At which point Obama produces that oped where Romney proposed letting the US auto industry collapse as an example of Romney’s superior economic skills?

  • ottovbvs

    [i]I repeat: “Where is this supposed huge exposed flank that Obama can attack?”
    Spell it out.[/i]

    His claim that Romneycare is different than Obamacare. In fact structurally it’s exactly the same. And the claim that MA is different than the other 49 states is ludicrous to anyone with a brain in their head. But he’s welcome to try and talk himself out of it. I’m going to enjoy watching Obama destroy him on the topic.

    • nhthinker

      Independents already skew toward Romney over Obama.
      RomneyCare with Romney’s explanation is not alienating the base and is not alienating the general population.
      56% of people don’t like ObamaCare.

      Just because liberals will swallow that there is no difference between states rights and federal rights, (and the liberals actual want ObamaCare): The average voter does not want ObamaCare and Romney says he will repeal it.
      That is Obama’s exposed HealthCare flank.

      There is no exposed flank in the general election for any voters on HealthCare for Romney.

      • wileedog

        Its going to take a simple powerpoint slide with a few bullets and maybe an info graphic to show how RomneyCare and ObamaCare are pretty much identical.

        Its going to take a lot of legal hairsplitting, jargon, yelling, innuendo and nuance to prove that there is some sort of difference between healthcare in Mass. vs healthcare in the other 49 states, and that a bi-partisan plan which was passed for that state is somehow unconstitutional if applied to all of the other people in the country who aren’t Red Sox fans.

        Its a losing proposition for Romney, period. To state otherwise, and that somehow he is going to be able to differentiate the plans for the average Joe Blow voter is ridiculous.

        • nhthinker

          Your logic does not make any sense.
          The Republicans generally hate ObamaCare, If RomneyCare is going to be perceived as the same as ObamaCare, that is more likely occur in the primary, not in the general.

          70% of Republican primary voters would be enthusiastic or pleased if Romney get the nomination- That statistic alone indicates that RomneyCare is not hurting him that much in the primary races.

          I’ll bookmark my predictions and we can see what the polls look like next year..

  • talkradiosucks.com

    Ah, non-thinker is back to mangling polls again.

    “56% of people don’t like ObamaCare.”

    And what proportion of those dislike it because they think it doesn’t go far enough?

    You’re whistling past the graveyard with your claims about Romney and how Romneycare will play out. The fact that you are full of shit on this issue is indicated clearly by Romney himself and his attempts to get ahead of this issue (with marginal success). He’s running scared and it shows.

    What’s the Republican solution to millions of Americans having inadequate healthcare? Oh right — gutting Medicare to give the rich a tax cut. I think Romney should run on that.

  • nhthinker

    Mr. Sucks just doesn’t get it…
    And I never mangle polls.
    Mr. Sucks is the guy that refuses to answer direct questions on how news organizations characterize poll results.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/health_care_law

    “Just 37% of all voters think the health care law will be good for the country. Forty-seven percent (47%) disagree and believe the law will be bad for the country. Only four percent (4%) say it will have no impact, and 12% are undecided.

    The number who think the measure will be good for the country has remained generally consistent in surveying since its passage. In that same period, however, those who view the measure as bad for the country have ranged from 45% to 57%. ”

    Sometimes it 56%, sometimes it’s less…but what is consistent is at least an 8% lead between those that think it will be bad for the country and those that support it. It is a winning proposition for Romney to talk about the repeal of ObamaCare. If it wasn’t, then he wouldn’t be talking about it.

  • Bunker555

    A few years ago Hugh wrote a very silly book called “Blog” that was all about how “conservatives” were going to seize upon this exciting “blog” technology and use it to “swarm” all over the “MSM” and thereby Harness the Power of NEW TECHNOLOGY to Usher in a Glorious New Conservative Era of Glorious New Conservative Gloriousness! Huzzah!

  • talkradiosucks.com

    “And I never mangle polls.”

    Rasmussen polls are inherently mangled — his bias is well-documented. Even better than your propensity for misrepresenting polls and what they mean.

    The fact is that of any percentage that opposes Obamacare, some significant proportion of that percentage opposes it because they feel that it doesn’t go far enough. Attempting to warp the total percentage of people who oppose Obamacare into a claim that that percentage opposes some sort of comprehensive national health care plan is just you being a dishonest asshole, as usual.

    • nhthinker

      The only dishonest asshole around here is you.
      I never “Attempting to warp the total percentage of people who oppose Obamacare into a claim that that percentage opposes some sort of comprehensive national health care plan…”

      Just your usual Bullshit.

      The conversation was totally about ObamaCare and whether Romney can use it against Obama in the general election vs whether Obama can use RomenyCare against Romney.


      nhthinker // http://www.frumforum.com/the-birther-disgrace/comment-page-6#comment-283095

      Total dishonesty on your part.
      I added the percentage that were doubters with the percentage that were “sure” Obama was born outside the US to come up with “UNSURE or worse” phraseology. UPI adds the same numbers but for Trump and says “Poll: Most unsure where Trump was born”.
      You spent many posts calling me a liar for it, but you won’t call the UPI liars. Why is that?

      You’ve been exposed as an illogical propagandist.
      “Illogical” assessment is sort of reenforced with your claims to liking Obama’s policies and claiming you are a libertarian.

    • Carney

      TRS, the media, with its usual left bias, played the exact same game with Bush and the Iraq War. Constantly asking whether people were satisfied with Bush’s leadership on the war was a way to lump in “anti war” types with people frustrated that we were fighting weakly and not trying to win.

      I’m sure you’ll scoff, but our troops were constantly held back by restrictive rules of engagement, the Iraqi authorities kept releasing known terrorists, enemies like Muqtada al Sadr operated with impunity, and we even flat-out quit in the first Battle of Fallujah. The suffering just dragged on and on and we were clearly hunkered down, hoping to let the Iraqis do the real fighting, and it was infuriating. Many were dissatisfied with this non-strategy, from McCain on down, but that dissatisfaction didn’t mean we were rooting for the enemy and wanted our troops to flee the battlefield in disgraceful defeat, as the media kept claiming without coming right out and saying it.

      It was a great way to exaggerate “anti war” sentiment and create in each victory supporter’s mind the impression that he was increasingly alone. The psychological pressure imposed by the media to simply give up and support running away became more and more intense. Our own media could not have been a more effective psy-ops operation for our enemies.

  • Carney

    First of all Romney has promised to repeal ObamaCare and offer all 50 states waivers from it on Day 1 of his presidency.

    Second the individual mandate, especially at the state level, is a perfectly reasonable conservative policy. It’s well within state powers and an appropriate way to address the “free rider” problem of people refusing to buy insurance and then just smugly billing the taxpayer at the ER when they get sick or hurt. Romney said “no” to that entitlement, welfare state mentality and told MA residents to take care of their own care, buy a PRIVATE health insurance plan, and not put taxpayers at risk. That’s CONSERVATIVE.

    Third there are huge differences between Romney and ObamaCare.

    1. MA had a left-wing legislature, with so few Republicans it could have passed a far-left, socialist style bill and simply overriden Romney’s veto. Thanks to Romney’s actions, what happened in MA is much more conservative and free market oriented than what would have happened if he had not been around, or had postured for perfection or nothing and gotten nothing.

    By contrast, because of Obama’s actions, the nation as a whole has a health care policy that is much more liberal and government-run than would have been the case had he not been around, or not been so determined to push his plan through.

    2. Romney’s plan was based on what the conservative Heritage Foundation proposed in the 1990s. In fact a Heritage representative was invited to and attended the signing ceremony.

    3. Romney did not raise taxes on individuals or businesses.

    4. Romney did not take funds from Medicare to pay for his plan (obviously as a state plan it couldn’t have, but still). Many seniors are unhappy that their Medicare is being cut back to fund benefits for immigrants, especially illegals.

    5. Romney did not include, nor try to include, a “public option”.

    6. Romney did not increase spending by a trillion dollars.

    7. Romney did not impose price controls on the insurance industry.

    8. Romney’s legislation took up only 70 pages. Obama’s is a 2,000 page monstrosity of regulation and bureaucracy.

    9. Romney’s plan was tailored for MA, a wealthy state that already had a much lower portion of the uninsured than the USA as a whole.

    10. Romney balanced the budget before attempting to reform health care.

    11. Romney’s plan was broadly supported in MA. Obama knew his plan was widely unpopular and pushed it through anyway.

    12. Romney is not trying to push his MA plan on the whole country. He favors state-by-state reforms, with each state doing what it prefers and works best there.

    • ottovbvs

      Third there are huge differences between Romney and ObamaCare.

      Total nonsense. Architecturally Romneycare and Obamacare are essentially the same. The alleged huge differences Carney lists are entirely abstractions or irrelevant assertions. In short the sort of intellectual dishonesty we’ve come to expect from chronic sufferers from Obama Derangement Syndrome such as he. The other day he was claiming the rescue of the auto industry was a failure and should never have been attempted. Today apparently Iraq was a disaster because of media pressure, and Romneycare is totally different from Obamacare. Tomorrow, water runs uphill.

      • Carney

        Home front morale is crucial in any war, especially so in a war when the enemy lacks the military capacity to impose defeat on our forces. The only way we can lose is if we choose to lose, and the media has worked relentlessly to make that happen.

      • Gramps

        otto, otto…You must have been both; without compassion and totally, ruthless when grading “student’s” submissions…!

    • KellyRek

      @ Carney

      Though I am a critic of Mitt Romney, I liked your post (where you outlined the 12 points in your defense of RomneyCare). You debate well.

      I am providing a link to it at my own blog.

  • talkradiosucks.com

    “I never “Attempting to warp the total percentage of people who oppose Obamacare into a claim that that percentage opposes some sort of comprehensive national health care plan…””

    Of course you did, by implication — because Romney and other Republicans want to repeal Obamacare and not replace it with any other form of national healthcare, and a large chunk of the 56% that doesn’t like Obamacare would like that *even less*.

    Intellectually honest people would acknowledge this. You, I wouldn’t expect it from, given your past track record.

    By the way, nice job bringing up the birther stuff again. I’m sure reminding everyone of your stance on that really helps with your credibility. LOL

    “TRS, the media, with its usual left bias, played the exact same game with Bush and the Iraq War. Constantly asking whether people were satisfied with Bush’s leadership on the war was a way to lump in “anti war” types with people frustrated that we were fighting weakly and not trying to win.”

    I’d have to see the polling to judge that, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Both sides play the same games with polls.

    • nhthinker

      “Of course you did, by implication — because Romney and other Republicans want to repeal Obamacare and not replace it with any other form of national healthcare, and a large chunk of the 56% that doesn’t like Obamacare would like that *even less*.”

      Total and complete horseshit. You think it’s rational for you to try to read between the actual words that I write and fabricate intentions and implications on me. You are just plain loathsome and irrational and can’t back up any of your inane innuendo.

      What a small, small dishonest man you are, unable to debate in an honorable fashion.

  • talkradiosucks.com

    “You think it’s rational for you to try to read between the actual words that I write and fabricate intentions and implications on me. ”

    I don’t have to read between them — you make the implications clear all by yourself. They’re obvious to everyone.

    Here’s a concrete example of how these polls are abused.

    Politico/GWU/Battleground runs a poll asking about repeal. It gets reported as 49% favor repeal, 42% oppose. Clearly Americans hate the healthcare law!

    Here’s the actual poll: http://www.politico.com/static/PPM170_110515_battlegroundfullresults.html

    And here’s the wording of the question: “Do you favor or oppose repealing and replacing this national health care reform law?”

    Emphasis mine. Those two words count. Assholes like you and most of the rest of the hard right don’t want to replace the current law. Take a poll offering people the choice of leaving the law or repealing it with no replacement, you’ll get very different answers.

    From the same poll: “Do you think this national health care reform law: Went too far, Did not go far enough, OR Was about right?”

    Went too far ……………………………………………………. 46%
    Did not go far enough ………………………………………. 26%
    Was about right……………………………………………….. 21%

    QED.

    • nhthinker

      “QED” Bullshit!

      Your claim was not “someone at sometime misled on healthcare statistics”
      Your claim here was NHThinker was”mangling polls” about ObamaCare to make a greater dishonest statement on healthcare in general in this particular thread.

      Your claim has no validity whatsoever and a reasonable man would retract your bogus assertion in a heartbeat. But you are not reasonable, are you?

  • talkradiosucks.com

    ““QED” Bullshit!”

    Thanks, that was a very convincing counterargument.

  • KellyRek

    If healthcare were truly based on free market principles, there would be no need for individual mandates! Why? Because healthcare would be extremely affordable.

    It would be like going to the grocery store to do some shopping. (You do not rely on an insurance company to negotiate prices with the food providers; you do not use an insurance plan to pay for all your grocery bills; you are not under the mercy of an insurance policy that will ration your food consumption patterns.)

    The problem with both ObamaCare and RomneyCare is that they do nothing to increase the supply of doctors in the marketplace. Instead it merely increases the demand for doctors. This is a recipe for disastrous inflation of healthcare costs for the consumer.

    And did you know the Rockefellers (during the early 20th century) were instrumental in limiting the supply of doctors and medical schools … which is contributing to the extremely high prices for healthcare today? That’s why we “need” insurance for routine care (and for catastrophic care, too).

    http://bunkerville.wordpress.com/2011/06/01/how-the-rockefellers-closed-half-the-medical-schools-in-the-united-states/

    http://kellyrek.blogspot.com/2011/05/oligopolies-of-education-and-healthcare.html

  • nickthap

    No one here has yet to explain how an individual mandate from a state is more tyrannical than a mandate from the federal government, unless of course you have to concoct some other reason to dislike Obamacare short of just being a partisan.

    • KellyRek

      I oppose the individual mandate, even at the state level. But in defense of Mitt Romney, the 50-state solution (where individual states have their own versions of healthcare reform) would allow for America to witness which models work best.

      The problem with healthcare reform imposed upon us from the Federal level is simply the massive size of our country. The European countries, with their versions of socialized medicine, are much smaller. They do not have a “one size fits all” healthcare system imposed upon them from the EU level.

  • Gramps

    As part of national health care reform, the federal government should reimburse 100% of tuition, for medical students that pursue degrees in internal or family practice medicine. This would go a long way toward making up for the present concentration in medical specialties and lack of internal medicine and family practice doctors. This would also encourage additional students to pursue degrees in medicine without the onerous tuition costs and student loan indebtedness.

    “Given that medical students who go on to specialized practices make far more than general practitioners—according to the American Medical Group Association, the median salary for internists in 2010 was $214,307, compared to $375,176 for dermatologists and $402,000 for cardiologists—a shortage of general and family physicians is developing nationwide. To help attract more professionals into primary care, some states and the federal government’s National Health Service Corps are offering generous loan forgiveness programs for physicians and nurse practitioners who are willing to practice internal or family medicine. ~~~ http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-graduate-schools/paying/articles/2011/03/16/know-where-to-find-graduate-school-loan-forgiveness

  • LISGUY

    I generally like Hugh and have listened to his show via podcast for several years. A number of thoughts here: 1. People shouldn’t be surprised that Hewitt is “backing away” from his ardent support of Romney. He isn’t backing away at all, he just has a good relationship with both Gov. Pawlenty and Gov. Romney. He didn’t have such a good relationship with Romney’s opponents in 2008.
    2. I remember in 2008, after Romney suspended his campaign, Hugh talking about a lunch he had with several conservative media types where he asked for one reason from each of the members present what they liked about Sen. McCain. Should someone other than Romney get the nomination, I would look for another such confab to take place.