HAVING OBAMACARE IS NOT SOCIALISM—NOT HAVING OBAMACARE IS

Sez who?

Sez Willard Mitt Romney, that’s who.

This video is part of a 2007 interview of Romney on the Glenn Beck Show.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/romney-in-2007-the-indvididual-mandate-is-ultima

In the interview Romney speaks about his own Massachusetts health care plan which most health care experts, as well as well as the man who helped draw up both that plan and the Affordable Care Act, agree is essentially the same as Obama’s health care law.

Just as in his September 2012 60 Minutes interview, the Mittster talks about how the uninsured are not denied care. They can go to almost any hospital emergency room and receive treatment for what ails them. But in the Beck interview he went further to call doing so and leaving someone else to pay the bill, a “form of socialism”.

Contrarily he boasted that the individual mandate in his Massachusetts plan..the very same mandate originated by the very conservative Heritage Foundation… that required people to either have insurance or be able to pay for their care…served the ideal of personal responsibility that Romney deemed “the ultimate Conservatism.”

If you recall, the obligation of hospitals…at least the ones receiving Medicare patients, virtually all of them…to treat whomever walks, crawls, or is carried into their emergency rooms arises from the 1986 passage of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active labor Act (EMTALA). That was signed into law by Ronald Reagan, remember him? (By the way the covered patients included illegal immigrants.)

Naturally the costs of this treatment have to be borne by someone. The patients themselves have the first duty to pay. Oftentimes without insurance that means a huge burden on their finances. For some anecdotal evidence of this read this story, about a D.C. bartender badly stabbed trying to protect a patron from attack.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/27/mitt-romney-health-care_n_2008710.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

Now this type of financial burden can have one or more of a broad set of consequences.

  1. The person pays it off having resources available to do so over a brief period.
  2. The person manages to pay it off but over the long term and in extremely small increments.
  3. The person has no resources and such low income that they can effectively pay little or nothing, frequently filing for bankruptcy to relieve themselves of the burden.
  4. The person with no resources and little or no income simply defaults on any bills. Or they simply dodge their responsibility no matter their ability to pay and legal efforts undertaken to force them to pay are fruitless.

Now there are variations within all these potential scenarios that would lead the treating hospital to not getting paid, even partly. Thus, who will reimburse them for their losses, as they cannot provide care for everyone else as their non-paying patients take a toll?

There are three possibilities.

  1. The hospitals write off the loss or charge it to the amount of charitable care they allow for in their budget.
  2. The hospitals negotiate with insurers for higher reimbursement rates for their covered patients. (Remember, insurance companies rarely pay the full rate that is charged on paper). The higher costs to the insurance companies are then generally passed along to their insureds in the form of higher premiums.
  3. There are government programs in place to reimburse the hospitals which means, of course, the taxpayers get stuck.

Despite his Massachusetts law, and despite the Affordable Care Act echoing much of what Romney touts as a huge success during his governorship, Romney objects to the ACA and vows to repeal it. He would prefer to have people get their care, if uninsured, through the very system he has labeled a “form of socialism”.

I have a number of conservative friends who absolutely hate the ACA and have used that as their primary evidence that Barack Obama is a socialist. Yet the candidate they look to in 2012 calls the system of how he feels the uninsured should be treated socialism and the individual mandate, developed, nurtured, and promoted by conservatives for over twenty years and now excoriated by those on the right, Romney calls the ultimate conservative measure.

Thus we have this latest picture of Mitt Romney on the campaign trail.

Just as the chameleon can change its color to camouflage itself from potential danger, Romney changes his political positions to camouflage himself from the potential danger of electoral defeat.

Mitt, it’s not working. We can see you…and your horrible agenda for the country…very clearly.

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