Romney Lied About His Own Health Care Plan

It’s already been well established by the various fact-checking sites that while both candidates stretched the truth in the first debate, Romney just flat out lied time and time again. He even lied about his own health care plan, forcing his campaign to walk back his claim that he has a plan to help those with pre-existing conditions.

Romney has said repeatedly in stump speeches and said during the debate the other night that even though he promises to repeal the president’s health care plan, he has a plan that will make sure people with pre-existing conditions aren’t turned down for coverage by the insurance companies. When challenged on this by President Obama, he said:

“I do have a plan that deals with people with pre-existing conditions. That’s part of my health care plan.”

And this isn’t the first time he’s said this. On Meet the Press a few weeks ago he said:

“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. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage.”

But now his top campaign adviser is walking that back:

“With respect to pre-existing conditions, what Governor Romney has said is for those with continuous coverage, he would continue to make sure that they receive their coverage,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, referring to existing laws which require insurance companies to sell coverage to people who already have insurance, or within 90 days of losing their employer coverage.

Pressed by TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro, Fehrnstrom said those who currently lack coverage because they have pre-existing conditions would need their states to implement their own laws — like Romney’s own Massachusetts health care law — that ban insurance company from discriminating against sick people.

“We’d like to see states do what Massachusetts did,” Fehrnstrom said. “In Massachusetts we have a ban on pre-existing conditions.”

This is hardly surprising. Romney has taken so many different positions on virtually every issue in front of different audiences, he can hardly expect to be able to keep them straight.

Comments

  1. jamessweet says

    It also defies logic. FWIW, I oppose forcing companies to insure people with pre-existing conditions without corresponding legislation to make sure everyone gets insured. Otherwise, the system is broken: Don’t buy insurance until you get diagnosed with something costly, then buy insurance that day.

    Denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions is an unacceptable situation, to be sure. But in order to fix it, you need universal or near-universal coverage. That’s just… how it works.

  2. jeremydiamond says

    Romney has taken so many different positions on virtually every issue in front of different audiences, he can hardly expect to be able to keep them straight.

    Luckily, there’s now a robotic version on the internet that keeps it together automatically.

  3. Nepenthe says

    Is that a ban on pre-existing conditions as in a ban on people having them? Because that I’d believe.

  4. says

    He has always been consistent, and always obfuscatory, on this point. That’s why TPM knew to ask Fehrnstrom the question after the debate. Every time Romney speaks of his plan, he insists he will ensure coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. On those occasions when he elaborates, he states that those who have pre-existing conditions and previous coverage will be allowed continuity of coverage.

    In other words, no change from the pre-ACA, Clinton-era regulation. The news media never reports this.

  5. cry4turtles says

    Seems like the entire GOP position on healthcare is, “Like the uncaring bastards we are, we’re passing the buck to the states.”

  6. says

    Pressed by TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro, Fehrnstrom said those who currently lack coverage because they have pre-existing conditions would need their states to implement their own laws — like Romney’s own Massachusetts health care law — that ban insurance company from discriminating against sick people.

    “We’d like to see states do what Massachusetts did,” Fehrnstrom said. “In Massachusetts we have a ban on pre-existing conditions.”

    This shit drives me crazy. I have never heard a reasonable argument as to why a good policy that should be enacted by every state shouldn’t just be enacted by the federal government instead. There is nothing magical about state-level government. What possible virtue can there be to doing the same thing 50 different times if we all agree that it should be done?

    It’s just an excuse to oppose something while being too cowardly to come out and say you oppose it.

  7. D. C. Sessions says

    I have never heard a reasonable argument as to why a good policy that should be enacted by every state shouldn’t just be enacted by the federal government instead.

    It’s one of those ritual dogmas that were handed down on stone tablets from Mt. Vernon. “States’ Rights” are one of the exceptionally American things that set us aside from all of the Earth’s other (and mostly brown) people.

    There is nothing magical about state-level government. What possible virtue can there be to doing the same thing 50 different times if we all agree that it should be done?

    Ah, but you see the great thing about Republican versions of “States’ Rights” is that pushing things like health care policy down to the States allows them to do a much better job than the Feds can. Especially if there’s a Federal law blocking individual States from blocking health insurance that’s been approved by one of the other States. If that happens (and it’s part of the PoG platform) then Vermont or Massachusetts won’t be able to require an insurer to provide coverage for contraception because the State of Mississippi allows plans that don’t. And they won’t be able to require pre-existing condition coverage because Texas doesn’t.

    Etc.

    Essentially, the idea is to require total 100% unanimity among the States to get anything Republicans don’t like in any of the States. Like, for instance, ending slavery.

  8. lofgren says

    FWIW, I oppose forcing companies to insure people with pre-existing conditions without corresponding legislation to make sure everyone gets insured.

    Absolutely correct.

    I would take this position further and state that if you believe that sick people should not be discriminated against by the insurance industry, you’re essentially saying that the “insurance industry” should not exist. A system that guarantees you coverage regardless of your risk – and even when your risk is 100% – is simply incompatible with what most people imagine when they think of insurance.

    Insurance is something that companies are willing to sell because they are betting that whatever you are insuring against is something that you ALSO wish to avoid, which is why we call it a scam when people, say, cut off their own foot in order to collect on their claim. But if you believe that people who are already sick ought to be able to buy insurance against getting sick, well, that pretty much cuts off the foot of the whole model.

    Of course the industry is slightly more complex than that. Industrial accidents and death are both essentially guaranteed over a long enough timeline, but we still have workplace insurance and life insurance industries. But you can’t insure a company that accepts routine accidents without taking any precautions to help prevent them (unless of course you are willing to pay the insurance company more than you would ever take out, which isn’t so much buying insurance as it is just giving your money away, like betting on a jack high when somebody else has a pair of kings showing), and you can’t buy life insurance for somebody who is already dead.

    If you believe that people who are already sick should not be left entirely to their own devices, to live or die depending on what they happen to have in their pocket right this minute, then it seems to me you necessarily believe the insurance industry model is immoral.

  9. says

    lofgren- you should look into how various countries do insurance and health care. There isn’t much of a problem as long as the cost of care is controlled, for instance. That is how japan works. Other countries control the cost and coverage of insurance (like germany). The control over cost (from some end) seems to work very well.

    When you mix insurance with capitalism you get a system that is out to fuck over everyone trying to make a claim. Insurance isn’t by itself a bad idea if its an organization aimed at controlling long term cost (like by encouraging healthy habits and preventative care) while also paying out claims. This can happen via legislation.

  10. Doug Little says

    This shit drives me crazy. I have never heard a reasonable argument as to why a good policy that should be enacted by every state shouldn’t just be enacted by the federal government instead. There is nothing magical about state-level government. What possible virtue can there be to doing the same thing 50 different times if we all agree that it should be done?

    Absolutely, What is the argument for states to enact their own sets of laws anyway? Wouldn’t it be so much easier if all laws across all states were the same? I shudder when I hear someone say leave it up to the states, especially when it comes to states that are in the bible belt.

  11. Michael Heath says

    Area Man writes:

    This shit drives me crazy. I have never heard a reasonable argument as to why a good policy that should be enacted by every state shouldn’t just be enacted by the federal government instead. There is nothing magical about state-level government. What possible virtue can there be to doing the same thing 50 different times if we all agree that it should be done?

    It’s just an excuse to oppose something while being too cowardly to come out and say you oppose it.

    When it comes to healthcare just like what Obamacare is, Mr. Romney argued the same as Area Man; until the uppity black usurper in the White House had his regime stir-up the Republicans by having the temerity to improve our situation. It’s even on video.

  12. Ichthyic says

    “With respect to pre-existing conditions, what Governor Romney has said is for those with continuous coverage, he would continue to make sure that they receive their coverage,”

    wait… what?

    Can someone explain how one can have continuous coverage, AND a pre-existing condition at the same time?

  13. Ichthyic says

    A system that guarantees you coverage regardless of your risk

    then earthquake insurance should not exist in California?

    fail.

    the increased risks are SUPPOSED to be covered by the overall volume of the insured that the business serves as clients.

    insurance, even in places where risk is high, is STILL a profitable business, so long as there are majority of clients who pose a lesser risk.

    I suppose what drives this insane ELIMINATION of risk in the insurance business are probably shareholders.

  14. lofgren says

    then earthquake insurance should not exist in California?

    The very first line of your post reveals that you not only failed to comprehend the line that you quoted, you also didn’t bother to read my post past that sentence.

    Specifically, refer to my second-to-last paragraph:

    Industrial accidents and death are both essentially guaranteed over a long enough timeline… and you can’t buy life insurance for somebody who is already dead.

    The proper analogy is not buying earthquake insurance in California, it’s buying earthquake insurance for a building that has already been swallowed by the San Andres fault. If you believe that an insurance company has an obligation to pay a homeowner whose house has been demolished even though he has never paid into the earthquake insurance fund, you’re pretty much dismantling the entire concept of the earthquake insurance industry. The two ideas are simply incompatible.

  15. Ichthyic says

    The proper analogy is not buying earthquake insurance in California, it’s buying earthquake insurance for a building that has already been swallowed by the San Andres fault.

    no, because then your failed analogy would amount to medical insurance for dead people.

    do you have something sensible to say, or should I just ignore you?

  16. lofgren says

    no, because then your failed analogy would amount to medical insurance for dead people.

    No, because dead people don’t cost health insurance companies anything. Health insurance pays for medical treatment, i.e. sick people.

    Sick people are to health insurance
    as dead people are to life insurance
    as earthquake damaged houses are to earthquake insurance
    as workplace accidents are to workplace safety insurance.

    I’m not really sure how you’re not getting this.

  17. eric says

    Am I misunderstanding his press secretary’s statement, or is the only thing he’s promising to do the thing that companies are already legally required to do?

  18. says

    @Lofgren:

    “I would take this position further and state that if you believe that sick people should not be discriminated against by the insurance industry, you’re essentially saying that the “insurance industry” should not exist.”

    The “insurance industry” for basic and medically necessary healthcare SHOULD NOT EXIST.

    All of those items that are basic and medically necessary should be covered under a national single-payer healthcare plan. If you want a tummy tuck, breast enhancement or other cosmetic/elective that are NOT medically necessary surgeries/procedures then pay for it out of pocket or join a purchasing club of some sort. It’s not fucking rocket science.

    Your analogies re: dead people and buildings that have collapsed have nothing to do with living, breathing humans obtaining basic and necessary healthcare.

Leave a Reply