Uh oh: Obama consulted Romney advisers on ObamaCare

posted at 9:25 am on October 11, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Odd of this story becoming the big topic of tonight’s debate?  I’d say … sure thing:

Newly obtained White House records provide fresh details on how senior Obama administration officials used Mitt Romney’s landmark health-care law in Massachusetts as a model for the new federal law, including recruiting some of Romney’s own health care advisers and experts to help craft the act now derided by Republicans as “Obamacare.”

The records, gleaned from White House visitor logs reviewed by NBC News, show that senior White House officials had a dozen meetings in 2009 with three health-care advisers and experts who helped shape the health care reform law signed by Romney in 2006, when the Republican presidential candidate was governor of Massachusetts. One of those meetings, on July 20, 2009, was in the Oval Office and presided over by President Barack Obama, the records show.

“The White House wanted to lean a lot on what we’d done in Massachusetts,” said Jon Gruber, an MIT economist who advised the Romney administration on health care and who attended five meetings at the Obama White House in 2009, including the meeting with the president. “They really wanted to know how we can take that same approach we used in Massachusetts and turn that into a national model.”

Rick Perry and other Republicans have attacked Mitt Romney for providing the “blueprint” for ObamaCare, which Romney has successfully rebutted — at least until now.  NBC’s report shows that if Romney and his team didn’t provide the blueprint, the argument can be made that the Romney’s team provided at least some direction to Obama and his team.

These weren’t just offhand contacts, either.  Besides meeting with Obama himself, Gruber also met with economic adviser Larry Summers, OMB chief Peter Orzsag, and Obama’s point person on health care reform, Nancy-Ann DeParle.  Most significantly, these meetings resulted in a contract for $380,000 to produce federal legislation based on Gruber’s work in Massachusetts.  Two other Romney aides met several times at the White House on the same topic.

Romney will no doubt stick to his well-rehearsed responses on questions about the similarities between the two plans by noting the differences, but this will give fresh ammunition to Romney’s opponents on stage.  Perry had already planned on attacking Romney on RomneyCare, as his latest campaign ad shows, but this will give him fresh ammunition.  I’d expect to hear a line like, “While other states came to Texas to see how we created a great economic climate for jobs growth, Obama came to Massachusetts to see how to impose a federal mandate on Americans and take over the health-care sector.”  (Or I’d expect to hear a line like that if Perry can deliver it.)  Michele Bachmann will probably get into the action, as will Rick Santorum.

However, while this is clearly bad news for Romney on the morning of a national debate, it’s worth asking about how NBC happened to stumble onto this now.  They may have diligently perused visitor logs and struck gold, or perhaps someone in the White House helped them along in an attempt to weaken Romney.  We’ll never know which it was, but I suspect it wasn’t just dumb luck.

Update: Gruber’s connection to both RomneyCare and ObamaCare isn’t terribly new — the Wall Street Journal wrote about it almost two years ago here.  We also wrote about Gruber and his lack of disclosure here, here, and here.  The news here is more the level of access provided to RomneyCare architects, including to Obama himself, and not just with Gruber.

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The RNC reviews why they lost the 2008 election. They had the wrong candidate running against Obama instead of McCain they should have run Romney. So this cycle they have decided to correct their mistake….the only problem, this isn’t 4 years ago and no matter how the GOP try to make Romney into Obama lite. Romney isn’t a cult of personality – which is why Obama got elected in the first place. The RNC is fighting the last war -poorly.

Dr Evil on October 11, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Cite please, showing this “mission statement” contemporaneous to Romney’s term in office. The organization you’re pointing to there is a pressure group, not an arm of the state-level executive agency charged with carrying out the Massachusetts Health Care Law.

Perry so eagerly overstepping good political sense to pursue a public health objective with Gardasil vaccinations, to me, is every bit as obnoxious as people think RomneyCare is. I hate cancer, y’all, so you girls roll up them sleeves!

DrSteve on October 11, 2011 at 11:44 AM

First statement on the website. Yes, this is the campaign, the pressure group that led the fight for Romneycare.

I agree with your position on Perry’s overstep. . .yet. . . how is that relevant to my two questions? Answer: It’s not.

1. When will we get the correspondence between the Romney administration and the state legislature?

2. Is there criticism of Mass-Care’s mission?

Now you may not feel number one is important, the only times that anyone has even attempted to answer it, the eventual reply was they “didn’t care”. Well I have news for that crowd, correspondence is a two way street, and the left has that correspondence and they will use it against Romney if he gets the nomination, they threatened the same in 2003-4.

You may feel that number two is likewise unimportant, but if Romney is against single payer, he had better be able to point to some criticism of that mission while he was governor.

The questions are legitimate, and they need to be answered before the primary.

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 1:05 PM

PappyD61 on October 11, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Maybe that’s how you want to frame it. To me, it’s the accomplished guy who can appeal to the median voter in this country in Romney, versus a demonstrated SCOAMF in the current President. And the way Romney will behave with a Republican-majority Congress is very different from what MA saw with a hard-left Assembly.

I’m not saying the window has closed yet, but I don’t see too many “Perry Democrats,” notwithstanding the man’s own political pedigree.

DrSteve on October 11, 2011 at 1:06 PM

upinak on October 11, 2011 at 12:30 PM

If you have been here that long, then you should be completely versed what I believe.

I’ll educate you…

1) I fully supported Romney in 2008 even though I had some issues with his understanding of military life and was seriously concerned with Romneycare. This time, I have no favorite.

2) I was excited about Perry and will still support him IF he can get his act together during the debates.

3) I support Cain even though his 9-9-9 plan is a bunch of nonsense.

4) I currently support Romney ONLY because he currently is the only candidate that can beat Obama.

And yes I have already heard all the ridiculous assertions that if we can’t be ideologically pure in 2012, then we need to let the country go to 4ell in a hand basket. Those recalcitrant blathering’s ignore the destruction that a progressive SCOTUS would have on us for 20+ years if Obama is allowed to nominate any more justices.

So spare me the idiotic claims that “I know every thing csdeven says!”. It’s moronic for you to say that about ANYONE.

csdeven on October 11, 2011 at 1:07 PM

DrSteve on October 11, 2011 at 1:00 PM

You keep trying to apply rouge to that sow. I am still not buying your pig in a poke ;)

Dr Evil on October 11, 2011 at 1:08 PM

You know, as a dedicated supporter of Sarah Palin, watching the Mitt Romney people get the kind of candidate they richly deserve is like watching Karmic Justice unfold before my very eyes.

Now we find that Obama’s people went to Governor Greg Marmalarde’s guys to help them write Obamacare.

And the Establishment is determined to force this turkey down our throat, so the likes of Georgette Masbacher can donate to his campaign!

Jesus. Palin was right all along. Crony Capitalism: it’s what’s for dinner.

BTW, safe prediction. Mittens is going to have trouble attracting anyone other than The Walking Dead to his rallies this spring.

victor82 on October 11, 2011 at 1:08 PM

None can do much until both ends of the Congress are in conservative hands.

Schadenfreude on October 11, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Romney can and will issue the waivers that will render Obamacare moot. He will do this on his first day in office as a stopgap until the congress can repeal it totally.

csdeven on October 11, 2011 at 1:09 PM

First statement on the website. Yes, this is the campaign, the pressure group that led the fight for Romneycare.

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 1:05 PM

http://masscare.org/ma-health-reform-law/

Right, CLEARLY this is a group that lobbied for RomneyCare, which is why they call it flawed and hyped.

I think you’ve got your facts mixed up here. This is a pressure group that pre-dates the Massachusetts Health Care Law by a long time. It’s not an official arm of the MA government, and it doesn’t have anything to do with administering the connector, mandate, or any other related programs. I don’t see why Romney has to answer for what they say about anything, frankly.

DrSteve on October 11, 2011 at 1:11 PM

victor82 on October 11, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Pity she’s not more dedicated to you.

DrSteve on October 11, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Romney can and will issue the waivers that will render Obamacare moot. He will do this on his first day in office as a stopgap until the congress can repeal it totally.

csdeven on October 11, 2011 at 1:09 PM

And all the red state governors will no doubt take the waivers and enact them. What about all the blue state governors that implement Obamacare? You don’t think that’s not going to cost all of us paying federal taxes? Obamacare is a federal law, it’s funded with federal tax dollars. Whether the red states have a waiver to avoid it in their states or not, it’s still going to be the law of the land. Why wouldn’t blue states not implement it? It’s the camel nose in the tent to universal health care in this country, they have been after for decades.

Dr Evil on October 11, 2011 at 1:15 PM

I don’t see why Romney has to answer for what they say about anything, frankly.

DrSteve on October 11, 2011 at 1:11 PM

FIFY

Dr Evil on October 11, 2011 at 1:17 PM

**** Apologies, 2003-04 above should be 2007–08 ****

———————————–

1. Has anyone asked Romney to release correspondence? 2. What does MassCare have to do with Romney? It’s an advocacy group like the unions HCAN. 3. How’s the salmon running in Alaska?

Buy Danish on October 11, 2011 at 12:46 PM

1. Yes, the questions were asked in 2007, Romney camp indicated they would do so, no release before Romney dropped out.

I personally have sent a request as well. No reply to date.

2. As the other side of the debate, I’m looking for Romney’s criticism of their position. It’s severely lacking.

3. The Salmon season is essentially at an end, still some Keta and Troll Kings to be had, but essentially the season is over. I doubt your actually interested, but here’s a LINK to the in-season summary.

—————————————-

Again, the questions are legitimate, politically and logically, you can dodge the questions (1.2.) and you can try some ad hominem (3.), but that only shows the weakness of your position.

Both should be easy to answer, they aren’t, and that is a problem for Romney.

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Dr Evil on October 11, 2011 at 1:15 PM

What can any President do about PPACA by himself/herself? This is a pretty straightforward civics issue, isn’t it? The first and fastest thing is to do what Romney said he’d do. I want the thing torn out root and branch, but that will take a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. I would love to get that, but shouldn’t we have some idea what to do if we can’t get there?

DrSteve on October 11, 2011 at 1:20 PM

bluefox on October 11, 2011 at 12:54 PM

That could be true, as it is that guys opinion. But the fact remains that the people of MA LOVE it. The polling is the evidence.

csdeven on October 11, 2011 at 1:20 PM

The debate should be fun tonight. Perry will remind the audience that free-agent Gruber who was not on Romney’s staff met with Obama in 2009. Romney will remind the audience that Obama never called him and oh by the way, Perry was the Texas Campaign Chair for the lunatic from Tennessee who ran for President on the Dem ticket and lost by a few hundred votes in Florida in 2000.

Buy Danish on October 11, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Dr Evil on October 11, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Would you rather he do nothing? And the waivers are also the collection of federal taxes from that states citizens (I believe). So any state that refuses the waiver will be on the hook for the entire cost.

csdeven on October 11, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 1:18 PM

One of my nieces were up in Alaska fishing as a summer job, you should have seen her first halibut!

Dr Evil on October 11, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Jesus. Palin was right all along.

victor82 on October 11, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Is this going to be your schtick for the next 5 years? It’s baffling because we all know she was right. Her problem was that she was UNELECTABLE.

csdeven on October 11, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Would you rather he do nothing? And the waivers are also the collection of federal taxes from that states citizens (I believe). So any state that refuses the waiver will be on the hook for the entire cost.

csdeven on October 11, 2011 at 1:22 PM

I would rather the P.O.S. piece of legislation had never been passed in the first place. It’s not right to blow sunshine up people’s butts, that it’s somehow going to be easily dealt with day one in office by any Republican president.

Dr Evil on October 11, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Right, CLEARLY this is a group that lobbied for RomneyCare, which is why they call it flawed and hyped.

I think you’ve got your facts mixed up here. This is a pressure group that pre-dates the Massachusetts Health Care Law by a long time. It’s not an official arm of the MA government, and it doesn’t have anything to do with administering the connector, mandate, or any other related programs. I don’t see why Romney has to answer for what they say about anything, frankly.

DrSteve on October 11, 2011 at 1:11 PM

So you’re doing my work for me to prove they are contemporary to Romney’s term.

You admit they were one side of the debate. I would like to know if Romney ever criticized their position.

Of course you don’t see why Romney has to answer questions, you are obviously a Romney supporter. Those of us who aren’t yet supporters want Romney to answer quite a lot of questions.

You continue to dodge the questions rather than answer them head on. They SHOULD be easy to answer, why aren’t they?

Perhaps I could add a third:

3. Did Romney ever praise Mass-Care’s position?

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 1:29 PM

Dr Evil on October 11, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Triple digits?

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 1:29 PM

2. As the other side of the debate, I’m looking for Romney’s criticism of their position. It’s severely lacking.

http://masscare.org/category/op-ed/

Seriously, you think these people lobbied for RomneyCare?

Some group somewhere says something about something, and you think he’s got to respond to them? Really? Who’s your candidate — so we can play that with you too?

DrSteve on October 11, 2011 at 1:31 PM

What can any President do about PPACA by himself/herself? This is a pretty straightforward civics issue, isn’t it? The first and fastest thing is to do what Romney said he’d do. I want the thing torn out root and branch, but that will take a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. I would love to get that, but shouldn’t we have some idea what to do if we can’t get there?

DrSteve on October 11, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Yes but it’s a mistake for anyone running to over promise and under deliver. Obamacare is a scourge to many, and Americans are not infants they need to know realistically what can be done in the meantime, while we wait on a full repeal by Congress. I really hope that it goes to the Supreme Court, and get’s ruled unconstitutional. But I have learned over the years not place all my eggs (hopes) in one basket- branch of government.

Dr Evil on October 11, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Triple digits?

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 1:29 PM

I have a photo is there a way to shoot it over to you?

Dr Evil on October 11, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 1:18 PM

You’re right. I don’t really care about salmon season. I point it out merely to note that you have a history of presenting a lot of theories which have not panned out.

Romney’s healthcare solution in Massachusetts was a way to head off a Single Payer plan – something which the advocacy group MassCare had advocated for since the ’90s (and which Dems on the Federal Level had lobbied for and would have passed if not for the GOP – remember HRC?). If you are attempting to imply that Romney secretly longed for a Single Payer plan, that is a ludicrous assertion, but perhaps I misunderstand what your point is.

Buy Danish on October 11, 2011 at 1:35 PM

bluefox on October 11, 2011 at 12:54 PM
That could be true, as it is that guys opinion. But the fact remains that the people of MA LOVE it. The polling is the evidence.

csdeven on October 11, 2011 at 1:20 PM

I don’t know about the polling. All my interest in this issue is to make sure there is some perspective on this Health Care Issue in MA. I’ve read various articles that everyone was for it when it was enacted and that may be. I don’t agree for the reasons of it due to the small % that was referred to.

This article is due to the November 2010 election in MA and the result of Single Payer being on many ballots:
Single payer ballot questions pass in all fourteen Massachusetts districts! – PNHP’s Official Blog
November 4, 2010

Massachusetts voters have, for the second straight election, overwhelmingly affirmed their support for single payer health reform by turning in majority ‘Yes’ votes in all fourteen districts where local single payer ballot questions appeared on November 2. The ballots spanned 80 different cities and towns in a state of 351 municipalities, winning in every city and town reporting results so far except two.

Link: http://thehealthcaremaze.us/tag/massachusetts-single-payer/

So clearly, not all of the voters in MA “LOVE” Romneycare.

My Accounting background makes me want to have balance in all things:-)

bluefox on October 11, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Triple digits?

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 1:29 PM

It was nearly as tall as she was, they were weighing it at Whalers Cove Lodge, Angoon Alaska.

Dr Evil on October 11, 2011 at 1:39 PM

DrSteve on October 11, 2011 at 1:31 PM

It’s obvious they want more. . . .that’s immaterial to my point.

They were in the trenches fighting for their side throughout the debates that led to Romneycare. I would like to see where Romney criticized their mission during that time.

If you’d like you can have the question phrased this way:

2. Is Romney on record criticizing the concept of single payer during the debates/discussion/legislation that led to Romneycare?

Is that easier for you to answer?

Care to try on 1. or 3. or do you want to keep trying to delegitimize the question?

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 1:40 PM

One more debate prediction – Gingrich will not attack Romney on healthcare:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Sunday that he strongly supports a federal mandate requiring citizens to buy health insurance – a position that has been rejected by many Republicans, including several who likely will be running against him for the Republican presidential nomination.

Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Gingrich told host David Gregory that he continues to advocate for a plan he first called for in the early 1990s as a Congressman, which requires every uninsured citizen to purchase or acquire health insurance.

(Note that Rush is singing Newt’s praises as we speak)

Buy Danish on October 11, 2011 at 1:41 PM

I point it out merely to note that you have a history of presenting a lot of theories which have not panned out.

actually, I made a mistake in using the word “would” when I meant right. I think that it was somewhat obvious that I was also injecting a bit of humor, it was not my actual intention to suggest that Sarah would be going on Greta to talk about the Alaska Salmon Permit process. Although that was indeed happening coincidently and did have impact on Todd and Track.

I also believe I apologized directly to you for making the would/might mistake with regard to the Greta appearance.

Todd was required by the terms of his permit to be in Alaska on the days I pointed out, he was in Alaska on the days I pointed out.

If you have issue with a theory I present, please by all means challenge it. If you find I’ve made an assertion of fact that can be proven false, I’ll certainly apologize for it.

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Obama will be handed the re-election on a platinum platter. May he complete his deeds, to the fullest. Idiotic people deserve NO less.

Schadenfreude on October 11, 2011 at 1:46 PM

2. Is Romney on record criticizing the concept of single payer during the debates/discussion/legislation that led to Romneycare?
Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Does this count? I found this at a Socialist website replete with the obligatory red star and fist, and it’s clear they are criticizing Romney (see 2nd quote):

“This is really a landmark for our state because this proves … that we can get health insurance for all our citizens without raising taxes and without a government takeover. The old single-payer canard is gone.”
-Governor Mitt Romney R-MA

Followed by (emphasis mine):

“The Massachusetts Democratic Party will continue to work aggressively to attain a single-payer health care system that provides affordable, high-quality health care coverage for all families and individuals in this state.” – Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform

Buy Danish on October 11, 2011 at 1:46 PM

meant “might”. Sorry, on my phone, and auto-correct is on.

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 1:46 PM

I would rather the P.O.S. piece of legislation had never been passed in the first place. It’s not right to blow sunshine up people’s butts, that it’s somehow going to be easily dealt with day one in office by any Republican president.

Dr Evil on October 11, 2011 at 1:26 PM

I’m with you there. That is why I would love to see all the candidates promise to do whatever they have the power to do as POTUS. Waivers or whatever it might be.

csdeven on October 11, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Buy Danish on October 11, 2011 at 1:46 PM

D@MN YOU, You dirty 8astard!!!! How dare you point out the source of the socialism in Romneycare!!!

s/

csdeven on October 11, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Obama will be handed the re-election on a platinum platter. May he complete his deeds, to the fullest. Idiotic people deserve NO less.

Schadenfreude on October 11, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Who do you think can defeat Obama and why?

csdeven on October 11, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Some very helpful reminders from the Democrats/Socialists:

The next most discussed portions of the legislation are the “employer mandates.” Employers must provide health insurance for their employees and make a “fair and reasonable contribution to its cost.” Those who do not will be assessed a yearly payment of $295 per fulltime employee.

Employer organizations in the State lobbied heavily against this portion of the legislation and Governor Romney vetoed this section; the Democratic-controlled legislature quickly overrode the veto.

(In the Massachusetts House of Representatives there are 137 Democrats and 21 Republicans. In the Massachusetts Senate there are 34 Democrats and 6 Republicans. Governor Mitt Romney is a Republican.)

AND, this is key:

Upon signing this bill the Republican Governor crowed about this ending the “single-payer canard.” Why would he do this?

The fact is that since the 1980s there has been a very large movement fighting for a single-payer health insurance plan for Massachusetts. The coalition Mass-Care has a membership of over 80 organizations that have endorsed single-payer legislation.

Among the tactics the single-payer movement has used are “non-binding advisory questions” that can be put on local ballots, to inform elected representatives of how their constituency feels on issues. In 1994 the Labor Party put the issue of single-payer on the ballot in six State Senatorial Districts and one State Representative District. In each area the question passed with 70-80% support.

In 1986 a statewide referendum question calling on Congress to create a national health care system passed by 66%.

Since then others have taken up this approach, which has passed in seven other State Representative Districts. Thirteen City and Town governments have endorsed the idea. Every poll that has been taken has shown that an overwhelming majority of the people of Massachusetts endorse the creation of a single-payer health plan.

Much more at the link

CC: Jason Coleman

Buy Danish on October 11, 2011 at 1:53 PM

“This is really a landmark for our state because this proves … that we can get health insurance for all our citizens without raising taxes and without a government takeover. The old single-payer canard is gone.”
-Governor Mitt Romney R-MA

Does it count? I’m not sure, mostly no. It’s not really a criticism of single payer but rather a criticism of the argument that “only single payer can work” as a government health care system. It’s not so much a criticism of the concept of single payer so much as it is the acknowledgement that he found a “third way”, namely Romneycare, the ancestor of Obamacare.

It is certainly a bit better than the crickets heard on this board for the last few weeks.

But, if that’s the only thing approaching criticism that can be found from the period, no. . . it doesn’t count, and Romney has a problem on the horizon.

Whether or not the Dems will continue to work for single payer is quite immaterial. I’m not vetting the Dems, I’m vetting candidate Romney.

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 1:58 PM

My Accounting background makes me want to have balance in all things:-)

bluefox on October 11, 2011 at 1:36 PM

lol

At 1:46 Buy Danish posted a link to the reasons Masscare is headed to single payer.

I agree that any mandated healthcare is doomed to fail. But the path toward where we are today began when EMTALA was signed into law. It’s too bad Reagan didn’t realize that it would be a bigger problem than vetoing the omnibus bill it was attached to.

I think the way out of this mess is to repeal EMTALA and let churches and charities handle it as the founders imagined.

Lets not forget personal responsibility. For instance, my spouse was hospitalized last winter. The private hospital accepted us without insurance. After she received the best care available in this country, we got the bill. They offered us a payment plan with a reasonable interest rate. We are paying the debt ourselves. Why isn’t THAT the standard for receiving care in this country?

csdeven on October 11, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Buy Danish on October 11, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Your points are well noted. I’m still looking for some direct attribution to Romney.

I’ll remind again that correspondence is a two way street. The opposition has the correspondence, they threatened in the past to use it and Romney dodged that bullet. It’s highly unlikely that they threw it away as Romney obviously wasn’t dead as a candidate in the future.

The correspondence is there, I’d like to know what is in it.

I’d also like to see some direct statements from Romney that criticize single payer.

Further I understand the political realities of MA legislature. That doesn’t reduce my concern, it actually enhances it, because if Romney isn’t on record in opposition then, how can we be sure he won’t flip again should the Dems take Congress in 2014.

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Heh:

Massachusetts also had a dysfunctional individual market. In 1996, the state had instituted rules requiring community rating (premiums could only vary by a certain amount based on age, geography and occupation) and guaranteed issue (no discrimination based on preexisting conditions), says MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, who advised both Romney and the Legislature in creating the health care law and is still on the board of the Health Connector, the state’s version of an exchange. Those regulations “destroyed the market,” he says. “You can’t institute those reforms without a mandate,” requiring individuals to have coverage. One of the intentions of the law was to fix what Gruber calls “a deeply broken nongroup insurance market.”

Backtracking a bit – why the ball really began to roll forward:

First, there was money: $385 million from the federal government and the risk that those dollars would be taken away.

Massachusetts had some flexibility with that money in the form of a Medicaid waiver that allowed the state to use the federal funds for supplemental payments to safety net hospitals caring for the uninsured. The waiver was due to expire June 30, 2005, and the federal government said the state had to change the way it was spending the money, Murphy, then-state secretary of HHS, explains. In 2005, state officials showed then-U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson a framework of what they wanted to do – essentially reduce the amount the state was spending on uncompensated care and instead give subsidies to the uninsured to buy their own insurance. Thompson extended the waiver for one year, but, Murphy says, told officials they needed to get a law in place.

Buy Danish on October 11, 2011 at 2:07 PM

i haven’t read all the comments, but i hope that the conservatives don’t fall for this. Conservatives are being played here guys

from wikipeidia

Jonathan Holmes “Jon” Gruber (born September 30, 1965) is an American economist and a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2007 he was called the Democratic Party’s “most influential health-care expert” by the Washington Post,[1] but has also served in positions of advisement with Republicans, including working on healthcare reform in Massachusetts with Governor Mitt Romney.[2]

MA is two thirds leftist. they could very well elect vile, smug, leftist Lizzy Warren. This is a set up. Barry has planned this all the while

barry/soros/axe are having a good time with this

r keller on October 11, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Who do you think can defeat Obama and why?

csdeven on October 11, 2011 at 1:52 PM

I’m not sure anyone in the current field can unseat Obama. Okay maybe Mike Huntsman :)

Obama’s base is out stalking millionaires and billionaires homes right now…they are committed or more importantly they should be committed. They want their free stuff Obama promised them back in 2008.

Dr Evil on October 11, 2011 at 2:17 PM

That doesn’t reduce my concern, it actually enhances it, because if Romney isn’t on record in opposition then, how can we be sure he won’t flip again should the Dems take Congress in 2014.
Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Oh please! Even if that nightmarish event occurred there is no public demand for Single Payer or ObamaCare on a federal level in the majority. There was demand in Massachusetts and Romney responded as best he could to those demands. He had to deal with existing regs which Gruber himself admitted destroyed the private insurance market. Too bad Gruber didn’t explain that to Obama. Or perhaps he did. Who knows – the guy is clearly not trustworthy. Romney also was pushed by the Bush Administration to create legislation or lose nearly $400 million in federal Medicare funds. His plan was supported by the Heritage Foundation. Now in hindsight he’s the worst RINO ever.

Buy Danish on October 11, 2011 at 2:30 PM

I don’t discount a massive rally by the left in the event of a Republican President undoing or attempting to undo Obamacare. They will rage and whine about illegality and precedent. (especially if it is done via EO). I think discounting the possibility of a 2016 mid-term loss of congress isn’t validated by history (this of course assumes we gain control of the Senate, which is likely, but not guaranteed).

The questions still stand unanswered. Again, they SHOULD be easy to answer, and I think that the fact that they are not is a problem for Romney.

I certainly can’t trust him without those questions being answered, I don’t think any objective conservative could.

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Pffft. I’m an objective conservative and I trust him on this. I have no doubt that Romney would do everything within his power to repeal/end ObamaCare. No one except the Left gives a flip about a bunch of tantrum-throwing stinky hippies, Communists and Anarchists – least of all Mitt Romney. If they don’t like an EO, they can move to states like Vermont which will give them exactly what they’re looking for.

Buy Danish on October 11, 2011 at 3:06 PM

I’m not sure anyone in the current field can unseat Obama. Okay maybe Mike Huntsman :)

lol

Obama’s base is out stalking millionaires and billionaires homes right now…they are committed or more importantly they should be committed. They want their free stuff Obama promised them back in 2008.

Dr Evil on October 11, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Yeah, they see the writing on the wall and want their free crap NOW!

csdeven on October 11, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Except for free jobs, they don’t want the free jobs.

Content warning.

csdeven on October 11, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Buy Danish on October 11, 2011 at 3:06 PM

You may trust him. That’s great.

I don’t. He simply has done nothing to garner trust on this issue from me.

Now if he were to release the correspondence, that would go a long way, but he hasn’t, and doesn’t appear to be planning to since he’s had since 2007 to do it.

You may trust, but did you verify?

The questions go unanswered, I guess we just add you to those who simply don’t care and are willing to ignore the man’s history on this issue.

Thanks for flying your flag.

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 3:28 PM

The questions go unanswered, I guess we just add you to those who simply don’t care and are willing to ignore the man’s history on this issue.
Thanks for flying your flag.
Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Ah, you’re a mind reader now too. Thanks for the laugh. I have provided more info here than you ever have which apparently is proof that “I don’t care”. You know, since you claim to have the inside track on so much stuff, maybe you have peers who could get access to Lexis Nexis database and do some searching there. Google is not very good when trying to find a broad search like Romney+Single Payer.
You’re welcome in advance for the suggestion.

Buy Danish on October 11, 2011 at 3:42 PM

I’ve never claimed the inside track on anything, sorry, but that’s just ad hominem. I’m not reading minds, I’m just not getting anyone to even attempt to answer the questions directly, including yourself. Plenty of dodges, plenty of inferences, but no one is even attempting to honestly answer the question.

So far, the best attempt has been to quote criticism of Romney from an avowed socialist website.

That’s exactly why I am asking these questions. They are simple, they are legitimate and the speak directly to the issue that holds people back from supporting a Romney candidacy.

Lexis Nexis doesn’t give any better results on this one than bing or google; even the Romney campaign refuses to answer the questions, both in 2007 and today.

As I said, thanks for flying your flag, but until those questions get answered, many Republican voters will stay away from Romney. I can support Romney on many of his positions, but this arises to a simple litmus test for me.

His record is in conflict with his statements, he needs to square that circle, answering those questions would be a long way to doing that.

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Except for free jobs, they don’t want the free jobs.

Content warning.

csdeven on October 11, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Too Funny, is it too late to vote for the white guy? What have we done.

Dr Evil on October 11, 2011 at 4:16 PM

What can any President do about PPACA by himself/herself? This is a pretty straightforward civics issue, isn’t it? The first and fastest thing is to do what Romney said he’d do. I want the thing torn out root and branch, but that will take a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. I would love to get that, but shouldn’t we have some idea what to do if we can’t get there?

DrSteve on October 11, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Issue an Executive Order declaring all waivers from Obamacare null and void since there was no provision in the law for issuing waivers, then offer relief in the form of removing the law. If Dems still balk, propose a Bill, based entirely on Obamacare as precedent to require each able-bodied citizen-militia member (as defined by their State Constitution) to purchase one rifle/shotgun and one handgun to train with pursuant to the 2nd Amendment.

If Dems try to resist, they will kill their union support with drastic changes to their healthcare (since many of the waivers are for unions), and keep the precedent in place to force the arming of citizens.

Check-mate. Watch how fast they move to repeal Obamacare.

dominigan on October 11, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 4:11 PM

You claimed to have all sorts of inside info on the Palins. I’m not quite clear how that qualifies as an ad hominem. A wee bit snarky? No doubt.

I quoted from a Socialist website because it had good historical info about what was going on in Massachusetts prior to and during Romney’s term. If there are facts I cited from there which you’d like to dispute – feel free. Do note btw, that you cited MassCare which is hardly a conservative or GOP source. And I thank you for that as I found out things about Newt I hadn’t known before.

As for Mitt’s record being in conflict with his statements – he has never wavered from his original assertion that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, that each state has to devise its own program, that states are laboratories of ideas, and so forth. And there is nothing in the news today which disputes his statements that Obama never called him to ask his opinion.

Buy Danish on October 11, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Consult Obama on Obamacare…the better to know what is IN it and therefore, to undo it.

In a perfect world.

I don’t think this is a disaster move by “Romney advisers.” I think it adds a big edge of advantage to Romney, via “advisers,” as to what is in this huge mess of garbage called Obamacare and therefore will make it easier to dispose of it later.

Lourdes on October 11, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Repeating information publicly available about the Palin’s is not “inside track”.

Referring people to Alaska fish and wildlife regulations that have been on the books for decades is also not inside track.

Repeating the statements of O4P or using information from FEC filings is not inside track.

It’s ad hominem when you attack the person in an attempt to negate the question, argument or issue at hand.

I see and note your use of the socialist website as supporting, yet, none of the data that is presented from there addresses the question. Yes, they are critical of Romney’s policy as not going far enough in their eyes. That’s not the question, the question is whether and to what degree Romney supports single payer and what Romney’s positions were in correspondence with the State Legislature.

Do note btw, that you cited MassCare which is hardly a conservative or GOP source.

I don’t think you can make the case that I cited Mass-Care beyond quoting their mission, so noted to ask to what degree Romney supports or opposes their mission.

That would be a raise on your part to misrepresentation. Knock.

As for Romneys “no one size fits all” that’s his post 2006 claim, it’s not his claim from his 96 Senate race, nor his 2003 governor’s race. That’s why it’s important to see what is in his correspondence between his administration and the state legislature.

IF he’s so squeaky clean on this, why did he stonewall on it in 07, why has he not answered the questions of the WSJ and the Boston Globe who asked similar questions to mine back in May of this year. Why does his campaign still rebuff individuals who ask?

If he’s answered these questions, someone, somewhere, either supporter or from his campaign should be able to easily point to the answer.

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 4:51 PM

I’d be happy to be wrong if you can find a “one size fits all” argument coming from the Romney camp in either the 96 or the 2003 campaigns. That would be a few points in Romney’s favor.

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Lets not forget personal responsibility. For instance, my spouse was hospitalized last winter. The private hospital accepted us without insurance. After she received the best care available in this country, we got the bill. They offered us a payment plan with a reasonable interest rate. We are paying the debt ourselves. Why isn’t THAT the standard for receiving care in this country?
I agree that any mandated healthcare is doomed to fail. But the path toward where we are today began when EMTALA was signed into law.

csdeven on October 11, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Sorry for the late reply, had things to attend to.
Yes, I agree that personal responsibility is very important. The Amish would be the best example of that.

This Country has gotten used to the cradle to grave mindset and that is one of the biggest problems. Devastating to say the least.
I can’t think of anything the government(politicians) has done that has not made things worse.

Glad you were able to make payment arrangements. I’ve found that is the case at most hospitals and care centers.

I also remember in years past that everyone had Medical Insurance and it didn’t cost an arm & a leg. Don’t know what happened, but I would guess government:-)

Heard something interesting on the radio today. When the great depression happened, it was not as severe as it could have been since 140% of people farmed. Now it’s 2%. Now that is scary.

If and whenever you have time that EMTALA I don’t know what it means.

Thanks,

bluefox on October 11, 2011 at 4:55 PM

“Romney’s opponents on stage”… um, you mean “opponent”. There’s only one. Everyone else is in his back pocket or Newt who won’t attack anyone.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on October 11, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Romney can and will issue the waivers that will render Obamacare moot. He will do this on his first day in office as a stopgap until the congress can repeal it totally.

csdeven

Sure he will….just like he renounced his own failed health care legislation that Obamacare is modeled after, lol.

Another problem is he likely doesn’t have the power to issue these waivers anyway. Even if he does, that doesn’t stop the major spending provisions included in the bill from going forward, and any executive orders he issues can be replaced by a future democrat president.

The only way to get rid of Obamacare is to either repeal it, or for the Supreme Court to rule it unconstitutional. The latter isn’t going to happen, and Romney has no history of taking a stand on issues that are controversial, meaning there’s pretty much zero chance he’s going to start with Obamacare, especially after the Supreme Court rules it constitutional.

The Obamacare battle was lost in 2008 when Obama was elected. The Obamacare war will be lost if Mitt Romney becomes president, and it will be here to stay….just like pretty much every other government entitlement program.

xblade on October 11, 2011 at 5:12 PM

“Romney’s opponents on stage”… um, you mean “opponent”. There’s only one. Everyone else is in his back pocket or Newt who won’t attack anyone.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on October 11, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Opponent is right, singular. This election is sickening. I keep thinking why Palin said this election will be unconventional. It seems about the same as others, and lining up as 2008 did. Put a liberal RINO up with a R jacket on and cause many to stay home.

Still praying for Gov. Perry. Palin was for reform and now she’s out. Gov. Perry is the only Conservative.

I guess I’ll watch it on Washington Post since they are the only one that I’ve found that’s streaming.

bluefox on October 11, 2011 at 5:51 PM

moronic

csdeven on October 11, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Interesting admission.

Of course, I may have skimmed your post too fast. But I think it boiled down the essence of your recent posting history.

There Goes The Neighborhood on October 12, 2011 at 12:09 AM

Q: How is this health care plan different from what has been previously proposed in the past in Massachusetts?

Romney: We put aside the thoughts of a single-payer system or a government-directed system. No. 1, let’s help people to buy private health insurance.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5330792

OK, so it’s another avowed socialist web site (kidding, kidding).

Health care reform?
The solution will come from the states, said Romney, pointing to the plan developed in Massachusetts while he was governor from 2003-2006.
Congress needs to allow states the flexibility to develop their own plans to provide health coverage for their citizens, while still maintaining federal programs like Medicaid and Medicare, he said.
The nation should look at what works best in the various states, and then perhaps pursue that model, Romney said.
‘The last thing we need to say at this point is to have the (federal) government say ‘This is the way to do it,’ as a single-payer system or (another system),’‘ he said.

Read more.

This was an article from June 2007.

Also this.

And this:

Mr. Romney started the ball rolling soon after he was elected in 2002. In an interview on Tuesday, he said that a business executive had told him, If you really want to help people, find a way to get everyone health insurance.

Mr. Romney said he replied, “I don’t want to raise taxes and I don’t want to have a universal coverage like Hillary-care,” referring to the Clinton administration’s failed health care proposal.

“So I don’t know that it’s possible,” the governor said.

I’m sure I could find more, but you appear to be on the tangent now that he’s flip-flopped on the issue, so there’s no pleasing you.

Look, I agree that transparency and honesty would strongly suggest that he be up-front about all the negotiations that took place in getting the law passed in MA. He should definitely do that. But if you can’t find the man opposing health reform as single-payer in MA in the 2005-2006 timeframe, I would just ask you to look at the evidence — namely that with both houses of the legislature pushing for it, they didn’t get it. Romney clearly opposed it on the grounds that it was a government takeover.

DrSteve on October 12, 2011 at 9:15 AM

OK, well, I just posted a long comment with a bunch of links, and I’m not sure where it went. I’ll see if it shows up later.

Suffice it to say for the time being that if you look at news articles from the time of the legislative debates on HCR in MA, you’ll see Romney saying it has to be private insurance, no government takeovers, no Hillarycare, no single-payer. He also did a lot of interviews in the run-up to the 2008 cycle where he made it clear one of his main objectives was ensuring that HCR in MA was not a single-payer “government takeover.”

But like I said, I am waiting for the comment to reappear. Does the site have something against NYT links?

DrSteve on October 12, 2011 at 9:18 AM

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