Viewpoints: Romney’s Whiplash On Health Law; Clinton’s Mistaken Argument About Medicare Savings
Los Angeles Times: Romney Promises, Then Retracts, Key Aspects Of Healthcare Reform
At first glance, it looked like Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had once again altered his position on healthcare reform. "I’m not getting rid of all of healthcare reform," he said on "Meet the Press" over the weekend. "Of course, there are a number of things that I like in healthcare reform that I'm going to put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage. Two is to assure that the marketplace allows for individuals to have policies that cover their family up to whatever age they might like." Jeepers. Those are a couple of biggies under Obamacare. Has Romney seen the light? Maybe not so much (David Lazarus, 9/10).
The Washington Post: Romney’s Health-Care Dither
I'm trying to figure out just where Mitt Romney stands on health-care reform. Obviously, so is Mitt Romney. In an interview broadcast Sunday on "Meet the Press," I thought I heard Romney say he liked some aspects of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and would keep those provisions in place. ... After the "Meet the Press" appearance, a Romney aide clarified that Romney didn't actually intend to guarantee that people with preexisting conditions could get insurance. Rather, he would somehow encourage the free market to provide such coverage — even though, as anyone with diabetes or kidney disease can attest, the free market does no such thing. My advice is that before making a serious attempt to understand what Romney might actually do, make sure your health-insurance policy covers whiplash (Eugene Robinson, 9/10).
The Wall Street Journal: Romney’s Pre-Existing Politics
When Mitt Romney ventures into health care, political trouble usually follows. So it went this weekend, as the GOP standard-bearer made his own policy sound worse than it is. On NBC's "Meet the Press," the Republican was asked what he would do about people with pre-existing medical conditions who would supposedly "no longer be guaranteed health care" if he repeals the Affordable Care Act. "I say we're going to replace ObamaCare," Mr. Romney replied. "And I'm replacing it with my own plan," without defining the substance of his own agenda (9/10).
The Wall Street Journal: Massachusetts Lessons About A President Romney
When it came time to craft the piece of legislation that has become Mr. Romney's biggest Massachusetts legacy and perhaps his chief national political liability—the 2006 health-care overhaul that would become known as RomneyCare—he again turned to private-sector consultants. Leaders of major stakeholders, including insurance companies, played important roles. So did some lawmakers. But Mr. Romney relied on the consultants to dig deeply into a fundamental problem: Why were so many people not buying health insurance? Overall, the governor and his aides approached the problem of uninsured state residents as a financial challenge that needed to be solved. The driving motivation was to stop forcing hospitals to provide expensive care—especially in emergency rooms—for free. Democratic legislators, with some cajoling, got behind the measure on the grounds that expanding the rolls of the insured was morally the right thing to do (Eric Convey, 9/10).
Politico: Bill Clinton On Health Care: Double Count Of Medicare
Former President Bill Clinton is reportedly headed to Florida in an attempt to put it solidly on the Democrat side of the ledger. Presumably, one plank of his argument will be to defend President Barack Obama's handling of Medicare — particularly, doubling down on his now-discredited double counting of Medicare dollars. Recall that Clinton gave a full-throated endorsement of the Affordable Care Act in his Charlotte speech last week. ... As the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Clinton is wrong on his facts here. The ACA does cut $716 billion out of Medicare over the next 10 years, but it spends those funds elsewhere and does nothing to extend the life of Medicare (Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 9/10).
Los Angeles Times: Mitt Romney Talks Medicare And Taxes – Minus The Details
Romney has long advocated retooling Medicare so that its beneficiaries receive a subsidy they could use to purchase coverage either from private insurers or the government. The amount of the subsidy would be equal to the cost of the second-least-expensive coverage offering benefits equivalent to Medicare. ... According to the campaign, the Romney-Ryan plan doesn't include Ryan's caps on the rate of Medicare growth. The subsidies will grow as much as needed to keep up with the cost of the second-least-expensive coverage. In other words, Romney doesn't plan to end the defined benefit of Medicare -- that is, the guarantee of affordable insurance coverage (Jon Healey, 9/10).
The New York Times: The Shallow End Of The Campaign
On issue after issue raised in the first weekend of interviews after the conventions, Romney and Ryan actively tried to obscure their positions, as if a clear understanding of their beliefs about taxes, health care or spending would scare away anyone who was listening. Aware that President Obama’s policies in these areas are quite popular once people learn about them, the Republicans are simply sowing confusion. Here are a few examples (9/10).
The New York Times: Waste In The Health Care System
A new report from a panel of experts convened by the Institute of Medicine estimated that roughly 30 percent of health care spending in 2009 — around $750 billion — was wasted on unnecessary or poorly delivered services and other needless costs. Lack of coordination at every point in the health care system is a big culprit (9/10).
The Dallas Morning News: Texas Voices Largely Missing From Health Care Debate
Of nearly 90 experts involved in these reports, none work for Texas institutions. So where are they? Part of it is just a lack of bodies here working on health economics,” said Vivian Ho, who chairs health economics at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston (Jim Landers, 9/10).