Obamacare vs. Romneycare

October 11, 2012
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The possbility of a Mitt Romney presidency was acknowledged for essentially the first time in this media campaign cycle once the meme of debate pugilism took over every corner of the Internet, the U.S., and the world. Spinmeisters on both sides are scrambling to redefine its candidate, and now, nothing is off limits. That includes healthcare. Okay, it’s always been about healthcare — ever since the ACA became law over two years ago. But now, voters are being re-introduced to a once robotic and seemingly out-of-touch Mitt Romney.

The possbility of a Mitt Romney presidency was acknowledged for essentially the first time in this media campaign cycle once the meme of debate pugilism took over every corner of the Internet, the U.S., and the world. Spinmeisters on both sides are scrambling to redefine its candidate, and now, nothing is off limits. That includes healthcare. Okay, it’s always been about healthcare — ever since the ACA became law over two years ago. But now, voters are being re-introduced to a once robotic and seemingly out-of-touch Mitt Romney. On the issue of Obamacare, the pugilism meme now couples Romneycare.

Since the debate a week ago, Team Obama has countered its namesake’s lackluster performance by highlighting challenger Romney’s endless “stream of lies” mysteriously unacknowledged that night by a rather sonmolent Obama. Surrogates on the left met the media’s anointing of Romney as the debate’s winner by earnest pleas to re-examine every aspect of Mitt Romney’s fiscal policies as governor and his plan for leadership on a national stage should he ascend to the office of the presidency.

Among his plans for healthcare delivery — which you can read about here — Romney has his own plan for those pre-existing conditions. But the catch here is: Romney wants to continue or restart your coverage, but insurers are not really prohibited by how far they can delve into one’s history to do this. For those who have gaps in coverage, insurance companies can still deny coverage. This explicitly contradicts one of the most popular provisions of Obamacare.

“It will solve some of the problems,” said health economist Gail Wilensky, a longtime adviser to Republicans. “It won’t solve the problem of people having gone for a long time without health insurance.” […]

That’s because many people aren’t able to keep up continuous coverage. Losing health insurance is often connected to major life upheavals like job loss or divorce that drain household budgets. More than 70 percent of the uninsured have been without coverage for a year or longer, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Another domestic policy mystery from Team Romney. Although he has stated that pre-existing conditions should not be a barrier to coverage, it is hard to reconcile this statement in an Obamaless world in which one can be turned down just by switching plans; or by temporarily going without coverage before switching. There is no federal law (currently) that protects against this type of discrimination in coverage, something President Obama has explicitly trumpeted as a key provision in the ACA (which Romney wants to repeal in some form). Romney is not along in his vagueness here. His campaign surrogates seem to have no ideas of their own either. It’s simply enough for them to keep their candidate in a gaffe-free state. Who really has time for policy nuances? Voters probably won’t know what Romney care has in store for them unless they take a leap of faith and vote him into office. With Obama, the healthcare policy cards are on the table. With Obamacare, pre-existing conditions are dealt with, gaps in coverage be damned. With Romneycare, it’ll take more than having to afford limited COBRA benefits to guarantee continuous coverage for pre-existing conditions without a law that expressly forbids it. |