At Wednesday night’s debate, Romney employed the only game changer that would work: he became a Democrat. Those stories we heard about how the conservative right were willing to button it up until after the election and let “etch-a-sketch” assume yet another persona, apparently are true.
But that’s where the truth ended.
According to the Tax Policy Center, a project of the Brookings Institution and Urban Institute, the Romney proposed rate cut would cost … $5 trillion. And those closing of loopholes he promises will make the difference? Tax Policy Center says, it is “mathematically impossible unless Romney raises taxes on the middle class or lets his tax plan increase the deficit, neither of which he’s says he’s willing to do.” He’d cut deductions he says but never says what they are?
To cut the deficit he’d repeal the Affordable Care Act, which according to the Congressional Budget Office reduces the deficit. And his idea of “turning programs over to the States” seems to imply that they can spend a lot less without dramatically reducing the program services. Again, this doesn’t make sense. Right now Medicaid pays less than any other insurance program, private or public. More cuts, as was proposed by House Republicans last year, would mean between 14 and 27 million Americans would lose health insurance according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report by Urban Institute researchers.
Romney’s plan for pre-existing conditions won’t help us because it is what we already have. Sure technically insurance companies can’t deny individual insurance coverage BUT they are free to charge as much as they want AND exclude the pre-existing condition.
And, like we now have, Romney’s plan requires continuous insurance coverage to be assured coverage. Yet we know breaks in health coverage for Americans are common. The Commonwealth Fund reported that from 2004-2007, 89 million Americans or more than one third Americans younger than 65, lost insurance for at least one month, with 23 million of those having more than one lapse in the four-year period.
His plan makes no mention of cost control mandates, the absence of which, consumer advocates say, will keep insurance, for many, still unaffordable.
His plan has no real protection for the 25 million Americans presently uninsured with pre-existing conditions. He would put them in high-risk pools, at a cost of $10 to $20 billion per year according to 2008 estimates; or they’d be forced to go the ER’s which is the least effective, highest costing delivery system at the very core of our present problems.
In other words, his plan for health care is not reform at all.
Does anyone know who we saw on Wednesday night? Was it --
The candidate who wants to work on day one with Democrats in Congress or the one who wants to reverse everything the Democrats accomplished.
The candidate who thinks that 47% of Americans are victims or the one who thinks that tax cuts for the wealthy are a bad idea?
The candidate who wants to deny women the right to choose or the one who believes that government shouldn’t be making healthcare decisions.
I wonder who’ll show up at the next debate.