The one good thing Romney accomplished – his healthcare plan – was based on a Republican notion, one that would cut the costs of healthcare by making everyone get health insurance. We all know how that goes: it was a fantastic idea full of sensible ideas and responsibility when it was their plan and somehow the end of the world when it was Obama’s. Even when it was the same plan.
Now it looks as though Romney has well and truly thrown his one good idea out. Healthcare under the right wing is now to go back to the craptacular system before, where uninsured people went to the ER for care and passed that cost on to everyone else because there was no way to afford the care they got.
Helluva job, Romney.
Shorter Question Everything
Mitt Romney’s latest? He just endorsed “socialism” last night. Which probably won’t go over too well with the GOP base two days after Romney declared in his federal tax forms that to him America was a “foreign country.”
You see, five years ago Mitt Romney told Glenn Beck that letting the uninsured get free health care via emergency rooms (which is what our country does) is “socialism.
“And in a 2007 interview with Glenn Beck, Romney called the fact that people without insurance were able to get “free care” in emergency rooms “a form of socialism.”
“When they show up at the hospital, they get care. They get free care paid for by you and me. If that’s not a form of socialism, I don’t know what is,” he said at the time.
As HuffPost notes, Romney was singing a completely different tune last night on 60 Minutes:
Downplaying the need for the government to ensure that every person has health insurance, Mitt Romney on Sunday suggested that emergency room care suffices as a substitute for the uninsured.
“Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance,” he said in an interview with Scott Pelley of CBS’s “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday night. “If someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care.”
So the new “conservative” Mitt Romney is now in favor of “socialism.”
I seem to remember, during the health care reform debate, hearing that we pay four times as much for people to go to emergency rooms than what we’d pay if we simply helped them get insurance, government or otherwise.
It’s true that under the preferred Republican system — American health care before the Affordable Care Act passed — if you’re uninsured and get sick, there are public hospitals that will treat you. As Romney noted on camera, if you have a heart attack, you can call 911 and medical professionals will come get you and give you care.
But it’s extremely expensive to treat patients this way, and it would be far cheaper, and more medically effective, to pay for preventative care so that people don’t have to wait for a medical emergency to seek treatment.
For that matter, when sick people with no insurance go to the E.R. for care, they often can’t pay their bills. Since hospitals can’t treat sick patients for free, the bills can still bankrupt those who get sick, and the costs are still passed on to everyone else.
In other words, it’s the most inefficient system of socialized medicine ever devised.
And in the bigger picture, it’s worse than that. For those with chronic ailments, this position is a pathetic joke — is anyone going to stop by the emergency room for chemotherapy or diabetes treatments?
Romney’s argument isn’t a responsible approach to American health care in the 21st century; Romney’s argument is ridiculous.
That tax plan sucks too
• No Taxes
• What Romney’s hiding: His disclosure of his 2010 account omitted information about his Swiss bank account at the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS). Why is the press not asking for this form? UBS was fined $760 million for putting Americans into abusive tax shelters and forced to reveal more than 4000 Americans who banked with them under numbered accounts. The 4000+ Americans who were exposed by UBS were offered amnesty from criminal prosecution for tax evasion if they closed their Swiss Account, recalculated and paid all back taxes and paid a 25 percent penalty on the largest amount. Romney closed his UBS account in the time required. He did not close his other foreign accounts.
He is sashaying out Phil Gramm. Paul Krugman explains.
But what really boggles my mind is the Romney campaign’s evident belief that it gains credibility by rolling out Phil “Mental Recession” Gramm as a spokesman. Gramm is best known these days for dismissing the risks to the economy when a recession was already underway and a catastrophic crisis was just around the corner, meanwhile denouncing us as a “nation of whiners”.
So, you’ve got a guy who thinks we’re whiners because we won’t buck up and take the economic beating he and his friends have given this country. A guy who could very well be heading to prison for helping rich dudes (yeah, I’m looking at you, Mitt Romney) illegally hide money while he was vice-chair of the Swiss Bank, UBS.
What? This is hush-attention? Phil Gramm will keep his mouth shut about Romney’s hidden money if Romney lets him screw this country one more time?
Mitt Romney economic adviser Emil Henry tripled down on the GOP presidential candidate’s claim that 47 percent of Americans are “dependent upon government” and see themselves as “victims” because they don’t pay federal income taxes, during an appearance on MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes on Sunday. “You have a president who errs towards, in the very least, an entitlement society, a society of hand downs, a society of 46 million people on food stamps,” Henry said, adding that Romney opposes Obama’s efforts to “redistribute” wealth to those with lower incomes.
He then advocated for Romney’s tax reform plan — which he likened to a flat tax — of lowering the marginal rates by 20 percent across the board and limiting exemptions and deductions for the richest Americans, while providing the middle class with tax relief. “I have heard him say this 100 times and I know this for a fact, he says taxes on rich folks are not going to go down because of the elimination of exemptions,” Henry added.
But when Hayes pointed out the inconsistency of the charge, noting that taxes on wealthy people would have to come down substantially if Romney seeks to eliminate the “redistribution” inherent in America’s progressive tax code, Henry conceded that Republicans would also transfer wealth from one group to another:
HAYES: There is a tension with the nonredistributed thing. Taxes on wealthy people have to go down. If he doesn’t believe in that, he has to reduce the burden of wealthy people. We have a barely, but progressive income tax. If he doesn’t believe in redistribution, he has to cut it for the wealthy. It’s not the case he is flattening the tax code and not lowering them for rich people. [...]
HENRY: If your point is that a progressive tax code, which is what the United States of America has and it’s the right thing, and it’s about fairness and fairness of opportunity, your point is there’s a technical element of redistribution by virtue of hiring –
HAYES: Not just technical — that’s redistribution. You are paying for it!
HENRY: Let’s be real about it. Let’s be real about this. When President Obama talks about redistribution, Chris, you know this is true, when he talks about redistribution, he is talking about a massive difference from the Romney plan, which is about simpler, lower marginal rates, getting rid of exemptions and lowering the corporate tax rate to attract business in America.
Just not presidential
[S]o what you do is, you say, you move things along the best way you can. You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem.
Romney continued in this, “It’s too hard so screw it,” vein which, as most CEOs would recognize, is the same thing as saying you’ll take your business elsewhere.
But guess what? Presidents can’t do that. They don’t have the luxury of pulling out of unprofitable markets. They can’t decide who they’ll do business with. They deal with what comes along, bad and good. And they’re stuck with a lot of bad.
As Pres. Obama said, about a year into his term, only the hardest problems end up on his desk because if they were easy to solve, someone down the line would have already done so. Presidents only make one type of decision: hard, seemingly “unsolvable” ones.
So when Romney says there is no hope for peace in the Middle East, and you “recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem,” he’s really telling us he doesn’t have what it takes to be president. Thanks Mitt. That’s what I thought but you’re making it crystal clear. Or, as you might say, you’re sealing the deal.
• Call the waaaahmbulance!: Mitt Romney told the press that his campaign is failing because of Obama. Romney’s failing has nothing to do with his Libya debacle or his 47% comments in his mind, rather it’s Obama’s fault for running “inaccurate ads” and “fooling people” about Romney’s beliefs. Someone needs to tell Romney that whining is not Presidential, and blaming others for his failures is also not what we expect from a leader.
• Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol says that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is going to have a tough time winning if the election is a referendum on President Barack Obama’s first term. “They need to focus on the next four years,” the conservative columnist told Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday. “If this election is just about the last four years, that’s a muddy verdict.” “Bush was president during the financial meltdown, the Obama team has turned that around pretty well,” he explained. “He’s got to make it a referendum on the choice about the next four years, and explain what Obama would do over the next four years that would be bad for the country and what he would do would be good for the country.”
Mitt Romney is optimistic about optimism. In fact, it’s pretty much all he’s got. And that fact should make you very pessimistic about his chances of leading an economic recovery.
As many people have noticed, Mr. Romney’s five-point “economic plan” is very nearly substance-free. It vaguely suggests that he will pursue the same goals Republicans always pursue — weaker environmental protection, lower taxes on the wealthy. But it offers neither specifics nor any indication why returning to George W. Bush’s policies would cure a slump that began on Mr. Bush’s watch.
In his Boca Raton meeting with donors, however, Mr. Romney revealed his real plan, which is to rely on magic. “My own view is,” he declared, “if we win on November 6, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We’ll see capital come back, and we’ll see — without actually doing anything — we’ll actually get a boost in the economy.”
Are you feeling reassured?
• Romney to Teacher: ‘I Didn’t Ask You a Question’ – When he sat down, one of the first questions he asked was “I understand there is a teacher here today, which one of you is a teacher?” I raised my hand, thinking that’s a good thing, he’s interested in education. But it wasn’t a good thing. I felt like his view was a little old-fashioned, and I was surprised by it. He went on to kind of lecture me about schools and how bad they are. He talked bad about the teacher’s union. He was talking about the importance of private schools and voucher systems. At one point, I said to him, “I have an answer for that.” And he said, “I didn’t ask you a question.”
• President Barack Obama, defending his foreign policy record at a time of anti-American rage in the Muslim world, fired back at suggestions from Republican Mitt Romney that the president has been weak with allies and enemies alike. In an interview airing the night before Obama meets with other world leaders at the United Nations, the president said, “If Gov. Romney is suggesting that we should start another war, he should say so.”
In other news
• FLASHBACK: Israel teams with terror group MEK to kill Iran’s nuclear scientists, U.S. officials tell NBC News
• Israel’s prime minister apologized for publishing comments in August that urged the U.N. secretary-general to avoid a summit in Iran, a diplomat says. Binyamin Netanyahu said he had not intended to embarrass Ban Ki-moon when his office published the substance of a telephone conversation with Ban, Haaretz reported Monday.
• B.C. Conservatives lose only MLA over leadership squabble: B.C. MLA John van Dongen has resigned from the B.C. Conservatives after party members voted against a leadership review. Van Dongen says that he cannot continue in the party while it’s led by John Cummins. Van Dongen, who bolted from the governing Liberals to the Conservatives, says he will sit as an Independent in the legislature.
• British Foreign Secretary William Hague has revealed plans to open a series of joint “Commonwealth embassies” in co-operation with ex-colonial “first cousins” Canada, Australia and New Zealand to enhance the countries’ presence on the world stage and reduce some of the costs associated with running separate diplomatic missions abroad.
• UK health agency issues advice as experts try to identify virus that infected two men in Middle East, killing one. Health experts are trying to identify a new Sars-like virus that is so far known to have infected two people, one of whom is receiving intensive care in a London hospital.