Asked during last night’s Republican debate about whether his campaign was downplaying his health care plan, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney replied, “I love it.” While praising the plan as a model of bipartisanship — and citing support for it from both Ted Kennedy and the Heritage Foundation — Romney failed to tell viewers what was in the plan.
It’s worth reminding people, therefore, that the plan Romney loves:
- Imposes an unprecedented individual mandate, requiring everyone in Massachusetts to purchase a government-designated insurance product or face thousands of dollars in tax penalties.
- Significantly increased Medicaid eligibility and provided taxpayer-funded subsidies for a family of four earning as much as $62,000 year, effectively extending welfare well into the middle class.
- Creates a Hillary Clinton managed-competition-style regulatory authority called the Massachusetts Health Care Connector. This new regulatory body has already mandated that every health care policy sold in the state must cover prescription drugs and has outlawed policies with deductibles of more than $2,000.
- Imposes a penalty on businesses that do not provide health insurance to their employees (although in fairness, this provision was enacted over Governor Romney’s veto.)
- Greatly expands the state’s health care bureaucracy, creating at least 10 new boards, commissions, and other institutions to study and regulate health care.
Last night’s debate was held at the Ronald Reagan Library in California. The Gipper must surely be spinning in his grave.