McCain’s Opposition Research – Part 27


Via or from BuzzFeed comes an opposition research file compiled by the McCain campaign in 2008.  The document is 194 pages long.  This post begins  aty the bottom of page 100 and ends at the top of page 106

I have bolded the first word in each entry for ease of reading.

HEALTH CARE 

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS AND GENERAL ISSUES

Romney Flip-Flopped On Importing Cheaper Prescription Drugs From Other Countries, Now Opposes It

Romney Aide In 2003: Romney “Not Opposed To Legalizing Drug Importation.”

“The governor is not opposed to legalizing drug importation, but this is a short-term solution because drug companies are already acting to limit their sales to Canada in an effort to curb re-importation. Gov. Romney is committed to devising a comprehensive, long-term strategy to bring down the high cost of prescription drugs and will work with all interested parties, including members of our legislature, on this important issue.”

(Jacqueline Reis and Danielle Williamson, “Statewide Tour Touts Importing Drugs,” Telegram & Gazette[Worcester, MA] 10/22/03)

 

 

Romney In 2004: Importation “Not The Solution To America’s Problem.”

“Importing drugs from other countries could leave U.S. citizens vulnerable to unsafe medicines and hurt the development of a vital Massachusetts industry, Gov. Mitt Romney said yesterday to biotechnology executives. ‘I believe that drug importation is not the solution to America’s problems,’ Mr. Romney said at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council at the Sheraton Boston hotel.”

(Lisa Eckelbecker, “Leaders Deride Drug Imports,” Telegram & Gazette [Worcester, MA], 4/30/04)

 

 

Romney Criticized 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit“Romney … Joined Some Of His Fellow Republicans In Chastising The Bush Administration On … The Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit.”

(Susan Milligan, “Romney Faults Bush On War, Medicare, And Ports Pact,” The Boston Globe, 2/27/06)

 

 

 Romney Criticized “Outrageous Rate” Of Growth Of Drug Costs.

“I’d like to see a holistic program that says,‘OK, what are we going to do for people who are retiring in Medicare and those that are poor on Medicaid, how do we make sure that this doesn’t become an overwhelming burden?’ Let’s include prescription drugs but keep it from growing at such an outrageous rate.”

(Fox’s “Fox News Sunday,” 2/26/06)

 

 

“Romney … Criticized The Medicare Prescription Drug Package As Too Expensive.”

(Susan Milligan, “Romney Faults Bush On War, Medicare, And Ports Pact,” The Boston Globe, 2/27/06)

 

Romney:  “Well, I think we have a great advance in our health care in the country by providing prescription drugs to seniors. But I think that we cannot afford a major new entitlement.”

(Fox’s “Fox News Sunday,” 2/26/06)

 

 

Romney:  “In fact, we need to find a way to reduce our entitlement burden, particularly as the baby boomers get ready to retire.”

(Fox’s “Fox News Sunday,” 2/26/06)

 

 

Romney Attacked Bush White House Record On Health Care, Prescription Drugs Romney Faulted White House For Not Tackling Broader Entitlement Reform During Part D Debate.

“Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) put some distance … between himself and the Bush Administration on the issue of health care, criticizing the White House for failing to demand significant reforms in Medicare and Medicaid when Congress enacted a prescription drug benefit for senior citizens.”

(Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza, “A Romney-Kerry Rivalry?” The Washington Post, 1/27/06)

 

 

“Romney Said … The Administration Created A New And Costly Entitlement Program Without Exacting Changes Aimed At Holding Down Costs.”

(Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza, “A Romney-Kerry Rivalry?” The Washington Post, 1/27/06)

 

Romney Wanted To Finance Drug Benefit With Savings Achieved From Overall Health Care Reforms.

“I would have hoped to do it differently … I would have hoped to include within the additional prescription benefit certain reforms to Medicaid, Medicare and our entire health care system to be able to pay for a very helpful prescription benefit … It’s a new entitlement program, and I would have wanted to finance that entitlement with reforms and changes and adjustments in the overall program.”

(Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza, “A Romney-Kerry Rivalry?” The Washington Post, 1/27/06)

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN

 

Romney Used To Take Credit For State’s 2006 Health Insurance Law, Calling It “Once In A Generation”Achievement April 2006: Romney Went Extra Mile To Stage “Near-Presidential” Signing Ceremony, Including Slogan-Bearing Banners And A Fife-And-Drum Corps.

“In a Colonial-era hall, with a fife-and-drum corps marching in with him, Gov. Mitt Romney (R) signed a bill Wednesday requiring all Massachusetts residents to purchase health insurance – portraying the measure as a historic solution to health-care costs, even as questions emerge about whether the state can afford it. The signing [was] staged with a near-presidential attention to theatrics and slogan-bearing banners … ‘I want to express appreciation to Cecil B. DeMille for organizing this event,’ quipped Romney,who is considering a run for president in 2008, and seems likely to use his work on the bipartisan health-care bill as a talking point on the campaign trail.”

(David A. Fahrenthold, “Mass. Marks Health-Care Milestone,”  The Washington Post,4/13/06)

 

“Romney, As He Prepares For A Potential White House Bid In 2008, Is Casting The Bill As A Republican Solution To The Healthcare Crisis Democrats Have Failed To Fix.”

(Scott Helman, “Author, Author,” The Boston Globe,4/16/06)

 

 

Boston Herald: “Romney … hailed the legislation as a national model that can be replicated to help eliminate inequities in the nation’s system of paying for health care.”

(Casey Ross, “Critics Slam Insurance Plan As Intrusive And Unwieldy,” Boston Herald, 4/13/06)

 

 

USA Today:  “Romney has touted the law as a national model for universal health care coverage without a government-run system.”

(Paul Leavitt and William Welch, “Health Coverage Now Requirement In Mass.,” USA Today, 4/13/06)

 

Romney Called Health Bill “Once In A Generation” Achievement, Claiming “Massachusetts Is Leading The Way.”

“Governor Mitt Romney signed landmark legislation today that through a private, market-based reform will make health insurance available to every resident of Massachusetts within the next three years. ‘An achievement like this comes around once in a generation, and it proves that government can work when people of both parties reach across the aisle for the common good,’ said Romney. ‘Today, Massachusetts is leading the way with health insurance for everyone, without a government takeover and without raising taxes.’”

(Gov. Mitt Romney, Press Release, 4/12/06)

 

 

On Day Of Signing Ceremony, Romney Told Fox News He’d “Authored” The Measure.

“Was it a slip of the tongue by Governor Mitt Romney, or a subtle effort to take credit for the healthcare bill? Hours after he signed the bill Wednesday in an elaborate ceremony at Faneuil Hall, Romney told Fox News that he ‘authored’ the bill, which was actually crafted not just by the governor and his administration, but by several state legislators, their staffs,healthcare advocates, and representatives of the business community and the healthcare industry.”

(Scott Helman,“Author, Author,”The Boston Globe, 4/16/06)

 

 

“Host Of Democratic Legislators … And Sen. Edward M. Kennedy” Attended Romney’s Signing Ceremony.

“Also attending the [signing] ceremony were a host of Democratic legislators, who overwhelmingly passed the bill, and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., a frequent target of conservatives but a collaborator with Romney on the measure.”

(Glen Johnson, “Romney Plays Down Health Care Plan,”  The Associated Press, 4/12/07)

 

 

Romney Called The Measure “Landmark” Accomplishment.

“The reason this is so landmark is that we have found a way, collectively, to get all of our citizens insurance without some new government-mandated takeover or a huge new tax program.”

(Casey Ross, “Critics Slam Insurance Plan As Intrusive And Unwieldy,” Boston Herald,4/13/06)

 

Romney Said Final Legislation “Incorporates About 95 Percent Of My Original Proposal.”

“The final legislation incorporates about 95 percent of my original proposal. So I think, overall, it is a major step forward. We will have health insurance for all our citizens without a government takeover and without new taxes required.”

(Jennifer Barrett, “Person Of Faith,” Newsweek.com, 6/7/06)

 

Romney Press Release Included Quote From National HHS Secretary Urging “Policy Makers In Statehouses And Congress” To Follow Massachusetts’ Lead.

“Former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson commended Governor Romney for signing what Thompson termed‘groundbreaking legislation to provide health coverage to all Massachusetts families.’ ‘Massachusetts is showing us a better way, one I hope policy makers in Statehouses and Congress will follow to build a healthier and stronger America,’ said Thompson, a former Republican governor of Wisconsin.”

(Gov. Mitt Romney, Press Release,“Romney Signs Landmark Health Insurance Reform Bill,” 4/12/06)

 

Romney Proposal “Requiring Individuals To Buy Health Insurance … Gave Democrats The Political Cover They Needed” On More Controversial Parts Of Health Bill.

“The Governor was also the one who put on the table the idea of requiring individuals to buy health insurance if they were not covered by their employers—a move that gave Democrats the political cover they needed to put other controversial parts of the plan into place.”

(Karen Tumulty, “What Romney Believes,”Time, 5/21/07)

 

 

Romney Advocated For Bill’s Passage, Lobbying Reluctant Business Leaders To Get On Board Prominent Business Leader Claimed Romney Convinced Him To Support Universal Health Insurance Bill.

“On Wednesday, Governor Romney held a listening session with business leaders about the bill … One noted dissenter had been Chris Anderson, president of the Massachusetts High Technology Council. … So imagine my surprise when I asked Anderson how to characterize his feelings on the legislation after the meeting and got this reply: ‘Supportive.’ Supportive? ‘The bill could be a national model if implemented properly,’ said Anderson, who added that Romney had persuaded him it would be.”

(Scot Lehigh, “Will Public Buy The Healthcare Plan?” The Boston Globe, 4/7/06)

 

Romney Recently Has Re-Embraced His Program After Distancing Himself From It

 

 

Romney, During Reagan Library Debate, On The Bill: “I Love It.”

POLITICO’S JOHN HARRIS: “Governor Romney a year ago it seemed that you couldn’t wait to tell about your health care experiment in Massachusetts. Since then, it’s been criticized by conservatives as something Hillary Clinton could be devised. You hardly mention it on your website. What’s changed?”

ROMNEY: “I love it. It’s a fabulous program.”

(MSNBC Republican  Presidential Candidates Debate, Simi Valley, CA, 5/3/07)

 

Romney Was Perceived To Be Running Away From His Own Plan As Flaws Emerged And Conservatives Revolted

 

Romney Often Avoids Speaking Of His Health Care Reform Measure, Which “Many On The Right AbhorAs A Classic Example Of Big Government.”

“As Mitt Romney aggressively courts conservatives in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, landmark health-care legislation that the former Massachusetts governor signed into law about a year ago has been largely left out of his pitch. … When he does speak about the measure, which many on the right abhor as a classic example of big government, his comments are measured, even though when he signed it on April 12, 2006, he described the legislation by saying, ‘an achievement like this comes around once in a generation.’”

(Perry Bacon Jr., “Romney Plays Down Role In Health Law,” The Washington Post, 4/13/07)

 

 

When Romney Does Address His Plan, He Complains Of Provisions Added By Democrats.

“In his major speeches, including the announcement of his candidacy in Michigan in February, Romney has often omitted mention of the health-care law. When he does talk about it, he frequently complains about provisions the legislature added that he opposed.”

(Perry Bacon Jr., “Romney Plays Down Role In Health Law,”  The Washington Post,4/13/07)

 

 

Romney Claims Democrats Will Be To Blame If His Health Reforms Fail.

“Romney told Maryland conservatives this month that the law was a bipartisan creation. He emphasized that the state’s Democratic leadership is handling the rollout. This has become a common theme. In January, Romney said much the same thing during a forum hosted by the conservative National Review magazine. ‘We believed we’d get everybody insured in an economic way, but I don’t know what is going to happen down the road as the Democrats get their hands on it,’ Romney said.”

(Sean Higgins, “Ex-Gov. Romney Keeps Distance From His Own Mass. Health Plan,” Investor’s Business Daily, 3/7/07)

 

Wall Street Journal:  Romney Oversold Virtues Of Healthcare Plan, Imposed Government Mandate And  Now Distances Himself From Own Policy.

“[Romney] made a big deal of the health-care ‘reform’ he steered through the Massachusetts legislature last year, and we suppose he deserves credit for trying. But he over sold the results – to the applause of the national health-care lobby – and imposed an insurance mandate without reforming the state insurance market. As it unfolds, this law is turning out to be far from a free-market success. And so now Mr. Romney is distancing himself from it – never mind that he upbraided his critics last year for not understanding its virtues. The episode suggests a thin political skin and perhaps a too malleable policy core.”

(Editorial, “The GOP Field,” Wall Street Journal, 2/10/07)

 

 

“Romney Has Subtly Lowered Expectations For The Law He Championed As Governor.”

“At recent political appearances, Romney has subtly lowered expectations for the law he championed as governor. At the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire on Thursday, he warned that the Democrat-dominated Massachusetts Legislature may cause the collapse of a system he helped design. … Romney sounded a similar warning in Washington last weekend at a forum sponsored by the National Review.”

(Rick Klein, “Romney Distances Self From Mass. Health Plan,” The Boston Globe, 2/3/07)

 

“With Signs Emerging That His Signature Healthcare Plan Faces Hurdles … Romney Has Begun To Distance Himself From The New Law And Is Suggesting That Democrats Will Be To Blame If The Plan Falters.”

Rick Klein, “Romney Distances Self From Mass. Health Plan,” The Boston Globe, 2/3/07)

 

Investor’s Business Daily:   “He’s Now A Critic Of His Own Biggest Achievement.”

“As governor of Massachusetts he signed a bipartisan law intended to ensure that every resident has coverage. Romney touted it as an innovative free-market solution. Yet these days, Romney … is much more likely to present his state’s universal coverage law as not a model to copy but an example for other states to learn from.  He’s now a critic of his own biggest achievement. That’s likely because the law, which requires uninsured residents to buy insurance by July through a state agency or be fined, is proving to be more costly to consumers than anticipated, even for those who already had coverage.”

(Sean Higgins, “Ex-Gov. Romney Keeps Distance From His Own Mass. Health Plan,” Investor’s Business Daily, 3/7/07)

 

 

“At Last Week’s Conservative Political Action Conference … Romney Never Mentioned The Law In Two Speeches.”

(Sean Higgins, “Ex-Gov. Romney Keeps Distance From His Own Mass. Health Plan,”Investor’s Business Daily,3/7/07)

 

Romney Also Distanced Himself From Health Plan During 2007 Appearance At Club For Growth Convention.

“At a closed-door meeting of the Club for Growth, a conservative anti-tax group, last month in Palm Beach, Fla., he soft-peddled his role in the bill, said Pat Toomey, the group’s president. ‘He was very quick to say the final product was not what he had initially proposed to the legislature,’ Toomey said. ‘He was very open about saying this could be a better bill and other states might find some things and make them better.’”

(Perry Bacon Jr.,“Romney Plays Down Role In Health Law,” The Washington Post, 4/13/07)

 

National Center For Public Policy Research’s David Hogberg: Romney “Is Now Slowly Backing Away From His Health Care Plan,” Noting “Romney Care Was A Pretty Liberal Health Care Plan Right From The Start.”

“Mitt Romney’s most-heralded achievement as governor of Massachusetts was his overhaul of the Bay State’s health care system. However, as I’ve noted on the Am Spec blog, ‘Romney Care’ began running into problems pretty quickly. After much initial self-promotion, Romney now is slowly backing away from his healthcare plan, hinting that the Democrats now in charge should be blamed if it flops. ‘I was a little concerned at the signing ceremony when Ted Kennedy showed up,’ Romney recently quipped.”

(David Hogberg, “Mitt’s Biggest Flop,” The American Spectator Blog,www.amspec.org, 3/30/07)

 

 

Hogberg:  Romney “Trying To Deflect Blame For The Law’s Problems Onto His Successors.”

“The fact is that then-governor Romney was all too eager to promote and sign Romney Care into law last year despite its shortcomings. He did it because, up to that point, he had no notable achievements as governor – not a record one could use to run for president. Now, he is trying to deflect blame for the law’s problems onto his successors. Personal responsibility, indeed.”

(David Hogberg, “Mitt’s Biggest Flop,” The American Spectator  Blog,www.amspec.org, 3/30/07)

 

 

“[T]he Fact Is That Romney Care Was A Pretty Liberal Health Care Plan Right From The Start.”

(David Hogberg, “Mitt’s Biggest Flop,” The American Spectator Blog,www.amspec.org, 3/30/07)

 

 

“Romney Is Now Avoiding Responsibility For Romney Care.”

(David Hogberg, “Mitt’s Biggest Flop,”  The American Spectator Blog,www.amspec.org, 3/30/07)

 

National Review’s David Frum: Romney Avoiding Talk Of His Own Health Plan Is “Great Disappointment.”

“[B]ecause many conservatives dislike his Massachusetts healthcare plan, he prefers to avoid the subject. Instead we get empty talk about ‘waste, fraud, and abuse.’ It’s a great disappointment.”

(David Frum, “Romney & Spending 2,”www.nationalreview.com, 4/25/07)

 

Romney Aide Claims Law Is Now “Different From The Approach The Governor Submitted.”

“[Romney aide Kevin] Madden stressed the law now ‘is different from the approach the governor submitted’ and is in the hands of‘a state government that he is no longer in charge of.’  So if the plan does work, he can still claim authorship. If not, his distancing might prove a canny move.”

(Sean Higgins, “Ex-Gov. Romney Keeps Distance From His Own Mass. Health Plan,” Investor’s Business Daily, 3/7/07)

 

 

“Romney Told Reporters That He Cannot Be Held Responsible For Decisions That Beacon Hill Lawmakers Make About The Sweeping Plan Now That He Is Out Of Office.”

(Rick Klein, “Romney Distances Self From Mass. Health Plan,”  The Boston Globe, 2/3/07)

 
Despite Romney’s Denials, “[E]ven Bay State Democrats Say He Played A Major Role In The Law’s Creation.”

“Romney’s action on health care was pushed by a coalition of liberal groups who were considering a ballot initiative to expand health coverage if the state did not do anything, but even Bay State Democrats say he played a major role in the law’s creation. Many of the law’s core elements, including the requirement that all people in the state get insurance, were in Romney’s original proposal in 2005.”

(Perry Bacon Jr., “Romney Plays Down Role In Health Law,”  The Washington Post, 4/13/07)

 

 

Romney’s Comments On His Own Health Plan Are A Marked Shift From Early 2006.

“At a September forum in D.C. he urged other states to ‘improve’ on the Massachusetts model. ‘Would I adopt this at a national level? No.  Let’s experiment,’ he said. That’s a shift from early 2006, when Romney touted the law as proof that conservative health care reforms can work. Critics such as Mike Cannon of the Cato Institute say Romney is fleeing from his own program.”

(Sean Higgins, “Ex-Gov. Romney Keeps Distance From His Own Mass. Health Plan,”  Investor’s Business Daily, 3/7/07)

 

 

Plan Encountering Higher Costs And More Bureaucracy Than Romney Promised All Residents Must Purchase Some Form Of Health Insurance By July 1, 2007 Or Face Tax Penalties.

“The Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority also voted to give residents until Jan. 1, 2009, to comply with the stringent new rules. All individuals who do not obtain a waiver must buy some insurance by July 1 or face a tax penalty in 2008. The postponement of the more stringent requirements was designed to allow businesses more time to voluntarily improve their health insurance plans and give insured individuals time to upgrade.”

(Alice Dembner, “State Board OK’s Basic Drug Coverage In Universal Plan,”  The Boston Globe, 3/21/07)

 

 

Deductibles As High As $4,000 Per Family Would Place Undue Burden On Many Massachusetts Residents.

“[O]ne of the strategies used to keep premium prices under control has come under fierce criticism from some advocates for low-income residents: the high deductibles. Harvard Pilgrim’s deductibles are $1,500 for an individual and $3,000 for a family. Two of the other Boston-area plans have deductibles of $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families, and Blue Cross has no deductible. Copayments and coinsurance – in which members pay a percentage of the total bill – add to subscribers’ expenses. The annual maximum payment for most plans is $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a family.”

(Jeffrey Krasner, “State Got Insurers To Trim Health Rates,”  The Boston Globe, 3/30/07)

 

 

Brother Jack Rathschmidt Of The Greater Boston Interfaith Organization:

“For some families the possibility of having to pay $10,000 in premiums, copays, deductibles, and prescriptions is way beyond their means.”

(Jeffrey Krasner, “State Got Insurers To Trim Health Rates,”  The Boston Globe, 3/30/07)

 

Over 200,000 People Who Already Have Insurance May Be Forced To Buy Additional Coverage.

“The threat of state oversight came as insurers warned that more than 200,000 Massachusetts residents who already have health insurance would be forced to buy additional coverage to meet the proposed minimum standards under the law.”

(Steve LeBlanc, “State May Mandate Health Plan Rates,”The Associated Press, 1/31/07)

 

 

Rules Will Require All Insured Adults To Have Prescription Drug Coverage.

“Massachusetts is poised to become the first state to require that all adults have health insurance that includes prescription drug coverage. A state board voted unanimously yesterday to require drug coverage as part of draft rules for the minimum insurance that everyone older than 18 must have, under the state’s universal health insurance law.”

(Alice Dembner,“State Board OK’s Basic Drug Coverage In Universal Plan,” The Boston Globe, 3/21/07)

 

 

“The Board Declined To Support A Last-Minute Plea From Business Leaders And Insurers To Allow Plans Without Drug Coverage And To Extend The Deadline To July 2009.”

(Alice Dembner, “State Board OK’s Basic Drug Coverage In Universal Plan,”  The Boston Globe, 3/21/07)

 

 

Mandatory Drug Coverage May Mean 15% Higher Premium For Average 30-Year-Old In Good Health.

“It turns out that, as feared, the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Board has decided some individuals will be forced to purchase more insurance than they want or need – specifically prescription drug coverage. That means a healthy 30-year-old who may take the occasional Tylenol for a headache will have no choice but to pay about 15 percent more in premiums to guarantee prescription drug coverage. It’s the same old ‘we know what’s good for you’ approach that brought us mandatory coverage for chiropractic services.”

(Editorial, “The Health Care Hurdles,” Boston Herald, 3/22/07)

 

Business Leaders Remain Wary Of Proposed New Laws.

“[B]usiness leaders said they would continue to press for changes. ‘We remain concerned that the proposed standard will in the future eliminate affordable products currently available in today’s marketplace,’  Jon B. Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, and William Vernon of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, said in a statement yesterday.”

(Alice Dembner, “State Board OK’s Basic Drug Coverage In Universal Plan,” The Boston Globe, 3/21/07)

 

Critics Fear High Costs Of Care And Lack Of Affordable Plans Could Cause Repeat Of Failed 1988 Universal Coverage Effort.

“Critics claim that the new law lacks adequate funding and cost controls that would assure long-term success. They fear that Massachusetts’ exorbitant health-care costs and the dearth of affordable health plans ultimately could derail the measure, much the same way that opposition from the business community helped kill a 1988 law that also sought statewide universal health coverage.”

(Tony Pugh, “Experts Debate Plan’s Potential For National Impact,” Knight Ridder, 4/13/06)

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