McCain’s Opposition Research – Part 28 More Health Care


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 at the top of page 106 and ends near the bottom of 110.

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

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Plan Will Cost Millions More Than Anticipated While Exempting 20% Of Uninsured From Coverage Mandate On One Year Anniversary Of Romney’s Plan Becoming Law, State Administrative Board Announced Nearly 20% Of Uninsured Adults Would Be Exempted From Coverage Mandate.

“To remove the threat of a public backlash, the state plans to exempt nearly 20 percent of uninsured adults from the state’s new requirement that everyone have health insurance. The proposal, expected to be approved by a state board today, is based on calculations that even the lowest-cost insurance would not be affordable for an estimated 60,000 people with low and moderate incomes who do not qualify for state subsidies. Forcing them to buy insurance or pay a penalty could jeopardize the rest of the state’s initiative, officials said. Instead, the state board appears prepared to settle for near universal coverage, all but 1 percent of the state’s population.”

(Alice Dembner, “Health Plan May Exempt 20% Of The Uninsured,” The Boston Globe, 4/12/07)

“The Decision Has Been Widely Seen As One That Could Make Or Break The Success Of The Initiative.”

(Alice Dembner, “Health Plan May Exempt 20% Of The Uninsured,” The Boston Globe, 4/12/07)

Board’s Plan Also Included Expanded Subsidies For Over 50,000 Low-Income Residents And Would Extend More Free Coverage – Costing State An Extra $13 Million Over Next Fiscal Year.

“In addition to the exemptions, the proposal from the Connector Authority staff would expand subsidies for 52,000 of the lowest-income individuals and families who qualify for a state-sponsored insurance program called Commonwealth Care.Specifically, it would extend free coverage to individuals earning up to about $15,000 a year and families of four earning up to $31,000. … The increased subsidies would cost the state about $13 million more than the $470million estimated for the fiscal year that starts July 1.”

(Alice Dembner, “Health Plan May Exempt 20% Of The Uninsured,” The Boston Globe, 4/12/07)

 

MIT Economist Jonathan Gruber Backed Proposal, But Cautioned “We Can’t Solve All Our Problems By Spending More.”

“Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economist on the [Connector] board, also said he would support the proposal although he believes that ‘people can afford health insurance at higher levels than the compromise.’ ‘My primary concern is fiscal,’ he said. ‘… We can’t solve all our problems by spending more.’”

(Alice Dembner, “Health Plan May Exempt 20% Of The Uninsured,”  The Boston Globe, 4/12/07)

Pacific Research Institute’s Sally Pipes: Plan Falls 20% Short Of Goal With Costs To “Skyrocket.”

“[O]ne year in, we have a plan that, even if no more concessions to liberal advocates are made, falls 20 percent short of its stated goal. Its costs have already increased by at least $13 million and are on track to skyrocket by some multiple of this once the doctors’  bills start coming in. Happy Birthday.”

(Sally C. Pipes, Op-Ed, “At One Year, Mass.Healthcare Plan Falls Short,” The Boston Globe, 5/15/07)

 

Pipes Called Plan “A Gourmet Recipe For Runaway Spending.”

“The structure is a gourmet recipe for runaway spending. With this level of premium, those who don’t value insurance enough to make financial sacrifice to purchase it will neglect to do so. The fine – set at $216 – will be more attractive than the premium. Politicians will be under strong pressure to not enforce the mandate once the fines increase to meaningful levels.”

(Sally C. Pipes, Op-Ed, “At One Year, Mass. Healthcare Plan Falls Short,”  The Boston Globe, 5/15/07)

 

Romney Health Plan Expanded Access To Abortion, Required Planned Parenthood Representative On State Panel October 2006: Romney Took Credit For “Officially” Launching Commonwealth Care, Calling It “Key Component” Of Romney Care.

“The following information was released by the Massachusetts Office of theGovernor:  Governor Mitt Romney today officially launched Commonwealth Care, an innovative health insurance product that will allow thousands of uninsured Massachusetts residents to purchase private health insurance products at affordable rates. Commonwealth Care is a key component of the state’s landmark healthcare reform law approved by the Governor in April. ‘We are now on the road to getting everyone health insurance inMassachusetts,’ said Governor Romney. … ‘Today, we celebrate a great beginning.’”

(“Romney Unveils First New Healthcare Reform Product,” States News Service, 10/2/06)

“On Oct. 2, Romney Traveled To Dorchester To Announce The First Enrollee In The CommonwealthCare, Part Of The State’s New Universal Health Plan.”

(Glen Johnson, “Romney Skips Marine’s Funeral To CampaignOut Of State,” The Associated Press, 10/13/06)

Romney:  “Earlier this year, I offered a plan called Commonwealth Care that opens the market to much lower-cost insurance than is now available.”

(Mitt Romney, Op-Ed, “Health-Care Reform Gets A Fair Shake,” Boston Herald, 6/21/05)

Commonwealth Care, Which Is “Funded By The State,” Provides Access To Abortion Services.

“Commonwealth Care is run by the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority and funded by the state. … Commonwealth Care health plans include: outpatient medical care (doctor’s visits, surgery, radiology and lab, abortion, community health center visits) …”

(MassResources Website,www.massresources.org, Accessed 2/5/07)

Romney’s Health Care Plan Also Requires That One Member Of MassHealth Payment Policy Board Must Be Appointed By Planned Parenthood Of Massachusetts.

From Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006: “SECTION 3.   Chapter 6A of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 16I the following 6 sections: . . .Section 16M. (a) There shall be a MassHealth payment policy advisory board. The board shall consist of the secretary of health and human services or his designee, who shall serve as chair, the commissioner of healthcare financing and policy, and 12 other members: … 1 member appointed by Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts …”

(Massachusetts General Court Website,www.mass.gov, Accessed 2/5/07)

Romney Failed To Veto Section Of Law Requiring Planned Parenthood Representation.

Romney vetoed Sections 5, 27, 29, 47, 112, 113, 134 and 137. Romney did not veto Section 3, which contained the mandated Planned Parenthood representative on the MassHealth payment policy advisory board.

(Massachusetts General Court Website,www.mass.gov, Accessed 2/5/07)

 National Center For Public Policy Research’s David Hogberg: Planned Parenthood Issue “Yields A Sense Of How Much Romney Gave Away To The Liberals” On Health Care Plan.

“The reform creates 11 new councils, boards, commissions and bureaus. One of the new boards, the MassHealth Payment Policy Advisory Board, yields a sense of how much Romney gave away to the liberals in the state legislature. It must include a member appointed by the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.”

(David Hogberg, “Romney’s Responsibility Principles,” The American Spectator, 4/14/06)

Planned Parenthood Mandate Called “Controversial Provision … That Will Not Help Romney With The GOP Base’s Abortion Opponents.”

“Another controversial provision in the Massachusetts plan creates a board on health-care financing that must include one member of the state’s Planned Parenthood office, something that will not help Romney with the GOP base’s abortion opponents.”

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

Free Market Advocates And Health Care Experts Criticize Romney’s Plan

Conservatives Have Criticized Romney’s Health Reform As Big Government Plan To Force Insurance Mandate On All Citizens With Threat Of Tax Penalties As Punishment.

“During the past 12 months, Romney has moved from governor to Republican presidential contender, and some conservatives have criticized the plan as fostering big government. The program, which Romney signed into law a year ago Thursday, includes a requirement that everyone in Massachusetts get some form of health insurance by July 1. If they don’t, they face a series of increasing tax penalties. That mandate amounts to an ‘unprecedented expansion of government power,’ says Michael Tanner, a health policy expert at the Cato Institute, a libertarian Washington think-tank.”

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

“Even Coverage For Those Already With Insurance Must Meet State-Prescribed Minimums.  The Insurance Mandate, The Former Governor Says, Is A Means Of Ensuring ‘Personal Responsibility’…”

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

Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner: “Slippery Slope To Government Control Of Health Care.”

“In my paper on then-Governor Romney’s plan, I warned that the state’s new managed competition bureaucracy, the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, would operate as a regulatory body, setting up just such a slippery slope to government control of health care. The more we see from Massachusetts, the more it looks like I was right.”

(Michael D. Tanner, “Romneycare: The Slippery Slope Slips Some More,” Cato Institute Blog,www.cato-at-liberty.org, 3/21/07)

Tanner: “In Essence, You Have Romney Embracing ‘Hillarycare.’”

“There is a likening of this central concept of his — the Connector — to managed competition, which was at the heart of the 1993 Clinton healthcare proposal … In essence, you have Romney embracing ‘Hillarycare,’ and that doesn’t play well on the right.”

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

Tanner: “This Mandate Is Unprecedented.”

“‘This mandate is unprecedented,’ said Michael Tanner, a health expert at the Cato Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington. ‘It’s the first time a state has said simply because you live there you must buy a specific product. If he wants to be the Republican who embraces Hillary-care, I don’t think that’s going to go hand in hand with him trying to portray himself as Ronald Reagan’s heir.’”

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

Pacific Research Institute’s Sally Pipes: “RomneyCare Is In The Intensive Care Unit, Soon To Be Wheeled Into Hospice.”

“When then-Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, introduced a universal health-insurance plan in the Bay State early last year, it was widely acclaimed. But less than a year after passage, RomneyCare is in the intensive care unit, soon to be wheeled into hospice.”

(Sally Pipes, Op-Ed, “Intensive Care For RomneyCare,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/26/07)

Pipes Criticized Plan’s Reliance On Regulators “Dictating Health-Insurance Design” By Creating Minimum Insurance Standards.

“Regulators are however settling in comfortably to their jobs, dictating health-insurance design by creating the standards for Minimum Creditable Coverage (MCC) that individuals must meet to avoid paying the fine. If these standards are implemented, they would render illegal roughly200,000 high-deductible policies currently in force – exactly the sort of insurance that makes sense for the self-employed and young individuals.”

(Sally Pipes, Op-Ed, “Intensive Care For RomneyCare,” The Wall Street Journal,2/26/07)

Cato Institute’s Mike Cannon: Wheels Are Coming Off RomneyCare.

“It looks like the wheels are coming off… it is costing more to the individual consumer and the taxpayer than they said it would. His story now is that is not how we envisioned it.”

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

National Center for Public Policy Research’s David Hogberg: Romney Had “Little Excuse” For Not Realizing His Plan Would Cost More Than Advertised.

“In April 2006, Romney claimed that his plan would‘need no new taxes.’ By November, as he was leaving office, it was clear that the plan would cost $150 million more in 2007 than Romney had initially claimed. Government programs almost always cost more than advertised,and Romney had little excuse for not realizing this.”

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

Harvard Professor Regina Herzlinger: Plan Will Hurt Small Businesses And Compel Outsourcing.

“One health specialist speaking to the Wall Street Journal predicted that the plan would require a subsidy of about $700 million – about four times what the plan provides. We asked Regina Herzlinger, a professor at the Harvard Business School and a fellow at the Manhattan Institute what she thinks of the plan. … She predicts it will hurt businesses, especially small ones; it will force employers to favor capital improvements over labor, and compel outsourcing of jobs overseas.”

(Editorial, “Big Health In Massachusetts,” The Washington Times, 4/6/06)

Boston University School Of Public Health’s Dr. Alan Sager: “We Will Look Back At This New Legislation As A Well-Motivated But Naive, Underfunded Political Approach.”

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

Galen Institute President Grace-Marie Turner: “Massachusetts May Not Have A Miracle, But Rather A Muddle, On Its Hands.”

“[I]f Massachusetts is the model, others may want to go back to the drawing board. The details show Massachusetts may not have a miracle, but rather a muddle, on its hands.”

(Grace-Marie Turner, Op-Ed,“Universal Health Care: Proceed with Caution,” National Review Online, 1/31/07)

“Plethora Of Mandates” And Numerous Boards And Commissions:

“A plethora of other mandates,reporting requirements, penalties, and enforcement provisions affect both individuals and businesses. …Massachusetts has created at least ten new boards and commissions to run the new health system, such as the Health Care Quality and Cost Council, the Payment Policy Advisory Board, and the Health Access Bureau.”

(Grace-Marie Turner, Op-Ed, “Universal Health Care: Proceed with Caution,” National Review Online, 1/31/07)

Many Conservatives Feel Elements Of Romney-Care Are “Anathema To Their Principles.”

“Romney’s recent comments underscore how sensitive an issue the plan is with conservative audiences, whose support is crucial to his presidential aspirations. Many conservatives view the concept of requiring individuals to purchase health insurance – and penalizing some businesses that don’t offer it – as anathema to their principles.”

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

The Heritage Foundation – One Of The Few Conservative Groups Praising Romney’s Plan – Received$25,000 Donation From Romney Months Before The Bill Became Law Heritage Foundation Is One Of Few Conservative Groups Praising Romney’s Health Insurance Plan.

“‘The Connecter is a new market arrangement_ a health insurance exchange — in which individuals and families can choose and own portable health insurance without the loss of the current generous federal tax benefits,’  Robert E.Moffit, the director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Health Policy Studies, wrote in a recent policy memo.”

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

“Romney Made A Personal Contribution Of $25,000 To The Think-Tank In December 2005, Although A Heritage Spokesman Said It Had No Influence Over The Group’s Opinions.”

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

Conservative Media Criticize Romney’s Plan As Unfunded Big-Government “Misfire” Wall Street Journal

Blasted Romney’s Big-Government Plan As “Mitt’s Market Misfire.”

“MassachusettsGovernor Mitt Romney signed a bill recently that’s being praised as a model for how to achieve ‘universal’ healthcare. But while the governor claims his plan is market based, it does little to reform the regulations that havemade coverage in his state among the most expensive in the country.”

(Editorial, “Mitt’s Market Misfire,” Wall Street Journal,4/24/06)

“Guaranteed Issue” Provision – Which Drives Up Premium Costs For All – Left Unaddressed.

“The new Massachusetts health care legislation does little to address the root causes of this [health insurance] cost problem.  Guaranteed issue is explicitly preserved. And while a new insurance regulation board could in theory do something about other costly mandates, it’s not likely to do much in practice.”

(Editorial, “Mitt’s Market Misfire,” Wall Street Journal, 4/24/06)

Requires Providers To Cover Applicants Regardless Of Pre-Existing Condition:

“Guaranteed issue is the name of a regulation that requires insurance companies to sell policies to all comers, even those who wait until they’re sick to seek coverage. Naturally the requirement to accept those free riders makes insurance much more expensive for everyone else.”

(Editorial, “Mitt’s Market Misfire,” Wall Street Journal, 4/24/06)

Plan Forces People To Buy “Needlessly Expensive Coverage.”

“We note all this because there’s a farsimpler way to begin tackling the problem of the uninsured than the Massachusetts path. To wit: Let themarket start operating as it should. … States like New York and New Jersey, meanwhile, might try getting theregulators out of the way before following the Bay State in forcing people to buy needlessly expensivecoverage.”

(Editorial, “Mitt’s Market Misfire,” Wall Street Journal, 4/24/06

Insurance Costs Remain Well Above National Average:

“The $200 per month target price GovernorRomney is talking about for the state’s new mandatory insurance is higher than 80% of the individual policieseHealthinsurance reported in a study of 80,000 customers nationwide late last year.”

(Editorial, “Mitt’s Market Misfire,” Wall Street Journal, 4/24/06)

Journal  Also Noted Romney’s Plan Forces People “To Buy Insurance Many Will Need Subsidies ToAfford.”

“[T]he core flaw is that the plan forces individuals to buy health insurance, and penalizes businesses that don’t provide it, before deregulating the market for private health insurance. So the state is forcing people to buy insurance many will need subsidies to afford, which is a recipe for higher taxes and more government intervention down the road. Could this be why Mrs. Clinton, Ted Kennedy and the Families USA government medicine lobby are all praising it to the skies?”

(Editorial, “RomneyCare,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/12/06)

“By Making A Fetish Of ‘Universal’ Coverage, Governor Romney Has Bought Into A Bidding War That Democrats And Advocates Of Socialized Medicine Are Bound To Win In The End.”

(Editorial, “RomneyCare,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/12/06)

Washington Times Called Romney Plan “Frankenstein’s Monster Of Tax Penalties, Expanded Government-Insurance Programs And Unfunded Mandates.”

“Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had a dream of universal consumer-driven health care. Then he met Beacon Hill and its Democratic legislators. Their plan, introduced this week, is a Frankenstein’s monster of tax penalties, expanded government-insurance programs and unfunded mandates. A presidential aspirant, which Mr. Romney certainly is, will decide what is the best hecan do for his state. The rest of us, however, should not take this plan for a model.”

(Editorial, “Big Health In Massachusetts,”  The Washington Times, 4/6/06)

Expands Existing Government Programs:

“The fault of this bill is that it really isn’t ‘consumer-driven’ at all.The resource-wasting reliance on third-party payers and employers remains intact as existing government-insurance programs are expanded. So are insurance subsidies.”

(Editorial, “Big Health In Massachusetts,” The Washington Times, 4/6/06)

“[I]ts Unfunded Mandate Is Large Enough To Make Michael Dukakis Blush.”

(Editorial, “Big Health In Massachusetts,”  The Washington Times, 4/6/06)

“Clearly This Is No Model For The Rest Of The Country…”

(Editorial, “Big Health In Massachusetts,” The Washington Times, 4/6/06)

Romney’s Health Reforms Praised By Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton And John Kerry Ted Kennedy Attended Signing Of Romney Health Care Plan, Said It’s “Just What The Doctor Ordered.”

“Gov. Mitt Romney signed legislation Wednesday that would make Massachusetts the first state to require everyone to have health insurance, just as drivers must have automobile coverage. … Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., who attended the signing ceremony in Boston’s historic Fanueil Hall, praised Romney for giving the state ‘just what the doctor ordered.’  ‘With the signing of this landmark health reform bill, after so many years of false starts, our actions have finally matched our words and we have lived up to our ideals,’ Kennedy said.”

(Steve LeBlanc, “Mass. Governor OKs Landmark Health Bill,” The Associated Press, 4/12/06)

“[Hillary] Clinton Praised Romney’s Efforts Yesterday, Telling The Associated Press, ‘To Come Up With A Bipartisan Plan In This Polarized Environment Is Commendable.’”

(Scott Helman, “On National Stage, Potential Gains And Pitfalls For Romney,” The Boston Globe, 4/6/06)

John Kerry, On Romney’s Plan: “I Think It’s Terrific.”

“I liked this health care bill that passed. I think it’sterrific. … We really need to be doing that on the national level.”

(MSNBC’s “Imus In The Morning,” 4/6/06)

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