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Thread: How Romney Pushed State Health Bill

  1. #1
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    How Romney Pushed State Health Bill

    [URL="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303640104577436300587354714.html?mod=WSJ_Election_LEFTSecondStories#articleTabs_interactive"]http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303640104577436300587354714.html?mod=WSJ_Election_LEFTSecondStories#articleTabs_interactive[/URL]

    [QUOTE]

    [B][U]How Romney Pushed State Health Bill [/U][/B]

    [I][B][SIZE="2"]Emails Show Governor Defending Insurance Mandate for Massachusetts Residents[/SIZE][/B][/I]

    When Mitt Romney left office as Massachusetts governor, his aides removed all emails from a server computer in the governor's office, and purchased and carted off hard drives from 17 state-owned personal computers, according to a current state official.

    But a small cache of emails survived, including some that have never publicly surfaced surrounding Mr. Romney's efforts to pass his now-controversial health-care law. The emails show the Republican governor was closely engaged in negotiating details of the bill, working with top Democratic state leaders and drafting early copies of opinion articles backing it.

    Mr. Romney and his aides, meanwhile, strongly defended the so-called individual mandate, a requirement that everyone in Massachusetts have or buy heath insurance. And they privately discussed ideas that might be anathema to today's GOP—including publicly shaming companies that didn't provide enough health insurance to employees.

    Mr. Romney signed the bill April 12, 2006, and that night sent an email thanking a top aide, saying the law would help "hundreds of thousands of people…have healthier and happier lives."

    Through a public-records request, The Wall Street Journal obtained what is believed to be the most complete set of the internal emails to date, including attachments to some of the messages.

    Mr. Romney once trumpeted the overhaul as his signature achievement as governor, but he has since played it down amid GOP attacks on the 2010 federal health-care bill signed by President Barack Obama, which bears similarities to the Massachusetts plan. Both contain individual mandates that require residents to buy health insurance.

    [B]Mr. Romney today defends the Massachusetts plan as a state initiative, while attacking what he calls "ObamaCare" as an unjustified federal takeover of the health-care system. Many Republicans oppose the individual mandate as unconstitutional, and the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this month on that issue.[/B]

    A spokeswoman for the Romney campaign declined to comment on the emails.

    In Massachusetts, Mr. Romney didn't include an individual mandate in his original proposal, but soon adopted the idea. [B]The emails show his aides later came to champion it, even amid uncertainty from some Democrats. At the time, the mandate was a favored policy of the right, with the left instead pushing for government-run insurance programs.
    [/B]
    "[B]We must have an individual mandate for any plan to work," Tim Murphy, Mr. Romney's health secretary, wrote the governor and several aides on Feb. 16, 2006, in an email analyzing the latest confidential Democratic proposal, which he wrote was "unclear" about that requirement.

    [U]That Democratic proposal, obtained by the Journal, didn't include such a mandate,[/U] and instead focused on "individual responsibility," aiming to "encourage individuals to buy health insurance, not go uninsured."

    According to the emails, [U]Mr. Romney personally drafted an op-ed article published in The Wall Street Journal the day before he signed the legislation. The draft, written on a Saturday, also defended the individual mandate[/U], in different language from the final version of the piece as published.
    [/B]
    Using an argument deployed today by the Obama administration, Mr. Romney defended the mandate by noting that taxpayers generally foot the bill when the uninsured seek health care.

    "Either the individual pays or the taxpayers pay. A free ride on government is not libertarian," the published op-ed stated. In a line that didn't make the edited version, Mr. Romney added: [B][U]"An uninsured libertarian might counter that he could refuse the free care, but under law, that is impossible—and inhumane."
    [/U][/B]
    Mr. Romney has defended the deletion of his administration's email, saying last November: "There has never been an administration that has provided to the opposition research team, or to the public, electronic communications."

    Massachusetts officials initially thought all the emails were gone, a current official said, but emails of one cabinet member, then-Administration and Finance Secretary Thomas Trimarco, had been accidentally retained. The Journal requested copies of emails between Mr. Trimarco and top Romney officials.

    In one message, sent from a private email account on a Sunday morning, Mr. Romney reported to aides his negotiations with then-State Senate President Robert Travaglini. "Spoke with Trav this AM," Mr. Romney wrote. "He isn't ready to sign on to the deal as yet but I am confident a deal can be struck…"

    "Important: we are NOT to tell anyone where he is on these," Mr. Romney added, because "he will have to make his own trades down the road perhaps." Mr. Travaglini didn't return messages seeking comment.

    All along, Mr. Romney opposed Democratic proposals to impose fees on businesses that didn't offer health insurance. The idea to publicly name companies apparently came as aides were trying to find other ways to motivate employers to give insurance.

    "I know the dems hate this, but we can also [throw] back in the Gov's original notion of having some sort of 'public disclosure' of employers who promote a culture of uninsurance," wrote Cindy Gillespie, a top Romney adviser, to other officials Feb. 13, 2006.

    Ms. Gillespie suggested asking companies to provide quarterly reports on their number of uninsured workers and publishing the list as an ad in the Boston Globe. "The Globe would love it and it would keep the issue of the uninsured front and center," she wrote.

    Ms. Gillespie, now at a law firm in Washington, said, "it sounds like I had been up all night, making up silly ideas" to make the plan more palatable to Democrats. She said Gov. Romney never authorized proposing the idea to legislators.

    Business groups generally opposed similar proposals in other states. In Congress, Democrats and unions have favored public disclosure to prod companies with a high proportion of uninsured employees.

    —Rob Barry contributed to this article.
    Write to Mark Maremont at [email]mark.maremont@wsj.com[/email]

    [/QUOTE]

  2. #2
    I see the word "LEFT" in giant letters... Literally....

  3. #3
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    Hey Buster, you need to start posting from Tarnby, Denmark, and putting these squigglies in your thread titles => [B]~ ~ ~[/B]

  4. #4
    Just a thought on the People's Republic of Massachusetts:

    What did the PEOPLE in that state think? It is an overwehelmingly socialist state inhabited by overwhelmingly socialist people. I believe a STATE health care plan was supported by the majority. That's fine if they want it. Same as same sex marriage if they want it.
    Many states DO NOT feel the same. States rights.

  5. #5
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    lame strategy: don't elect me for me, elect because my opponent is evil/hypocrite/whatever.

    4 years of Obbuttockian failure! :banana:

  6. #6
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    People still don't understand the difference between a state law and a federal mandate. Unbelievable.

  7. #7
    [QUOTE=Bonhomme Richard;4486323]People still don't understand the difference between a state law and a federal mandate. Unbelievable.[/QUOTE]

    It's hard to blame them. Our public education system doesn't exactly do a good job educating our children on what Federalism vs. Compact Theory/Republicanism, or the differences between State and Federal governance, rights and what (exactly) establishes those rights.

    In any event, like most things, it's a talking point. In one thread we have a liberal calling Romeny the most dangerous far-right-wing idealogue ever, and in another we have a liberal trying to convince (R) voters that Romneycare and Obamacare are 100% the same down the line.

    Too many "my-team" talking point right now, not enough critical objective thinking IMO. Like Chiefs saying Romney will overturn Obamacare without explaining how thats going to happen with a (D) Senate that would never ever pass it.

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=Warfish;4486336]Like Chiefs saying Romney will overturn Obamacare without explaining how thats going to happen with a (D) Senate that would never ever pass it.[/QUOTE]

    It's not a lock they maintain the Senate for one...

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=Warfish;4486336]
    Too many "my-team" talking point right now, not enough critical objective thinking IMO. Like Chiefs saying Romney will overturn Obamacare without explaining how thats going to happen with a (D) Senate that would never ever pass it.[/QUOTE]

    Perhaps all Romney will have to do to bypass congress is grossly overstep his executive powers and flip the bird to our 3-branch system of checks and balances by creating a new, unelected "czar" position, appointing an ideological crony, giving him unprecedented (and unwarranted) power, and ramming his agenda through that way. It's working wonderfully for Obama.

  10. #10
    [QUOTE=AlwaysGreenAlwaysWhite;4486341]It's not a lock they maintain the Senate for one...[/QUOTE]

    Nor is it anything close to a lock that the (R) wins it, or even keeps the current majority size in the House tbqh.

    [QUOTE=shakin318;4486352]Perhaps all Romney will have to do to bypass congress is grossly overstep his executive powers and flip the bird to our 3-branch system of checks and balances by creating a new, unelected "czar" position, appointing an ideological crony, giving him unprecedented (and unwarranted) power, and ramming his agenda through that way. It's working wonderfully for Obama.[/QUOTE]

    Aye, whats truly scary is how many (R) "Conservatives" wouldn't bat an eyelash if Romney did just that.

    Party > Principle

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=Warfish;4486354]
    Aye, whats truly scary is how many (R) "Conservatives" wouldn't bat an eyelash if Romney did just that.

    Party > Principle[/QUOTE]

    I believe there would be far fewer "the ends justifies the means" voices among conservatives than among liberals on this topic, simply because strict constitutionalism is a tenet of solid conservatism -- and this tactic is an absolute raping of the constitution.

  12. #12
    [QUOTE=shakin318;4486366]I believe there would be far fewer "the ends justifies the means" voices among conservatives than among liberals on this topic, simply because strict constitutionalism is a tenet of solid conservatism -- and this tactic is an absolute raping of the constitution.[/QUOTE]

    Strict Constatutionalism......as interprited by the usual folks, in their interests.

    Sorry Shak, I see far too many things the (R) embraces that are not close to strict constitutionalist to trust them now.

    The Libs are right about one thing, (R) is not fiscally conservative. They spend like drunken sailors right up till they lose power....then and only then do they, as a whole, start complaining about costs and deficits and spending.

  13. #13
    [QUOTE=shakin318;4486366]I believe there would be far fewer "the ends justifies the means" voices among conservatives than among liberals on this topic, simply because strict constitutionalism is a tenet of solid conservatism -- and this tactic is an absolute raping of the constitution.[/QUOTE]

    Funny post.

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=Warfish;4486371]Strict Constatutionalism......as interprited by the usual folks, in their interests.

    Sorry Shak, I see far too many things the (R) embraces that are not close to strict constitutionalist to trust them now.

    The Libs are right about one thing, (R) is not fiscally conservative. They spend like drunken sailors right up till they lose power....then and only then do they, as a whole, start complaining about costs and deficits and spending.[/QUOTE]

    Why not Gary Johnson, Fish?

  15. #15
    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;4486450]Why not Gary Johnson, Fish?[/QUOTE]

    Ask the population at large, not me.

    The general reply is "Wasted Vote".

    :dunno:

    Who you voting for PK? Honestly?

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=Warfish;4486354]Nor is it anything close to a lock that the (R) wins it, or even keeps the current majority size in the House tbqh.

    [/QUOTE]

    No argument here...

    [QUOTE=shakin318;4486366]I believe there would be far fewer "the ends justifies the means" voices among conservatives than among liberals on this topic, simply because strict constitutionalism is a tenet of solid conservatism -- and this tactic is an absolute raping of the constitution.[/QUOTE]

    I wouldn't say a word... I hope he does it...

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=Warfish;4486371]Strict Constatutionalism......as interprited by the usual folks, in their interests.

    Sorry Shak, I see far too many things the (R) embraces that are not close to strict constitutionalist to trust them now.

    The Libs are right about one thing, (R) is not fiscally conservative. They spend like drunken sailors right up till they lose power....then and only then do they, as a whole, start complaining about costs and deficits and spending.[/QUOTE]

    I didn't say (R), I said conservatives. Big difference. I'll hold my nose and vote for Romney, because anything would be a vast improvement over Obama. Hell, I'd welcome Bill Clinton back into office over the present trainwreck.

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=Warfish;4486458]Ask the population at large, not me.

    The general reply is "Wasted Vote".

    :dunno:

    Who you voting for PK? Honestly?[/QUOTE]

    Not sure at this point honestly.

    If Johnson gained more traction, I'd vote for him. Until then, it's your aforementioned "wasted vote", I suppose.

    I genuinely feel that the country may need another 4 years of Obama for either a stronger Republican to emerge or for a viable 3rd party candidate to show themselves. All partisanship aside, I really think that the GOP is making a terrible mistake by nominating Romney. It's really hard to imagine that after 4 years of Obama, the Tea Party, the "coup" in the mid-terms, etc. that Mitt is the best candidate. I could see a weak Romney presidency as making for a stronger (D) candidate in 2016.

    Or...perhaps that's what will finally make a 3rd party gain traction.

    But. Why knows? I'm just a fool on a message board.

  19. #19
    [QUOTE=Warfish;4486336]It's hard to blame them. Our public education system doesn't exactly do a good job educating our children on what Federalism vs. Compact Theory/Republicanism, or the differences between State and Federal governance, rights and what (exactly) establishes those rights.

    In any event, like most things, it's a talking point. In one thread we have a liberal calling Romeny the most dangerous far-right-wing idealogue ever, and in another we have a liberal trying to convince (R) voters that Romneycare and Obamacare are 100% the same down the line.

    Too many "my-team" talking point right now, not enough critical objective thinking IMO. Like Chiefs saying Romney will overturn Obamacare without explaining how thats going to happen with a (D) Senate that would never ever pass it.[/QUOTE]

    Even a D led Senate (I think it goes R) will be neutered by a GOP presidential victory. They would not have the clout or the mandate to obstruct. Regardless the President can defund the program and exempt all States from mandatory participation via Presidential fiat. I didn't realize you needed an explanation on it. It is fairly straight forward.

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;4486478]Not sure at this point honestly.

    If Johnson gained more traction, I'd vote for him. Until then, it's your aforementioned "wasted vote", I suppose.

    I genuinely feel that the country may need another 4 years of Obama for either a stronger Republican to emerge or for a viable 3rd party candidate to show themselves. All partisanship aside, I really think that the GOP is making a terrible mistake by nominating Romney. It's really hard to imagine that after 4 years of Obama, the Tea Party, the "coup" in the mid-terms, etc. that Mitt is the best candidate. I could see a weak Romney presidency as making for a stronger (D) candidate in 2016.

    Or...perhaps that's what will finally make a 3rd party gain traction.

    But. Why knows? I'm just a fool on a message board.[/QUOTE]

    At the rate the government is growing, and with all the pot-shots taken at the constitution, I can't say with 100% conviction that we will be able to vote in 2016. Or at least it won't matter as the electoral college will have overwhelming say. :eek: :D

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