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Thursday, November 15, 2007
posted by Justin Hart | 9:27 AM | permalink
Today, the Thompson campaign comes out swinging. In an email from Comms director Todd Harris, Fred's campaign knocks Romney for his Healthcare plan citing a fine for non-enrollment and the low cost abortion option.

(Note, I believe this is the first official Fred offensive.)

The Romney Camp, prepared for just such an occasion, lets loose an arsenal of serious rebuttals to the charges:

The Thompson campaign tries to link Romney with the $295 charge for non-insurance. Romney vetoed the item but the Democratic legislature put it back in:
"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. The Democratic legislature added many of its own ideas to the final law, including a $295 fee per employee for businesses who do not offer health insurance to their workers. Romney vetoed that provision but was overridden by the legislature." (Perry Bacon Jr., "Romney Plays Down Role In Health Law," The Washington Post, 4/13/07)

"My Democratic counterparts have added an annual $295 per-person fee charged to employers that do not contribute toward insurance premiums for any of their employees. The fee is unnecessary and probably counterproductive, and so I will take corrective action." (Governor Mitt Romney, Op-Ed, "Health Care For Everyone?" The Wall Street Journal, 4/11/06)

The other big charge, that Romney happily included a low-cost abortion option in the plan. False. The law of Massachusetts REQUIRES that medical care fund abortions. If you want to blame someone, blame the Supreme Court of Mass.:
According To The Decision, When A State Subsidizes Medical Care, It Cannot Infringe On "The Exercise Of A Fundamental Right" Which The Court Interpreted As Access To Medically Necessary Abortion Services. (Moe v. Secretary of Admin & Finance, 1981)

In 1997, The Supreme Judicial Court Reaffirmed Its Position That A State-Subsidized Plan Must Offer "Medically Necessary Abortions." (Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, Inc. v. Attorney General, 1997)

Next onto the plan itself. First, goals are being met across the board:
"The law appears to be working. As of Nov. 1, the date for the most recent statistics, more than 200,000 formerly uninsured people had gotten insurance, roughly half of the state's target." (Glen Johnson, "Rivals Chide Romney On Health Care Plan," The Associated Press, 11/15/07)

Second, the costs are both affordable and consistent with the plan:
"The average uninsured Massachusetts residents could obtain health care coverage for as little as $175 a month under the state's insurance law, Gov. Deval Patrick announced Saturday as he released the results of negotiations with the state's health insurers." (Steve LeBlanc, "Patrick: Residents Can Get Health Insurance For $175 A Month," The Associated Press, 3/3/07)

Note also, that numerous conservatives have praised the plan giving Romney credit for tackling the issue when no one else would:
The Heritage Foundation: "In reality, those who want to create a consumer-based health system and deregulate health insurance should view Romney's plan as one of the most promising strategies out there." (Edmund F. Haislmaier, "Mitt's Fit," The Heritage Foundation,, 1/28/07)

"Given these limitations, Governor Romney deserves credit for proposing (and to a lesser extent, enacting) a plan that encourages individually-owned health insurance and circumvents some of the inequities carved into the federal tax code." (The Club For Growth, "Mitt Romney's Record On Economic Issues," Press Release, 8/21/07)

"Romney's plan also got a thumbs up from an unlikely source yesterday – Barbara Anderson, head of Citizens for Limited Taxation, a group that often looks with deep suspicion on government mandates and programs. … The tax activist said that Romney is proposing universal insurance, not universal health care – which Anderson said society effectively already has, as almost no one is denied care even if they can't pay for it. 'Let's just face that reality and deal with it,' Anderson said, adding that covering more people will reduce costs to taxpayers." (Jay Fitzgerald, "Romney Wins Health-Y Reviews," Boston Herald, 6/23/05)

"Health Care: Massachusetts lawmakers have passed a universal-coverage bill. Republican Gov. Mitt Romney plans to sign it. Has Romney flipped? Not at all. He has won a victory for market-based reform." (Editorial, "Blue-State Surprise," Investor's Business Daily, 4/6/06)

One charge out there is that the plan brought more taxes. False.
"The big question we faced, however, was where the money for the subsidy would come from. We didn't want higher taxes; but we did have about $1 billion already in the system through a long-established uninsured-care fund that partially reimburses hospitals for free care. The fund is raised through an annual assessment on insurance providers and hospitals, plus contributions from the state and federal governments." (Governor Mitt Romney, Op-Ed, "Health Care For Everyone?" The Wall Street Journal, 4/11/06)

"The subsidies require no new tax monies. Federal and state funds currently subsidizing hospitals for treating the uninsured will simply be redirected into buying coverage for the low-income uninsured." (Edmund F. Haislmaier, "Massachusetts Health Reform: What The Doctor Ordered," The Heritage Foundation,, 5/6/06)


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Thanks so much for showing this for what it is.

The link above goes to Tennesseans for Thompson who are just chomping at the bit on this one.

Thanks so much for your timely post Justin. I'll make sure and link to it at Elect Romney, and give you a HT.

Thanks again,

Ann Marie

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