From Mitt Romney (after telling ABC about the greatness of his Massachusetts healthcare law):
“I will repeal Obamacare and replace it with real health care reform,” Romney said at the rally. “You see, Obamacare is really Exhibit No. 1 of the president’s political philosophy, and that is that government knows better than people how to run your lives. It is a view that government should stand between you and your doctor. I don’t believe in a bigger and bigger government…I believe in freedom.”
Let’s take this apart, shall we?
#1: Romney believes Obamacare is a representation of Obama’s political philosophy. A philosophy which essentially takes control of American lives, because we’re apparently too stupid or something to be able to do that ourselves. Okay, but this presumes that Obamacare is actually a public takeover of individual lives. The only part of the law supporting that notion is the mandate, but since the rationale behind the mandate is to keep healthcare costs low (attached as it is to all the other saving measures in the bill itself), it’s hard to argue that Obamacare is all about “taking away your individual freedom to choose.” This is partly because to argue that would mean you would have to argue against a whole host of laws we all actually agree with: child labor laws, rules of the road, etc. etc. etc. Lots of choices taken away there, but are there all that many people around arguing to repeal child labor laws? Some, but not many. Odd, no?
Recall that Obamacare includes efforts to increase competition between insurance companies by getting rid of some state-line rules and creating an insurance marketplace where you can choose the plan best suited for you. There’s a hell of a lot of choice in Obamacare. More choices for us. Romney’s argument only works if you flip it around to the insurance companies. In that scenario, he would be correct in his assessment that government believes it knows what’s best for insurance companies. Kind of.
#2: Romney believes Obamacare, which is modeled after his own healthcare law, is the insertion of government between you and your doctor. You would think he’s talking about some kind of socialist program in which doctors and nurses only staff the backrooms of hospitals, whereas all the front positions are held by elected officials and their selected underlings. In the Romneyverse, you take little Timmy to the Doctor, only to have to argue with a pasty guy in a suit and dark sunglasses a la Men in Black about whether you can get care. It’s would look something like that DMV scene from Family Guy:
Except the Romneyverse doesn’t exist. It’s a fiction. In the actual scenario presented by Obamacare, the person getting between you and your doctor is an insurance company. Not a government entity. A private insurance company (in most cases). What Obamacare attempts to do is prevent those companies from bending you over, reaching in, and extracting your soul. No denial of service. No booting people off for no good reason. That sort of thing.
We can argue the merits of Obamacare, but Romney can’t. It’s his idea. And he’s running against it. The cognitive dissonance makes one’s head hurt…
(Originally posted on my Google+ page.)