Romney needs to step up, figure out health care position
Published: Sunday, September 30, 2012
Updated: Sunday, September 30, 2012 22:09
Not being a Romney supporter, I can only wonder how it feels to be taken for such a fool.
Allow me a brief illustration; consider the interview Romney gave to CBS’s Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes last week. The wide-ranging talk briefly covered many topics of relevance to the November decision. Amidst Romney’s usual tap-dancing, dodging and pandering, one remark should have stuck out to viewers. Pelley, lobbing what should have been a softball for any severely conservative governor, asked Romney whether he thought government had a responsibility to insure the estimated 53 million Americans without health insurance. How did he respond?
“Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance, people-- we-- if someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die,” he began. “We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care.”
And that was it. Romney tittered about state’s rights after Pelley mentioned that this method is in fact the most expensive form of health care, but nothing else. He actually put forth emergency rooms as a plausible resource for the uninsured.
It is worth pointing out that exactly no one supports this. Indeed, the consensus on both sides of the issue is that this expensive and morally indefensible practice has to stop. The President in a large part sought to address the reliance on emergency rooms in his health care law. Even conservative leaders have seen the fault - one noted Republican said: “When they show up at the hospital, they get care. They get free care paid for by you and me. If that’s not a form of socialism, I don’t know what is.”
It should surprise no one that the speaker of the last quote was Mitt Romney.
There’s more - In his gratingly titled book, “No Apology,” Romney noted his opposition to the status quo. As a solution to the problem, Romney suggests, “If we could get our hands on that money, and therefore redirect it to help the uninsured buy insurance instead and obtain treatment in the way that the vast majority of individuals did -- before acute conditions developed -- the cost of insuring everyone in the state might not be as expensive as I had feared.”
But, you say, we know all of this already. We have a mountain of evidence - from before 2009, that is - that Romney doesn’t really believe all this. We’ve seen so much of this self-contradiction that it is background noise, and, in a way, sickeningly funny. What’s the problem?
That is the problem.
Lost in the haze of the eight years that this preening fool has been running for the Presidency is the fact that he is running for the Presidency - and all indications are that he thinks we are stupid enough to elect him.
Because it is not about the abhorrent and moronic things he says anymore, though they are legion; it is the painfully obvious fact that he does not believe them. Romney knows what he wrote in his book. Romney knows what he said in 2007. And, despite the fact that he’d like us to forget, he remembers the law he passed in Massachusetts. He’s had it rubbed in his face more than once before, to no effect. All we can assume is that Romney is banking on the idea that most of us just can’t read; he’s concentrating his hopes on what he views as the ignorance of the American electorate. Such constant and extended disrespect doesn’t really merit him any consideration as a candidate.
It really is mind-bending that we have allowed this man to insult us so. But, if the polls are to be believed, we will soon see a positive end to this painful campaign, and we might do well to consider the post-Romney era.
The late, great Christopher Hitchens, in his “Letters to a Young Contrarian,” once credited a certain therapeutic benefit to a daily exercise in outrage. He chose to focus on the conceited and absurd byline of the New York Times - “All the News that’s Fit to Print.” That didn’t work out for Hitchens in the end, but he might have needed something stronger. Perhaps if we all thought once a day on the equally absurd tale of the unctuous millionaire who thought he could lie his way to the Oval Office, we may yet live forever.