Flip Flopper in Chief?

I just don’t see how someone with so many different opinions or statements on one subject can realistically believe he can or even should be President.

A quote from Romney’s book “No Apology”;

After about a year of looking at data — and not making much progress — we had a collective epiphany of sorts, an obvious one, as important observations often are: the people in Massachusetts who didn’t have health insurance were, in fact, already receiving health care. Under federal law, hospitals had to stabilize and treat people who arrived at their emergency rooms with acute conditions. And our state’s hospitals were offering even more assistance than the federal government required. That meant that someone was already paying for the cost of treating people who didn’t have health insurance. 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.

It’s not as if this interview with Glenn Beck was while he was in college, it was in 2007.

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,” he said at the time. “So my plan did something quite different. It said, you know what? If people can afford to buy insurance … or if they can pay their own way, then they either buy that insurance or pay their own way, but they no longer look to government to hand out free care. And that, in my opinion, is ultimate conservativism.

And in a 2010 interview on Morning Joe he was asked if he believed in universal health coverage and said;

Oh sure. Look, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for us to have millions and millions of people who have no health insurance and yet who can go to the emergency room and get entirely free care for which they have no responsibility, particularly if they are people who have sufficient means to pay their own way.

And then surprise of surprises last night on 60 Minutes he reversed course.

“Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance,” he said in an interview with Scott Pelley of CBS’s “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday night. “If someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die. 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.”

h/t Sam Stein & Amanda Terkel

My oldest daughter finally convinced one of her friends to apply for the CA PCIP enacted as part of the ACA. Her friend Sara completely lost the ability to speak and also lost control of many motor skills while in graduate school about three years ago. Her medical insurance expired as she was forced to quit school and was also unemployable. Luckily, her partner was able to support the two of them, but just barely. Sara was unable to purchase health insurance and had no medical diagnosis so was also denied disability.

She has spent the last three years in emergency rooms and trying to get care and a diagnosis through the health department but most tests were denied and no one seemed able to make a diagnosis even though she has gone down hill dramatically in the past three years. At one point the state sent her to a mental health expert as they thought she was making herself sick or something. She now walks with the help of a walker, can no longer drive and barely leaves the house as it’s too much effort.

About a month ago she received her insurance through PCIP and was finally able to see both a GP and the neurologist he sent her to and now has a likely diagnosis and even medication to improve her condition. Her tests were ordered on an emergency status and she was diagnosed with PLS a very rare (only 500 cases in the US) and degenerative form of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s) that is not as deadly or rapidly progressive. There are treatments and while it is debilitating it isn’t a death sentence and can be mitigated while improving her quality of life.

We had a similar experience with our niece who died in 2008. We waited a very long time for her insurance company to approve the tests she needed but the approval never came. Instead she received a notice that her insurance had been terminated. We couldn’t get in to see a neurologist until we could prove we had the money to pay for whatever tests and treatment she might need. We converted our IRA’s to cash and put our rental house on the market but we were too late. While I was on the way to bring her home from Albuquerque to see the neurologist I’d found to treat her she had a seizure and died.

Mitt Romney can’t even seem to figure out if we have an obligation to help people in these circumstances or not.

10 Responses

  1. My wife has a childhood friend we recently got back in touch with after a long falling out. He has had major health issues including a long bout with cancer. He has been in and out of the work force a lot, partially because of the difficulty in keeping a job and getting health treatment and partially because of a wandering lust he seems to have.

    He seems to drift between Florida, New York, and California for wherever he can get indigent medical care. He is very active in the OWS movement which creates issues of its own. I can’t help but think he games the system a little but then I blame the game, not the player.

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  2. Those are moving examples, Lulu. I am so sorry about your experience with your niece – and for her plight, before she died.

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  3. Mark, my experience and that of my daughter’s friend are not that unusual. I have another young friend whose mother died of colon cancer. After numerous trips to the emergency room and being misdiagnosed but stabilized (she had no insurance), she finally found out she had stage 4 colon cancer. She decided to let herself die because she was too far gone, having been misdiagnosed for about a year, and didn’t have or want to spend the money on prolonging her life. She was afraid it would unduly burden her children. She raised five daughters alone after her reverend husband took off with a young parishioner.

    I was misdiagnosed in May when I spent 3 days in the hospital but they treated me somewhat accurately, accidentally, and I went on to be diagnosed and properly treated because I have insurance. Without it, a lot of people get nowhere.

    I’m not looking for sympathy, I just want people to understand what it’s like for people who do not have insurance and thankfully some of them do have it now. The ACA isn’t a panacea and may end up costing us too much but for many it’s been a godsend.

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  4. “Flip Flopper in Chief?
    Posted on September 24, 2012 by lmsinca

    I just don’t see how someone with so many different opinions or statements on one subject can realistically believe he can or even should be President.”

    It’s pure cynicism. You can either assume that Romney will be constrained by the promises he has made during the campaign, or assume the entire campaign is total bullshit and judge him solely on his record, as David Brooks does.

    “And with Mitt Romney, he’s faking it. I think he’s a non-ideological guy running in an ideological age who is pretending to be way more ideological than he really is. And so he talks like he has this cartoon image of how I’m supposed to be talking.

    And, as a result, it is stupid a lot — half the time — not half the time, some of the time. It’s an impersonation. And, so, if I were — knowing it’s too late to change who he is running as, but just be the more boring manager you are. He is a competent manager. We thought he was.”

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/july-dec12/shieldsbrooks_09-21.html

    See also Ezra Klein:

    “Remember when Mitt Romney made health care an entitlement?
    Posted by Ezra Klein on September 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    The most ironic wrinkle in Mitt Romney’s scorching comments about the 47 percent of Americans “who believe that they are entitled to health care” is that there are exactly two American politicians who have actually signed an entitlement to health care into law: President Obama, and Gov. Mitt Romney”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/18/remember-when-mitt-romney-made-health-care-an-entitlement/

    My personal opinion, as I have stated here previously, is that whomever is President in 2013 will matter less than the composition of Congress. I don’t see either Romney or Obama exercising many vetoes on principle.

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  5. I think he’s a non-ideological guy running in an ideological age who is pretending to be way more ideological than he really is.

    Maybe, but I’m not sure this campaign hasn’t actually shown more of his true lack of compassion and even interest in what is moving the American people. For instance the teacher at a roundtable of sorts who reacted after he slammed teachers unions and began promoting voucher and charter schools (I’m paraphrasing). She said she’d like to answer his question and his response was “I didn’t ask you a question”. He has a very dismissive attitude, just like the 47% comments and the comment above regarding the heart attack victim.

    Obama may be only slightly better in desiring positive results for the bulk of Americans who don’t fall into the top percentage of earners or campaign contributors, but at least we have a tiny bit of balance with him in office. As long as the Senate stays Dem and the House Republican we’ll have gridlock anyway.

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  6. “lmsinca, on September 24, 2012 at 8:52 am said:

    we’ll have gridlock anyway.”

    That’s what I’m hoping for. As currently structured, gridlock will produce better policy results than anything Congress could actually agree on. For example:

    “No farm bill at all might be better than a bad bill.
    By Editorial Board, Published: September 23

    HOUSE SPEAKER John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has made it official: There will be no vote in the House on a new five-year farm bill until after the November elections. Predictably, some are decrying this as the latest example of Washington dysfunction, what with rural America still recovering from a bad drought, farmers in need of certainty for next year and so forth. The farm lobby was desperate to get a bill through before November for fear of what might happen if a new Congress and president take up agriculture programs in a big deficit deal next year.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/no-farm-bill-at-all-might-be-better-than-a-bad-bill/2012/09/23/512dfe7e-041c-11e2-9b24-ff730c7f6312_story.html

    I can’t think of a single pressing problem that this country faces that the current group of politicians can’t make worse through their actions.

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  7. “lmsinca, on September 24, 2012 at 8:52 am said:

    Obama may be only slightly better in desiring positive results for the bulk of Americans who don’t fall into the top percentage of earners or campaign contributors”

    I’d argue that based on the examples you cite above, you are selling the President short if your top national priority was/is extending health insurance coverage for the uninsured.

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  8. jnc

    I’d argue that based on the examples you cite above, you are selling the President short if your top national priority was/is extending health insurance coverage for the uninsured.

    True, one of the reasons I’ve decided to vote for him is on the off chance that the Senate changes hands Romney/Ryan have stated that the first order of business is repealing the ACA. I’m always torn between wishing we had gotten something better than the ACA in health care reform and being grateful that we got something. It’s a big conundrum for me but you’re right, it’s the most important issue for me both personally and as someone who’s worked in hospice for the last 20 years as well.

    Have a good day all…………….I need to get to work around here. I’m able to work on posts late at night when no one’s around but have very little time or energy still to contribute to the comments. Manana

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  9. One of Capehart’s better pieces:

    “60 Minutes’ shows debates could be a Romney reset
    By Jonathan Capehart
    Posted at 12:48 PM ET, 09/24/2012”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/60-minutes-shows-debates-could-be-a-romney-reset/2012/09/24/f35483b4-0663-11e2-858a-5311df86ab04_blog.html

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  10. @jncp4: “It’s pure cynicism. You can either assume that Romney will be constrained by the promises he has made during the campaign, or assume the entire campaign is total bullshit and judge him solely on his record, as David Brooks does.”

    Romney is a politicrat, and his style will probably be managerial. He might be more willing to cut government spending than Obama (maybe) or sell off some federal property (maybe), but he and Obama are both politicians first, and have mostly managerial governing styles, occasionally punctuated by “Big Accomplishments” (Romneycare, Obamacare) to pad the resumé.

    I go on record (again) as being very dubious about the likelihood of a Romney victory. Running against an incumbent with no 3rd party challenger and no primary challenge to bloody him up before the main race tends to bode very poorly for winning over an incumbent. Add that to the fact the incumbent party, having just taken back the Whitehouse from the opposing party, usually wins the next election . . . history is working against Romney at every possible level. The economy isn’t great, ala Jimmy Carter (who faced a serious primary challenge from Ted Kennedy, and a not irrelevant challenge from John Anderson as a 3rd party), but Willard Mitt Romney is not Ronaldus Magnus. By any stretch of the imagination.

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