2009 Romney Pushes Individual Mandate

Tomorrow is Super Tuesday and living near Ohio, we’ve been inundated with campaign ads for the wealthiest Republican running for the presidential nomination.  In many of these ads, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney says that the first thing he will do as president is to abolish Obamacare.

I’ve seen numerous reports and comments by Romney stating that he is against the individual mandate that would force every American to either purchase health insurance or pay a penalty to the federal government for not being insured.  He wants voters to believe that he is really a conservative and wants what’s best for the American people.

In his ads, he also accuses Rick Santorum of being a Washington insider and caving into the politics as usual.  He wants us voters to believe that he will be different from both Obama and Santorum, but will he?

We all know that Obamacare was patterned directly after the state insurance program known as Romneycare that was forced on the citizens of Massachusetts while Romney served as their liberal governor.  But did you know that as little as two and half years ago, Romney was still abdicating the individual mandate?

In July of 2009, Romney told USA Today that he supported the individual mandate.  In typical political fashion, it seems that interview has disappeared from the USA Today web page as well as from a number of other internet postings.  However, if you dig deep enough you can still manage to find this condemning interview.  Here is an excerpt of that interview that Mitt Romney does not want you to see,

“Health care cannot be handled the same way as the stimulus and cap-and-trade bills. With those, the president stuck to the old style of lawmaking: He threw in every special favor imaginable, ground it up and crammed it through a partisan Democratic Congress. Health care is simply too important to the economy, to employment and to America’s families to be larded up and rushed through on an artificial deadline. There’s a better way. And the lessons we learned in Massachusetts could help Washington find it…

Our experience also demonstrates that getting every citizen insured doesn’t have to break the bank. First, we established incentives for those who were uninsured to buy insurance. Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages “free riders” to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others. This doesn’t cost the government a single dollar. Second, we helped pay for our new program by ending an old one — something government should do more often. The federal government sends an estimated $42 billion to hospitals that care for the poor: Use those funds instead to help the poor buy private insurance, as we did.”

Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve all heard the saying that leopard can’t change its spots, and I see Mitt Romney as that leopard that wants you to believe the spots have changed to stripes, but when you look close enough, you not only see the spots, but you are liable to get clawed or bitten by his lies and deception.