The EFM Feature

Todd Harris, the Communications director for Fred Thompson, raises serious issues that need to be addressed about Gov. Romney’s health care plan.

Today, November 15th, Massachusetts residents who fail to register with the government and show proof of health care coverage will be slapped with a tax penalty for this year!
For individuals, the amount will be on average $219 this year and they will receive a punitive fine as much as $2,000 over the next year.
Small business owner? It’s even worse; you’ll be fined $295 per employee who isn’t enrolled in Romney’s government-mandated health care plan!
So what sort of services does Romney’s health care pl an provide? Per the state website:
$50 co-pay for abortions
While court mandate requires Massachusetts to cover “medically necessary” abortions in state-subsidized health plans, Mitt Romney’s plan covers ALL abortions – no restrictions.
After it passed, Romney vetoed dental care for Medicaid recipients from his health plan, but did nothing to prevent coverage of abortion on demand for a mere $50.
Romney has tried to distance himself from his Hillarycare-type plan,7 but you can watch the video where he takes full credit. There’s nothing conservative about Mitt Romney’s health care plan. It’s a government subsidized health care plan that requires citizens to register with the state, slaps working people with tax penalties, and provides $50 abortions on demand.

However, Mr. Harris is not giving the entire truth. To help understand what is a complicated issue, is a press release from the Governor:

FACT: The Massachusetts Health Care Plan Is Working:
Nearly Half Of The State’s Uninsured Have Gotten Insurance Under The Massachusetts Health Care Plan. “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)
Uninsured Massachusetts Residents Can Obtain Health Care Insurance For As Little As $175 A Month. “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)
FACT: Conservatives Have Praised Governor Romney’s Market-Driven Health Care Reform:
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, www.heritage.org, 1/28/07)
The Club For Growth: “Governor Romney Deserves Credit For Proposing A Plan That Encourages Individually-Owned Health Insurance…” “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)
Massachusetts Citizens For Limited Taxation: “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)
Investor’s Business Daily: “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)
FACT: The Massachusetts Health Care Plan Required “No New Tax Monies”:
The Massachusetts Plan Redirects Existing Funds To Help Lower-Income Citizens Obtain Private Insurance – No New Taxes. “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 Heritage Foundation: “The Subsidies Require No New Tax Monies.” “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, www.heritage.org, 5/6/06)
FACT: Governor Romney Vetoed A Fee On Businesses:
Governor Romney Vetoed A $295 Fee Included In The Health Care Plan By Democrats In The State Legislature. “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)
Governor Romney: “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)
FACT: The Massachusetts Health Plan Benefits Package Was Developed By The Connector Authority – An Independent Body Separate From The Governor’s Office. Unfortunately, Under State Law And Court Precedent, If The State Is Funding Health Care Benefits It Cannot Refuse To Provide Abortion Coverage:
The Commonwealth Care Package Is Designed And Administered By The Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority. “The Connector administers two separate programs; Commonwealth Care andCommonwealth Choice. Commonwealth Care offers subsidized insurance to people whose annual incomes are up to 300% or the Federal Poverty Level.” (Commonwealth Connector Official Website, www.mass.gov, Accessed 2/5/07)
The Commonwealth Heath Insurance Connector Authority Is An Independent Public Authority And Their Decisions Were Made Separate Of The Romney Administration. “The Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority is an independent public authority created to implement significant portions of the new landmark health care reform legislation. The Connector assists qualified Massachusetts adult residents with the purchase of affordable health care coverage if they don’t already have it.” (Commonwealth Connector Official Website, www.mass.gov, Accessed 2/5/07)
In 1981, The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Ruled That The State Constitution Required Payment For Abortion Services For Medicaid-Eligible Women. (Moe v. Secretary of Admin & Finance, 1981)
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)

In other words, Gov. Romney has done something quite amazing, even in hostile territory. Since Fred casts himself as a “true conservative,” it also might be time for a reality check on Gov. Romney’s pro-life record:

Gov. Romney is for the sanctity of human life and he has proven it:
* He is a “convert” to the pro-life position, much like Ronald Reagan
* He believes life begins at conception even though his church has no official position on the matter
* He vetoed a bill to give kids access to emergency contraception without parents’ knowledge
* He promised a “moratorium” on changes to abortion laws in his 2002 gubernatorial run
* He opposes Roe v. Wade and thinks states should set abortion policy
* He opposes cloning of human embryos for stem cell research—even though his wife has multiple sclerosis
* He vetoed a bill to expand such research despite the overwhelmingly hostile liberal majority in his state legislature
* Quote: “In considering the issue of embryo cloning and embryo farming, I saw where the harsh logic of abortion can lead—to the view of innocent new life as nothing more than research material or a commodity to be exploited.”

Sorry for the long post — you can see why I books in my normal life. But I also would add that the National Right to Life Endorsement of Fred Thompson might have caused him more headaches than he intended. Almost every newspaper article emphasizes that this was an unexpected endorsement due to the fact that he opposes the Human Life Amendment. In Tennessee, I meet people all the time who — frankly — are shocked at this news.


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