Finally had a chance to watch Mitt Romney’s big health care speech, and I will go on record as saying the moment he opened his mouth yesterday is the moment his presidential campaign ended.
First, there was the illogic of his argument. RomneyCare has worked in Massachusetts but its identical twin ObamaCare won’t work for the nation? Yikes. Also, RomneyCare hasn’t worked very well:
The law, however, has failed to curb rising costs. While implementation of the law itself didn’t put a major dent in the state’s budget — according to an analysis by independent group Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation, the increase in net spending for the law was just 1 percent in fiscal year 2010 — it hasn’t reduced overall costs for policy holders.
Private spending per member grew by 15.5 percent on average between 2006 and 2008. Meanwhile, average premiums for full insurance increased 12.2 percent from 2006 to 2008, according to the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy.
Bankruptcy filings due to medical costs have also jumped, increasing by more than one-third between 2007 and 2009, according to analysis published in The American Journal of Medicine in March.
Rising costs continue to pose a challenge for the state. A survey published by Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts Foundation in April found that per capita health care spending in Massachusetts is projected to nearly double by 2020.
Mitt could easily have jumped to the lead if he’d made a different case. If he had used his speech to say, “We wanted to use government to expand coverage and reduce costs, but it just hasn’t worked. In fact, government intervention at that level just can’t work. We learned that lesson the hard way in my home state, and now we need to apply that lesson to the nation. And that’s why I’m asking for your support in my campaign to become your President.”
I might have even voted for him after a speech like that.
But no. Instead we have a man who’s either too egotistical to admit a mistake, or too RINOesque to understand that government is not a tool for decreasing costs. Or both. Who knows? Romney has played so many side of so many issues for so long, there’s no telling what — if anything — lies at his core.
Romney tested this exact same pitch on Fox News Sunday last year, and it was a flop then. What made him think it would work any better, pitched to an even bigger audience at a time when ObamaCare has become even less popular?
Mitt, is too slow a learner to be President, and too squishy a conservative to get past the Tea Party vote in the primaries. But I suspect the former will keep him from recognizing the latter until the bitter, bitter end.