Friday, January 20, 2012

Catch of the Day

One great sequence of last night's highly entertaining debate was the effort by Rick Santorum to bash Mitt Romney's health care initiative in Massachusetts -- and Romney's defense.

Santorum's attack:
When he was governor of Massachusetts, he put forth Romneycare, which was not a bottom-up free market system. It was a government-run health care system that was the basis of Obamacare, and it has been an abject failure. And he has stood by it. 
And Romney's defense:
First of all, the system and my state is not a government-run system. Ninety-two percent of the people had their own insurance before the system was put in place and nothing changed for them. They still had the same private insurance. And the 8 percent of the uninsured, they brought private insurance, not government insurance.
Which, as Adam Serwer points out, is absolutely true -- but of course all of what Romney said is also true for ACA, as well. As Serwer says, "If Obamacare is socialism, then so is Romneycare. And if Romneycare is the distilled essence of free market capitalism, then Obamacare is, too."

He goes on to make some very good points about Republican commitment to markets, or lack thereof. Excellent post.

What I'd add are two things. One is that this is further evidence for my old point that Republican hate Obamacare but don't particularly have any problem with the ACA. That is, they hate whatever they think the Democrats passed last year, but don't in fact have anything against the particular programs that are in the actual law.

The other is that by fully committing to the Ryan budget, Romney was also endorsed the Medicare cuts that are his main point of attack against "Obamacare," since those cuts were in the Ryan budget. Not to mention, as many have pointed out, plenty of other cuts to Medicare and elsewhere that Romney might not want to defend against Barack Obama.

Getting back to Serwer's point: Great catch!

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