Saturday, April 10, 2010

FLASHBACK: Heritage Touted RomneyCare, Key Elements Of Health Reform Heritage Now Opposes


The Heritage Foundation, one of the leading conservative think tanks — which has historically provided many of the policy ideas for the Republican Party, Republican administrations, and Republicans in Congress — has aggressively attacked President Obama’s efforts to reform health care in America. In addition to providing academic voices in the media to knock reform, Heritage has churned out blog posts and reports denigrating reform legislation for various reasons. And in recent days, Heritage has scrambled to mobilize a repeal effort of health reform, calling the law “intolerable.”

But before Democrats took up the mantle of reforming health care on the national level, Heritage experts boosted former Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R-MA) health reform plan in the Bay State. In numerous pieces posted on the Heritage website before 2008, Heritage took a markedly different approach to health reform than it does now:

– Heritage On Romney’s Individual Mandate: “Not an unreasonable position, and one that is clearly consistent with conservative values.” [Heritage, 1/28/06]

– Heritage On President Obama’s Individual Mandate: “Both unprecedented and unconstitutional.” [Heritage, 12/9/09]

– Heritage On Romney’s Insurance Exchange: An “innovative mechanism to promote real consumer choice.” [Heritage, 4/20/06]

– Heritage On President Obama’s Insurance Exchange: Creates a “de facto public option” by “grow[ing]” government control over healthcare.” [Heritage, 3/30/10]

– Heritage On Romney’s Medicaid Expansion: Reduced “the total cost to taxpayers” by taking people out of the “uncompensated care pool.” [Heritage, 1/28/06]

– Heritage On President Obama’s Medicaid Expansion: Expands a “broken entitlement program,” providing a “low-quality, poorly functioning program.” [Heritage, 1/28/06]

In fact, in 2007, Heritage again boasted that Romney’s plan is “already showing progress.” That same year, Heritage proudly posted a video of Romney gloating that Heritage officials had supported him in creating “ultimate conservatism” with the Massachusetts health plan. Watch it:

Appealing to right-wing conservatives, Romney, like Heritage, is trying to distance himself from his own health reform ideas. He called the individual mandate unconstitutional, but conceded that the only real difference between his plan and President Obama’s is that his plan was crafted in a “bipartisan” manner with the Democratically controlled Massachusetts legislature.

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