Monday, November 21, 2011

Jonathan Cohn listens to Rush Limbaugh and divines that his opposition to Romney is because he hates Romneycare, explaining that
universal health care requires a lot of regulation and redistribution. Last time I checked, Limbaugh hates these things. So do his listeners. And that's not all. If you want health care reform to reduce the cost of health care, as you should, then you also need to start changing the way we deliver medical care in this country. Romneycare actually didn’t do this (although Massachusetts lawmakers are trying now) but Obamacare did – partly by cutting payments to private insurers that work with Medicare and partly by changing the financial incentives, in public and private insurance, that rewarded quantity over quality. I'm pretty sure Limbaugh hate these changes, as well. I know other conservatives do. Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting the individual mandate is irrelevant, as policy or as politics. If nothing else, it's given conservatives an easy and useful target, because it's the one part of health care reform most people understand. But don’t be fooled. The primary reason Limbaugh and his listeners don't like universal health care is that they reject the basic concept. They simply don't believe in using government to make sure every American has access to affordable health care.
Oh, no! He's figured us out! We reject the basic concept of nationalized health care. The cat's out of the bag! But we should remember that Romneycare was based on an idea from the conservative Heritage Foundation as a means of making freeloaders on hospital emergency rooms be responsible for their own care. It wasn't intended as a national program. Tonight on Hannity, Romney explained that he vetoed some parts of the bill, such as requiring insurers to cover a prescribed list of treatment and requiring employers to pay for insurance for all their employees, but his vetoes were overridden. My first choice would be to allow ERs to refuse service to people who can't pay. Health care isn't cheap anc if we're going to allow people to pawn their costs off onto other patients and their insurance, we ought to provide some better way to recoup them. But Federal Law requires that emergency care be provided regardless of ability to pay. Somebody had better come up with a better idea, because this stuff isn't going away.


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