Friday, May 27, 2011

Pawlenty Supported a Mandate in 2006

A groundbreaking article at Politico today reveals that TPaw also supported a healthcare mandate back in 2006 when such a policy was en vogue among the GOP.

It now appears that almost every major candidate (including Huntsman, Gingrich, and others) has supported an individual healthcare mandate at one time.

This ought to take some of the heat off of Romney when the debates roll around.

The Rumblings of More Candidates

Rumblings and rumors are being thrown around the last couple of days about more potential candidates for the presidential race. Just as the world was thinking that the GOP presidential field was getting settled, we have three new faces that seem to be making progress toward entering the race.

1) Texas Gov. Rick Perry - today he made a statement where he is now "leaving the door open" to a possible presidential run.

2) Sarah Palin - just started her national bus tour yesterday and bought a million dollar home in Arizona. However, Palin has not cut ties with Fox News yet, which is a definite sign that she is not too interested in running at this point.

3) Michelle Bachman - recently filed three years of tax forms. This move is seen by campaign finance experts as a prelude to entering the presidential race.

So it looks as though we don't have a complete field of candidates just yet.

I have to say that there is a big opening for a social conservative favorite (such as Palin or Bachman) in the race. In my humble opinion, Palin doesn't stand a chance of winning the nomination and she would be crazy to run. She has a good thing going right now with her books and speaking engagements. But Bachman has nothing to loose by running, she should definately get in. If Bachman has aspirations of developing a national profile and being a strong competitor in the future, this is a great opportunity for her.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Prominent Evangelical Throws Support to Romney

Mark DeMoss, a Souther Baptist and media powerhouse, has thrown his support to Mitt Romney.

DeMoss urges other christians to "look at the individual, not the theology" when deciding who to support for president.

DeMoss states that "it's more important for me that a candidate shares my values, than it is for him to share my theology."

DeMoss also believes that many evangelicals will have a change of heart when it comes to supporting a candidate for president who is a Mormon. From his conversations with others while he is out visiting other churches, he feels that many more have gotten over their initial hesitation to support a Mormon.

That is not to say that evangelicals will be more accepting of mormon theology, but simply that they realize, as DeMoss does, that "it's more important to pick a candidate with shared values than with shared theology."

I remember during the last days of the 2008 Romney campaign that opposition to Romney based on his mormon faith seemed to be declining.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Huntsman Was Supportive of an Individual Mandate

According to the Politico and the Huffington Post, it looks like yet another Republican presidential candidate was supportive of a healthcare mandate. Politico and HuffPo report that former UT Gov. John Huntsman Jr. supported an individual mandate in 2004 and as late as 2007.

This is what happens when the Republican party flip-flops on a previous position. The individual mandate was designed by conservatives and used to be considered a fairly conservative solution to healthcare reform. Unfortunately, simply because Obama decided to use it did the GOP decide to oppose it. Its just bad politics plain and simple.

Furthermore, Mitt Romney is the only Republican who can claim authenticity and honesty on this subject. Romney is the only Republican candidate who has stood by his previous position on healthcare mandates by continually supporting the mandate he helped introduce in MA. Romney still affirms that it was a good thing for his state.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ouch! Obama's Got To Be Hurting On New Jobs Report

Wow. In a new jobs report analysis published by USA Today, one of America's most widely read newspapers, it states that "the rate of job recovery after the 2008 recession has been the "slowest since the Great Depression."

That makes Obama's handling of the economy one of the worst in modern American history. This is no overstatement. Recessions happen with some regularity, occurring every 7-9 years. The USA usually recovers all jobs lost in a typical recession within 13 months following the recession. It has already been over two years since the recovery began and still only a fraction of jobs lost have been regained. The USA Today analyses says that Obama has a far worse job creation record than any of the 12 recessions the USA has experienced since the Great Depression in the 1930's. As Romney often says, "it is painful to watch Obama learn on the job."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Did Mitch Daniels Support an Individual Healthcare Mandate?

It appears as though Mitch Daniels once supported an individual healthcare mandate. An interesting article in National Review and Huffington Post both cite an old newpaper article which states: 
The candidate [Mitch Daniels] said he favors a universal health care system that would move away from employee-based health policies and make it mandatory for all Americans to have health insurance.
Daniels envisioned one scenario in which residents could certify their coverage when paying income taxes and receive a tax exemption that would cover the cost.
“We really have to have universal coverage,” Daniels said.
Under his plan, Daniels said, the nation could get away from the inefficient and unfair way in which health care is provided to those who are uninsured, many of whom end up in emergency rooms or “at clinics like this one.”
Perhaps this will let some of the air out of the Mitch Daniels '12 bubble that is developing.

As a Romney supporter, I must say that this is good news. Now it appears that virtually every top tier candidate for POTUS in the GOP supported an individual mandate at one time.  With Romney, Gingrich, and Daniels supporting individual mandates at one time, the criticisms of Romney will be limited.

I guess this is what happens when a party flip-flops on its own healthcare policies. The individual mandate was first created by conservatives, but the GOP went back on that policy to fight against Obama's healthcare overhaul in order to score political points.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Good Article On Romneycare by David French

I recently read a good article on Romneycare by David French from Evangelicals For Mitt Website.

Some of the points I particularly liked:

#1) Romney only enacted Romneycare after he had balanced the Massachusetts budget (unlike Obamacare).

#2) Romneycare was passed in a state where the average income per family was substantially higher than the most other U.S. states. Romneycare was also passed in a state that had relatively low uninsured rates compared to the rest of the country. So what Obamacare did was take a law that was enacted in one of the wealthiest states which also had a very low uninsured rate, and applied it to the whole country.

Obama's policy is completely opposite of the claims he made during the 2008 campaign that he would "take a scalpel to the economy, not a machete." Obama imposed a one-size-fits-all "machete" on the country, and it will be the poorer states with high numbers of uninsured who will pay the price.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Newt Sticks to His Guns, Supports Individual Mandate

Former Speaker, Newt Gingrich, discussed his views on healthcare today. Not only did Newt criticize the GOP's recent attempt to reform Medicare as "too radical" and "right-wing social engineering," but he also stuck with his guns in support of the individual mandate at the state level.

Newt supported the individual mandate back in 1993 and is not backing away from that idea today despite the fact that a healthcare mandate remains very unpopular amongst GOP voters.

Newt stated that the idea of an individual mandate is a fairly conservative way to reform healthcare. Newt challenged republicans to come up with an alternative plan to reform healthcare. Republicans, while strongly condemning most attempts to reform healthcare, have not been able to produce many viable, practical plans themselves. The fact is that the individual mandate has been the best plan produced by conservatives for reforming healthcare in recent decades, but now a majority of the party, in an unfortunate flip-flop, has repudiated the idea.

I gained some respect for Speaker Gingrich after hearing him express these views on healthcare. It takes courage to stick to your guns on a policy when it is well known that such a policy is unpopular.

Gov. Romney and Speaker Gingrich now stand together in supporting the individual mandate at the state level. This should take some of the heat off of Romney when standing on the debate stage this year.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Data Show Uninsured Typically Leave $49 Billion In Unpaid Health Bills Annually

A new report by the HHS published in USA Today states the high cost of the uninsured. The article states, "Uninsured Americans -- including those with incomes well above the poverty line -- leave hospitals with unpaid tabs of up to $49 billion a year," according to a study released by the Department of Health and Human Services. On average, the study found that uninsured families "pay only about 12% of their hospital bills in full." Researchers also found that most "uninsured people have 'virtually no' savings and that about a third have no financial assets."

Many Charity Hospitals On The Brink Of Failure. The AP reports that "many charity hospitals, already struggling with rising costs, are on the brink of failure because of looming budget cuts, increasing numbers of uninsured patients and a slow economic recovery." Approximately "800 of the nation's 5,000 hospitals" provide "the lion's share" of free care, "often located in the heart of poor communities and serving a large proportion of patients who don't have insurance or are on Medicaid." Since the beginning of the US recession "through mid-2009, the number of patients seeking free care at the hospitals increased 23 percent, according to the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems."

Friday, May 6, 2011

Paul Krugman: The Economic Recovery May be Sputtering

Very interesting article from Paul Krugman of NY Times today. The most significant sentance in the article is "From G.D.P. to private-sector payrolls, from business surveys to new claims for unemployment insurance, key economic indicators suggest that the recovery may be sputtering."

As far as the 2012 election is concerned, this is huge news. If the economy takes a noticeable downfall in the months preceding voting, the election would truly be anybodies game. A large opening would be left for Republicans, especially Mitt Romney given his business acumen, to make Obama a one term president.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Parents and Students Happy With At least One Part of Obamacare

Parents are keeping their adult children on their insurance plans much more than expected. According to a new report, "some 600,000 young adults have already enrolled in their parents' or guardians' insurance plans thanks to the healthcare reform law, Kaiser Health News reports, outpacing the administration's expectations." HHS "had estimated that 1.2 million young adults would enroll in 2011, but new data from top insurers indicate that they're signing up faster than expected."

"In past years, a student's graduation could mean leaving behind not only the classroom but also health insurance coverage, since family plans often stopped covering dependent children once they left school." But, the healthcare law "has changed that: Adult children can now remain on their parents' plan until age 26, with few exceptions." Notably, "the law applies to adult children whether or not they live at home or are financially independent. Even married children can stay on their parents' health policy until age 26."

This is good news for Obama. Some aspects of Obamacare have been very sluggish to gain popularity among the population, such as the "High Risk Group insurance" that became available. But parents and youth seem eager to take advantage of Obamacare's new law of allowing their adult children to stay on their health insurance.

According to a recent Gallup Poll released Wednesday: "The percentage of young adults going without health insurance took a big drop." Data show that "24 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 26 who were polled between January and April said they lacked insurance." That represents a decrease "from 28 percent in 2010, 28.6 percent in 2009 and 27.2 percent in 2008, the poll said." Notably, advocates "of the health care law said it's due to a provision that allows families to keep their adult children on their policies."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Poll: Six In Ten Oppose GOP's Medicare Privatization Plan

I have said from the beginning that Gov. Romney should keep a safe distance from Paul Ryan's Medicare overhaul. According to a recent poll, the majority of Americans are opposed to altering Medicare in the ways Paul Ryan recommends.

I think it is unfortunate that the GOP have thrown their support behind the Ryan Plan so quickly because the plan is too partisan for the general public.

Monday, May 2, 2011

California Regulator Deems Anthem Rate Hike "Unreasonable."

The Los Angeles Times reported that the California Department of Managed Healthcare "for the first time has declared a health insurance rate increase 'unreasonable' but acknowledged that it can do nothing to stop the state's largest for-profit insurer from going ahead with it. As a result, rates for 120,000 customers of Anthem Blue Cross will begin rising an average of 16% on Sunday, infuriating policyholders and frustrating [state] officials." On Friday, the state agency "came under attack itself from consumer advocates for failing to win concessions, even as the department publicly scolded Anthem for going ahead with its plans."

MA healthcare actually allows state governments to deny rate increases proposed by insurers. This government regulation was not put in place by Romney.

"Unreasonable" rate increases are one the great travesties of America's healthcare system. Is the free market controlling costs here?