Every conservative I know seems to be counting on Mitt Romney to be the great hero to save them from ObamaCare. Romney is playing up the role, of course, trying to fire up conservative Republicans to turn out in November to help him him. But if you’re honestly counting on Romney as your health care savior, what makes you think you’ll get anything better?
After the Supreme Court saved the new health care boondoggle last week, Romney immediately went into a full press against it. Note in the picture what he’s saying he wants to do: “Repeal and replace ObamaCare.” Does that mean he’s going to give us something more similar to the RomneyCare plan from Massachusetts, which is even worse than ObamaCare?
Republicans who support Romney will tell you that there were differences between the two plans, but they’re straining pretty hard to find substantive ones. (This list of things that supposedly makes Romney’s plan less offensive than Obama’s plan leads with the length of the bills in number of pages, as though that’s the issue.)
Frankly, you’ll have a hard time telling them apart. In fact, take a look at this quiz that lists provisions from one of the plans or the other and see if you can tell which is which. Unless you’re a policy wonk who’s studied the bills, you’ll be surprised at how similar they are.
So if you’re supporting Romney because you don’t like ObamaCare, why exactly is that? Is it because you honestly think Romney is going to somehow magically roll back the current law? Do you believe he’s actually going to return us to a free market in health care, which would require undoing at least 50 years of regulations? Do you think he’s going to open up the market to more doctors than the current system allows? Do you think he’s going to give companies the legal power to build hospitals and medical facilities anywhere they want — without state permission? (In Alabama, a company has to apply for a “certificate of need” from the state. If the company has the political connections, it can get this certification. If it doesn’t have the right connections, the existing players in the market will fight the application and very possibly get it killed to avoid new competition.)
Mitt Romney isn’t all that different from Barack Obama on this issue. They both see the need to have government control the health care industry — from doctors, nurses, hospitals, insurance — everything.
If you’re counting on Romney to do anything substantially different from what Obama has done, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. You can’t fight the existing evil by supporting another evil that simply wants to take its place.