Saturday, August 04, 2007

Reality of the Working Poor vs. Mitt

This is going to be a bit of a raw post.

Go to The Washington Post's, 'The Trail' ("a daily diary of campaign 2008') and watch the video of a waitress at the Red Arrow in Manchester, NH, who managed to confront Mitt Romney regarding health care. She became a bit testy while Mitt was rambling on about how he envisioned 'the world looking to the U.S. for health care.' There was something about 'Muslim nations' he threw in as well that I'm not real sure about. At any rate, this working woman has health care. Both she & her husband work. What she illustrates are the costs of their health care. The cost of having insurance, the deductible, the copay for office visits, the copay for medications.

I was looking for some kind of explanation of certain points Romney made during his little foray to the Red Arrow diner, but there's little about his talking points in the article. For instance, he asserts this:
We found it cost us more money to be giving free care out at hospitals than to help people buy their own private care," Romney said, sweating a bit by this point.
So I began a bit of looking around the various tubes of 'The Internets' and ran across an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal. Sure enough Romney explains his program and its workings for residents where he is governor, Massachusetts. However within it, I found this little paragraph interesting.
When I took up Tom's challenge, I assembled a team from business, academia and government and asked them first to find out who was uninsured, and why. What they found was surprising. Some 20% of the state's uninsured population qualified for Medicaid but had never signed up. So we built and installed an Internet portal for our hospitals and clinics: When uninsured individuals show up for treatment, we enter their data online. If they qualify for Medicaid, they're enrolled. (My bold)
One thing I might point out before I launch into my tirade. Those who don't have insurance coverage are not necessarily psyched about going to the emergency room. I tend toward thinking most people without coverage will go only when the problem is serious enough or traumatic enough.

According to Mitt's plan, those individuals who qualified financially for Medicaid who showed up to either hospitals or clinics without insurance, they're automatically become enrolled in the Medicaid program - a federal government program. So basically they are enrolled in a socialized medicine model where the taxpayers will ultimately be paying for their health care. Although at one point in the above video, Romney counters the woman's observation about Hillary's health care plan 'not making it' by stating he doesn't like involvement of the federal government. Yet - as above and here according to this spot on NPR, by July 1, 2007 - everyone, "all individuals" must have insurance coverage. Now check this out - "Those who can afford insurance will be increasingly penalized for not buying coverage. In the first year, they'll lose their state personal income tax exemption."

What the fuck????

I looked - okay - fine scanned! Romney's web site doesn't have much on health care. A couple of quotes, a video of explanation. However even the video on health care he rambles on for about 90 seconds before getting to where he begins talking about health care. I mean the video itself is only 210 seconds - 3:30 minutes. Not a lot of time to give someone any idea of your plan.

What I'm interested in is hearing from folks who know what's going on in Massachusetts and can speak to that.

And in case anyone is interested, I personally find Romney unsubstantial in character. I find him bland in personality and especially in looks. From observations of him over the past few month, I think he's used his so-called good looks to get whatever and wherever. Of course, that's only my opinion.

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