MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
In a convention that was woven together with a tapestry of lies, Romney's promise to repeal "Obamacare" (pejoratively labeled by the GOP) tops the pyramid of fantasy and hypocrisy built in Tampa.
Yes, Paul Ryan continued to brazenly lie to such an extent that Ezra Klein of the Washington Post said that he could only find one statement that was true in his vice-presidential acceptance speech. The congressman with a cultivated Eagle Scout demeanor just steam rolls over the truth with reckless disregard for personal accountability.
But as Politico reported, Romney only mentioned healthcare twice in his cliché ridden remarks evoking an America that never was and never will be under the planned Romney-Ryan plutocracy. Notably, he repeated the claim: "His [Obama's] $716 billion cut to Medicare to finance Obamacare will both hurt today's seniors, and depress innovation – and jobs – in medicine." This assertion has been discredited by fact checkers and reality: 1) the cuts would not affect beneficiaries (they are primarily from providers) and 2) Paul Ryan has proposed virtually the same cuts in his infamous Ayn Rand-inspired budget.
But the biggest hypocrisy and lie of the evening centered around the politically opportunistic sleight of hand of Romney opposing the national healthcare reform that he championed as his key accomplishment as governor of Massachusetts. That is until he started running for president this cycle and the RNC created the term "Obamacare" as a political arrow to negatively define the president -- and Romney had to jump on the bandwagon to win the nomination and turn out Tea Party voters.
That is why in his acceptance speech, Romney stated: "We must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare."
Yet, before he began running for president, he was promoting his "Romneycare" as a model for national healthcare including the GOP-dreaded individual mandate. At a 2006 press conference Romney proudly took credit for coming up with the idea of an individual mandate, claiming it would lower costs (not raise them as he claimed in his acceptance speech):
"With regards to the mandate, the individual responsibility program which I proposed, I was very pleased to see that the compromise from the two houses includes the personal responsibility principle, that is essential for bringing health care costs down for everyone, and for getting everybody the health insurance they deserve and need. So I was very pleased with that development."
Politico notes that a Romney spokesperson responded to an Obama c-4 ad about a woman who died because of a lack of health coverage as a result of her husband being laid off by Bain Capital, by praising Romneycare's inclusive coverage:
A Mitt Romney spokesperson, Andrea Saul, offered an unusual counterattack Wednesday to an ad in which a laid-off steelworker blames the presumptive GOP nominee for his family losing health care: If that family had lived in Massachusetts, it would have been covered by the former governor’s universal health care law.
“To that point, if people had been in Massachusetts, under Governor Romney’s health care plan, they would have had health care,” Andrea Saul, Romney’s campaign press secretary, said during an appearance on Fox News. “There are a lot of people losing their jobs and losing their health care in President [Barack] Obama’s economy.”
So, let's get this straight, Romney believed his key accomplishment as Massachusetts' governor was creating Romneycare, which is the model for healthcare reform under Obama, but opposes his own model program when he is running for president because it was put into law by the opposite party -- and because the party he is heading made "Obamacare" into a code word for "let's get the black man out of the White House"?
And if Romneycare saves lives in Massachusetts, then in his nomination acceptance speech he is, in essence, proposing more people die by repealing the Affordable Care Act?
Looks that way.
And that doesn't even include what a Romney-Ryan administration would do to Medicare; kill it, according to Paul Krugman.