I guess the first question I have about Mitt Romney’s healthcare plan is, has it worked?

Romney defended MassCare yesterday in an attempt to confront conservative critics, who blame the Romney plan for helping to usher in ObamaCare.  

Romney's major defense seems to be over scope.  

“Our plan was a state solution to a state problem, and his was a power grab by the federal government to put in place a one-size-fits-all plan across the nation.”

The problem for Mr. Romney is the scope of the plan seems to be the only difference. And that is a difference without a distinction to most observers.  


Medicare commission

I love that commercial where a bunch of small-business executives are sitting around the table trying to find budget cuts, when the CEO says, “We aren’t leaving until we find the savings,” and a woman says under her breath, “Can they really do that?”

We need a Medicare commission where the members are forced to stay in the room and figure out a compromise that passes both the House and the Senate.

In 1981, Ronald Reagan, with the cooperation of Tip O’Neill and Howard Baker, appointed Alan Greenspan to head a commission whose mission was to save a Social Security program that was about ready to go bankrupt.


Healthcare hurdles, one year on

Happy birthday to healthcare reform. Unfortunately, after that long battle, and all the money spent not only to implement the law but to educate Americans who know little about it, the law remains even more unpopular than when it passed a year ago and the cost of healthcare insurance remains prohibitive and continues to rise.
Democrats, who lost their majority in the House in the midterm elections last fall, in part due to healthcare reform, won't campaign on it next year, just as they didn't last year. But on its anniversary they are going all out to try and budge public opinion on reform, which has proven quite stubborn. The most recent polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation found 42 percent of respondents approved of the law while 46 percent opposed it, a bit worse than the average polls on the law since it passed. The survey also finds a majority of respondents are confused about what the law does and whether or not it has been repealed.


Obama forced to defend health law constitutionality

The Obama administration bowed to the conditions that federal Judge Roger Vinson placed upon it when he provided a stay to his finding that the healthcare law was unconstitutional.

Vinson put two stipulations on his stay (which allows the administration to continue writing regulations on the law, which otherwise would be defunct). The first was that the administration file an appeal of his original ruling of unconstitutionality within seven calendar days, and the second was that the appeal pursue an expedited process to the Supreme Court.

Six days later, Obama’s legal team filed its appeal.


Can you hear America now? Take 2

Yesterday I posted about a CBS poll that showed that a solid majority of Americans did not want congressional Republicans to defund the Affordable Care Act and eliminate all the consumer protections, deficit reduction and job creation it supports.

The effort of the repealers is in stark contrast to the wishes of the American public — and in direct conflict with their promise to “listen to the American people.” I pointed out how John Boehner (R-Ohio), Speaker of the House, had said that the people’s agenda would be his agenda. I also pointed out how Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) apparently didn’t get the memo — he told the rabid anti-everything crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that he wasn’t interested in doing what “is popular.”


Healthcare’s shifting dynamics

Egypt has dominated the headlines, but the healthcare reform battle, which started nearly two years ago and will continue for another two years, has taken a dramatic turn. President Obama is facing the real possibility that his signature accomplishment gets overturned by the Supreme Court right before he faces the voters again in the 2012 election.

The legal community is now taking a second look at the question of the constitutionality of the individual mandate for purchasing healthcare, the central tenet of the law. That question seemed more the subject of a political campaign than a serious legal question just months ago. But it is now a question in 20 pending cases brought against the law.


VA Blue Button moves ahead with vets' health records

6a00d834fd816853ef0133f365cbe1970b-320wi The Blue Button is a way for a vet to download his or her personal health record, maybe to bring to a doctor or clinic. It's a moving target, a big step toward getting more info available and accessible. It's one of many efforts across government to provide better medical care at lower cost for everyone.

Blue Button draws mostly on data entered by the vet, but also has a connection to health information from the Department of Veterans Affairs. DoD has one too. Because they coordinated so closely, they are nearly identical. You don't see that every day in large agencies.


The ObamaCare ‘individual mandate’ case will determine America’s future

We haven’t heard from Bono and Lady Gaga yet, so it is too early to say, but in our age of second acts — WikiLeaks, Jane Fonda workouts, “Hawaii Five-O,” Jimmy Carter (and isn’t the TV show “Dexter,” in which liberal frustration leads to weekly ritual sacrifice by a serial killer, a redo of the very popular “Death Wish” in 1974?) — the Egyptian uprising appears to be a latte version of the Ayatollah Revolution in 1979; but one without the Ayatollah. And without the American hostages. The first brought Ronald Reagan from nowhere onto a steady trajectory to the most successful presidency, perhaps, in the post-war period. Possibly we will see that heartland instinct which emerged in the Reagan period awaken now to dominance. Indeed, it is what we have been seeing with Tea Party, Constitutional Conservatives, Sarah Palin, the “Ron Paul Revolution” and Judge Andrew Napolitano these last two years. The key, in my mind, is one case rising before the Supreme Court; the case of ObamaCare’s “individual mandate.” It will determine America’s future.


My healthcare plan

I propose an amendment that would prohibit any member of the House or Senate who supports repealing the healthcare bill from joining any congressional government healthcare plan.

I would include mandatory term limits for any member who supports healthcare repeal for Americans but takes the government plan for him- or herself.

They should be term-limited before the next election!