Last night on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney propagated a fearmongering claim that a public health insurance option would bring death to the country:
ROMNEY: The right way to have proceeded was to let each state create their own plan, to learn from the laboratories that the states were meant to be, and then adopted the very best in the federal system. But that hasn’t been done. And as a result, you’re seeing Democrats fighting Democrats. And the idea that we’d have — the government get into a — if you will, the public or government option is absolutely death, I think, across this country.
Romney’s hysterical scare tactic has sadly become the norm in the health care debate. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin issued the absurd statement that the House health reform bill would create “death panels” for the nation’s elderly — a claim conservatives advanced with glee despite the fact that it had been thoroughly debunked. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) similarly claimed that reform would “pull the plug on grandma.”
During last night’s segment, Romney touted Massachusetts’ health care system that he helped enact as governor (despite downplaying the plan during his 2008 presidential bid). Romney boasted that the Massachusetts plan is “on budget,” but what he omitted is the fact that when approving the plan, he “deferr[ed] until another day any serious effort to control the state’s runaway health costs” and now “the plan will not be sustainable over the next 5 to 10 years if they do not take significant steps to arrest the growth of health spending.”
The public option of course won’t cause “death” across the country, as Romney claimed, but rather, it would be a key component of bringing down the cost of health care.