On April 8th, Mitt Romney told a New Hampshire newspaper that the individual mandate was “unconstitutional” and reiterated his pledge to repeal ObamaCare. “I think it’s unconstitutional on the 10th Amendment front,” he said. This week, however, Romney told Kavon Nikrad, a conservative blogger, that he does not support repealing the “unconstitutional” individual mandate or the provision that prohibits insurers from banning coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions. From the RightOSphere blog:
“You have stated your intention to spearhead the effort to repeal the ‘worst aspects’ of Obamacare, does this include the repeal of the individual mandate and pre-existing exclusion?”
The Governor’s answer:
Gov. Romney went on to explain that he does not wish to repeal these aspects because of the deleterious effect it would have on those with pre-existing conditions in obtaining health insurance.
Indeed, while Romney, is doing some awkward kabuki to position himself as a can-do reformer and a conservative Tea Partier, having signed an individual mandate into law on the state level, he understands the insanity of repealing it. Romney has repeatedly defended the individual mandate as a “conservative” policy and has argued that it’s essential for covering every American.
“Everybody in America today has health care,” he said during a recent interview on Fox Business. “If they get sick, even without insurance, they get free care, paid for by government. We said no more of that. No more free riders. We want people taking personal responsibility for getting health insurance if they can afford it.” And, he’s right. The individual mandate creates incentives for otherwise healthy Americans to purchase insurance and may be the the only way to achieve affordable universal coverage. Without a mandate, only the sick who need health care would be motivated to purchase it. The pool of insured would be weighted with sick individuals, forcing the costs of the premium to escalate.
Recently, Romney hinted that he may change his position on ObamaCare if he wins the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012 and take credit for some aspects of the national reform law.