In their view ...

Published:

Most Americans tell pollsters they oppose the Affordable Care Act while strongly supporting individual pieces of what's been dubbed "Obamacare."

Republican Mitt Romney apparently falls into this category, or at least has been reading the polls.

Romney has been promising to repeal the health care reform law on Day 1 if he is elected president. But during an interview on Meet the Press recently he tempered his opposition.

"I'm not getting rid of all of health care reform. Of course, there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I'm going to put in place," Romney said.

"One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage. Two is to assure that the marketplace allows for individuals to have policies that cover their family up to whatever age they might like."

Romney's campaign quickly backpedaled, so stay tuned for further clarifications. The important point is this: Romney can't pick and choose among the health insurance reforms.

He can't guarantee affordable coverage to uninsured people who have pre-existing medical conditions without also enacting the individual mandate, which is the linchpin.

Unless everyone, or almost everyone, especially healthy and younger adults, is covered and paying into the system, the popular pieces of reform will be unaffordable to those who need them. ...

Tackle the question of how to protect people who don't have employer-provided health insurance, and the answer inevitably leads to universal coverage and an individual mandate.

That was the solution in Massachusetts when Romney was governor and signed the health care law that became the model for Obamacare, which raises a hopeful possibility: If they win, Republicans might have no choice but to replace Obamacare with Romneycare.

Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader

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