—By Kevin Drum
Sun Sep. 9, 2012 5:01 PM PDTOn national TV this morning,
with millions of people watching, Mitt Romney told David Gregory that
there were parts of Obamacare he actually liked. In fact, he said, one
of the goals of his healthcare plan "is to make sure that those with
preexisting conditions can get coverage." A few hours later, with
approximately zero people listening, a spokesman quietly "clarified" what he meant:
In reference to how Romney would deal with those with preexisting
conditions and young adults who want to remain on their parents’ plans, a
Romney aide responded that there had been no change in Romney’s
position and that “in a competitive environment, the marketplace will
make available plans that include coverage for what there is demand for.
He was not proposing a federal mandate to require insurance plans to
offer those particular features.”
As it happens, we already have a competitive market for individual
insurance. In addition, we already have demand for coverage of
preexisting conditions. And yet, the marketplace doesn't make policies
available to people with preexisting conditions.
Why? Because policies that cover preexisting conditions are big money
losers unless you charge premiums high enough that no one could afford
them. Because of that, nobody bothers to offer them in the first place.
That's how the free market works. It would be nice if Romney could
explain how he intends to square this circle.
It would also be nice if the mainstream press reported the fact that Romney doesn't
plan to make sure those with preexisting conditions can get health
coverage just as loudly as they reported his original misstatement. I'm
not holding my breath.
Here is the interview from TODAY!!
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