Just for the record, this is the second day in a row I have not done my usual Romney bashing. Yesterday I fairly compared and contrasted Obamacare and RomneyCare and today -- because you'll never get the truth from the left-wing mainstream media (yes, that's redundant) -- I want to dissect former Massachusetts Governor Romney's "60 Minutes interview."
Romney never "told CBS News' "60 Minutes" Sunday (September 23) that emergency rooms are health-care providers for people without insurance" as the lefties are reporting widely.
Here is the transcript of the Romney interview on 60 Minutes.
"Pelley: Does the government have a responsibility to provide health care to the 50 million Americans who don't have (insurance) today?
"Romney: Well, we do provide care for people who don't have insurance, people-- we-- if someone has a heart attack, they don't sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care"
"Pelley: That's the most expensive way to do it.
"Romney: Well the-- (Pelley does not let Romney finish)
"Pelley: In an emergency room.
"Romney: Different, again, different states have different ways of doing that. Some provide that care through clinics. Some provide the care through emergency rooms. In my state, we found a solution that worked for my state. But I wouldn't take what we did in Massachusetts and say to Texas, "You've got to take the Massachusetts model.""
In summary, Romney made the correct distinction -- something that the liberals don't seem to get -- between health care and healthcare insurance. Essentially the first question was
"Do we have a responsiblity to provide care for people without insurance. In the U.S?"
Romney's answer was "Yes." Romney is absolutely right. And it is not just a moral obligation, it is a legal obligation to anyone that presents himself or herself to an ER. And the example Romney used was a heart attack, not "routine health care" as the press regularly lies.
The second question was something like
"Isn't that expensive?"
And Romney's answer was "Yes, it was in Massachusetts." He didn't explain further to 60 Minutes but Massachusetts was raising in a special healthcare tax (the free care pool tax) and spending somewhere around a billion dollars a year when Romney took office as governor in 2002. So he figured out what he thought was a better way to do it (turns out his idea didn't work but that wasn't the question and I've beaten that horse pretty hard on this blog so I'll let it go today).
But Romney also said that if Texas likes the way it handles its legally required free care process, that's none of Massachusetts' business. What good would it do to give almost everyone in Texas without insurance PerryCare cards for free -- as we did in Massachusetts with RomneyCare cards -- when so many of the people in Texas that come into its clinics and ERs are from another country and are not even residents of the state (or possibly even of the country)?
Even Obamacare will not give free insurance to people who do not legally reside in the country. But we will give them free health care just as we have been legally required to do for 30 years.
-- Dennis Byron