Last night, Romney appeared on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, offering the far-right host an entirely new perspective on his approach to health care policy. "Well of course I'm going to repeal Obamacare," Romney said. "I've said that on the campaign trail, I think, every single day. Obamacare must be repealed—in its entirety. It's bad policy, it's bad law, and frankly, a $2 trillion entitlement we don't want and we certainly can't afford.... Obamacare is a disaster in my opinion, and has to be repealed entirely."
This is actually not an entirely new perspective, at least not according to what his campaign was spinning in the wake of Romney's seeming endorsement of at least part of Obamacare on Sunday's Meet the Press. His campaign spokesperson said he has always been for total repeal, so that's the story now. He has to be for total repeal, for Pete's sake. He's running for president as a Republican.
Yes, he did say on MTP that he's "not getting rid of all" of the Affordable Care Act. But that doesn't mean that he's not also supporting full repeal. No, it doesn't make logical sense, but it is Mitt Romney we're talking about here. And it's Romney at his dishonest best.
What Romney's trying to pretend is that what Republicans have been trying to pretend all along. They'd repeal Obamacare, but then they would come back and redo the stuff that everybody likes. Which is, of course, bullshit. First, Republicans have no interest in doing anything about health care reform except removing all state and federal regulation of health insurance companies. Second, without the promise of a captive customer base that the mandate gives them, no way in hell does the health insurance industry allow something like a pre-existing conditions ban, one of the elements Republicans continually say they'll enact. Third, Romney's plan for pre-existing conditions would actually leave tens of millions of people out of luck.
Here's the bottom line for Romney on health care reform: What was good enough for Massachusetts is too good for the rest of the country. Uninsured? That's your problem.