Ann Coulter, a keynote speaker (with Nick Gillespie of Reason) at the Independence Institute’s Founders’ Night Dinner later this month, has written an article titled “Three Cheers for RomneyCare!” For this she’s been booed by a conservative/free-market publications including the Washington Examiner and HotAir, The American Spectator, and Mark Levine.
Coulter says RomneyCare was meant to address the “free-rider problem,” of people not paying for emergency room treatment that EMTALA forces doctors to provide. As I’ve written, the rationale that mandatory insurance prevents cost-shifting from the uninsured is bogus. Mandatory insurance introduces more free-riding.
Further, as Philip Klein writes in his response to Coulter, titled “Coulter’s shameful defense of Romneycare“:
The numbers show that the cost to government of expanding coverage to lower-income residents far exceeded any marginal savings from lower uncompensated care costs.
Klein’s rebuttals to Coulter’s other points are worth reading.
States have been forcing people to do things from the beginning of the republic: drilling for the militia, taking blood tests before marriage, paying for public schools, registering property titles and waiting in line for six hours at the Department of Motor Vehicles in order to drive.
At HotAir.com, AllahPundit has an excellent rebuttal to this point:
Once you accept that State Mandate Y should be tolerated because people already tolerate State Mandate X, you’ve built yourself a self-perpetuating government expansion machine. Why not let the state mandate people’s diets while we’re at it? After all, we let them force militia-age males to carry guns.
Read AllahPundit’s whole post: Ann Coulter: “Three cheers for RomneyCare”
In the American Spectator, James Antle III counters Coulter’s claim that “What went wrong with Romneycare wasn’t a problem in the bill, but a problem in Massachusetts: Democrats.” Antle writes:
In the case of Romneycare, while it is true that the Democrats pushed some details to the left, the basic architecture of the plan — mandates, subsidies, government-run exchanges, and expanded Medicaid — were all in the original proposal backed by the governor. The final product didn’t differ in kind from Romney’s proposal, though it did to some extent by degree. And Romney had already decided not to run for reelection, thus leaving the plan’s implementation totally up to Democrats.
Phillip Klein adds:
To start, Romney signed the health care law with a smiling Ted Kennedy at his side knowing that Democrats had the votes to override any symbolic line-item vetoes of certain provisions. Furthermore, when he signed the law, he had already announced he wasn’t seeking reelection as governor and knew that it would almost certainly fall on Democrats to implement the law. Part of being a limited government Republican is realizing that once you put the infrastructure in place, successors can always add to it.