like a policy porn star

Mitt Romney Takes Four Different Positions On Pre-Existing Conditions In Twelve Hours

david gregory, ready to pounceYesterday, David Gregory had an exclusive breaking up to the minute two-part interview with the Romneys on Meet the Press. The first part of the interview was spent awkwardly sitting super-close to the Romneys and asking them kind of silly questions as the bus bounced up and down and maybe David Gregory got a little bit carsick.

9 AM EST

At one point, Gregory asked the Romney hive mind if it would keep any parts of Obamacare. Romney responded thusly:

Romney told Gregory he “likes parts of” Obamacare, and that he would leave in place the prohibition against excluding people with pre-existing conditions and the policy that lets young adults stay on their parents’ insurance policies “up to whatever age they might like,” Romney said, rather unbelievably. “I say we’re going to replace Obamacare. And I’m replacing it with my own plan. And even in Massachusetts when I was governor, our plan there deals with pre-existing conditions and with young people.”

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This is really, really big news. Obamacare guarantees that you will not be discriminated against in terms of pricing or insurance issue if you have a preexisting condition, even if you were not covered while you had the preexisting condition. Because this is 2012 and we live in America, this is somehow still an issue that needs to be dealt with.

Romney has never said this before, and so it is a massive shift in his stance on this issue. That means, of course, that it was actually a massive screw-up, and  it’s all the liberal media’s fault.

11 AM

Thanks, Jennifer Rubin! You’re the best at being a really creepy middle-aged version of Alicia Silverstone’s character from The Crush with a sinecure at the Washington Post for no discernible reason!

As it turns out, the Romney plan, two hours later, is this:

The preexisting coverage plan would prevent re-rating of patients or exclusion of coverage if they go from an individually purchased plan to an employer plan or the reverse. (ERISA already protects those who move from one group plan to another.) For those first entering the insurance market, states will have the latitude to develop mechanisms such as high-risk pools for those hard-to-insure individuals.

This is essentially the state of insurance as it currently exists under HIPAA, coupled with some vague nod toward insanely expensive state-run insurance pools for people who are unlucky enough to take jobs that don’t offer health insurance or who can’t afford to pay $900 a month for COBRA coverage after Bain loads up their employer with debt and then sells off the asset. (I kid, I kid, Bain Capital made money by selling sugar cookies and lemonade on the side of the road.)

In other words, Romney’s plan is to do what we already do, but say it’s a new plan, and not grant any additional preexisting condition coverage to anyone.

4:55 PM

The National Review, however, did not get the above tweet, probably because they find Jen Rubin as insufferable as everyone else on the fucking planet does. They asked the Romney campaign for a clarification, and this is what they got:

In reference to how Romney would deal with those with 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.”

So now, Romney has flip-flopped on the part where he said young adults would be covered on their parents’ plans and also the part about the preexisting conditions. (Ed. – National Review edited out that part, Think Progress has the original edit.) THERE WILL BE NO PLANS FOR ANYONE TO GET ANYTHING SO SHUT UP AND NEVER EVER LOSE INSURANCE OR DON’T GO TO THE DOCTOR IF YOU DO, MKAY?

9:45 PM

Oops.

Turns out the Romney campaign got confused by whatever question National Review asked (exclusive: it was a single text asking “WTF???”), and has the real real answer that it meant to give all along.

“Gov. Romney will ensure that discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage is prohibited,” the aide said.

So, basically, sort of what Jen Rubin said at 11 AM, but without any specifics, and probably what his plan was before he opened his big yap on the bus to keep David Gregory from puking all over him or asking if they could be bunkmates when they got to camp.

The real lesson of all of this: Jen Rubin is always right. Always. The other real lesson: Mitt Romney will protect your right to be continuously insured as long as you have continuous insurance by doing absolutely nothing whatsoever because Congress already took care of that when he was just a failed Senate candidate.

The end.

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152 comments

  1. ChernobylSoup

    The fact that his wife has MS and he's against coverage of preexisting conditions disqualifies Romney from elected office, and from humanity. My father died from MS. The disease broke us, taking us from wealth to poverty in just a few short years. Go to hell, Romney family.

      1. ChernobylSoup

        FDH technology was considered experimental, so the insurance wouldn't pay. We could only afford a mule but it just kicked all us kids and took our lunches.

        1. Tangled sin tax

          My wife has MS and keeps up fairly well on the research, but has never heard of FDH. What is it? (BTW, after 10 years of Avonex she stopped all treatments as apparently ineffective)

          1. Terry

            Equine therapy has been shown to be helpful to people with a range of conditions. Riding moves muscles fairly gently in a range of directions. I suspect that the fact that it's more interesting than working out on machines helps, as well.

            I do believe, however, that the Romneys are writing off Ann's horse as a tax dodge.

          2. Gleem McShineys

            "working out on machines"

            Also something Ann Romney does?

            BOWM CHICKA BOWM
            MAGIC UNDIES HIT THE GROUND

        2. actor212

          It's still considered experimental, but some HMOs will let you ride a carousel, so long as you promise not to take the brass ring.

          And sorry about your dad. Mine died after a lengthy incarceration in a nursing home, and if it wasn't for his union and Medicare, my mom would have had to move in with me. In fact, his illness made me go out and buy a long-term care policy, just so my daughter wouldn't have to feed me cat food.

          And not even the expensive kind.

    1. belmontreport

      I am truly sorry for your loss. For any family to have to worry about finances while their family member is ill should make every American ashamed.

      They keep trying to "humanize" Romney by talking about how he helped friends, family, and members of his temple. But the true test of an empathetic human is the ability to understand the struggles of people that you do not witness. It is easy to be sympathetic or to help those you know, but it is far harder to be empathetic and help those that you've never met. Realizing and acknowledging their own privilege to pay for treatments for Ann's MS and breast cancer, and knowing that other people struggle to do the same (struggling to pay for far inferior treatments than what Ann receives) would say far more about them than if they bring Christmas presents to someone that they see each Sunday.

      1. heathenette

        THAT is a beautiful explanation of what’s wrong w/ Mittens! Thank you! If I give u credit can I use it when I’m discussing why I don’t like the R&R ticket?

    2. reliefsinn

      I am sure you are comforted to know that not only does Anne Romney get a $100,000 "dressage" horse to help her out, she takes advantage of reflexology and other alternative treatments. Any person with an ounce of compassion or self awareness might reflect on how lucky they were to be in the position of taking advantage of any available treatment, "experimental" or otherwise, and come away with some compassion for their fellow man, but the Romney's are not normal persons. This is not surprising, consider that not one of the Romney sons, nor Romney himself, has ever had the honor of wearing the uniform of this country's armed forces, despite ostensibly "supporting" the wars this country engages in.
      And I am sorry to hear that story about your Dad.

    3. Katydid

      Oh, CS, I'm so sorry. I lost my mom last year, her death could not have been prevented, and that was tough enough. This must be maddening. <hugs>

      1. IonaTrailer

        I agree, we came to the same conclusion last week.
        And my sympathy CS about your dad. The death of our parents is one of the hardest things we have to bear.

    4. Living in Joy

      Truly sorry for your loss. Where in the hell does Romney officially reside? Is it MA? If so, does he take advantage of the insurance mandate he pushed through while governor? It's amazing to me that there are actually human beings who would deny others the chance for health care. Everytime I see that idiot who owns Papa John's on TV talking about his $10 pizza, I always correct him – $10.14 so he can cover the costs of insuring his few full-time employees. What dicks!

    5. ktscarlett24

      As someone living with MS, it infuriates me when I hear other patients say they're voting for Mittens. "Why should I care? I have insurance through my job, and even if I can't work, I'll have it through my husband."

      On average:
      – Annual cost of living with MS: $69k
      – Length of time an MS patient remains in the workforce after diagnosis: 10 years
      – Husbands who leave their wives after an MS diagnosis 67%

      But hey, as long as you stay married to a gazillionaire, why should you worry?

  2. ManchuCandidate

    I just realized he's writing the Mittra Sutra.

    The Ancient Art of 1000 Political Positions so he can fuck over every group of voters (including his brain dead supporters) in a single day.

  3. Texan_Bulldog

    Jen Rubin=skinnier version of K-Lo. We'll have to start calling her JRub.

    Apparently these poor women are still sad that no one took them to prom.

  4. FakaktaSouth

    Dammit just tell the man what he's got to say to win this thing and let's just be done with it all right? He does not have time for opinions and questions and DEFINITELY not FACT checkers, he has important shit to do. Like ride around on a fucking bus. I hate this man. It is made all the more worse by the up their own ass fucktard bastards I have to deal with here that think they are SO SMART for supporting this guy. WHAT DO YOU SUPPORT ASSHOLES? HE DOESN'T KNOW, HOW COULD YOU???? Shit like this does not help me not want to throttle the lot of them. This is a bunch of bullshit.

    1. MosesInvests

      Seems like if you live in 'Bama (or anywhere in Texas besides Austin and maybe San Antonio), you'd need to take up meditation just to keep from strangling someone on a daily basis.
      I know I would.

      1. prommie

        Heh heh. That amuses me, that even a hundred years before cars, people abused any form of transportation that was rented.

      2. FakaktaSouth

        I am absolutely LIVING for the debates. LIVING FOR THEM. I cannot wait to see what PresO does. It will be very interesting to see them debate the difference between what Roms did in Massachusetts and the Affordable Healthcare Bill as it turned out to be.

  5. actor212

    Wow, so if I have a pre-existing condition, it will be covered under Romney, so long as I already have health insurance and don't let it lapse, which is sort of why I can't quit my job now because I'd let my insurance lapse because my COBRA payments would basically exhaust my unemployment insurance (assuming I could quit-by-being-laid-off) so under Romney I'd have to stay at the same sucky fucking job instead of borrowing $20,000 from my poor, dead dad and starting the business of my dreams, a canteloupe-picking service for urban gardeners.

    1. MadBrahms

      I think his Opinion Regulator is still on the fritz. Quality Control always seems to miss that one; better go find the soldering gun.

    2. Graham Cracker

      Item: Mitt Romney
      Condition: Manufacturer Refurbished
      but still unstable

      Warranty: No Guarantees
      Price: Can be bought, but you can't afford him.

    1. YasserArraFeck

      "If you experience a strong opinion lasting more than 4 hours, contact your pollsters immediately…etc etc"

  6. thurufally

    The New York Times is reporting that in addition to the two Presidential debates, Mitt Romney will be participating in three others in which he will debate himself.

  7. Serolf_Divad

    So Mitt Romney's plan: claim to support all the reforms in Obama's Affordable Care Act, but carefully design your own versions of these reforms so that they don't actually do any of these things.

    Romney's walk-back of the ACA provisions that allow young people to stay on their parents' insurance policies until age 26 really has to be the best walk back ever: "When I said that I would keep that part of Obama's plan that allows young people to stay on their parents' insurance policies till age 26 what I really mean to say was that if there's a market for insurance plans that allow coverage of children up to age 26, surely the market will meet this need by providing such policies."

    Hell, you could promise anything using this logic, couldn't you? "When I said free beer and pizza every Friday at work, what I mean was that if there's real demand for free beer and Pizza every Friday at work, surely the market will step in to provide it."

    1. prommie

      There is a market for two cars, and an elevator, in every garage. And invisible handjobs, for free, all the time, for everyone!

      1. Toomush_Infer

        Wow, thanks Prommie!….But which market should I apply to?…'cause I'm so out of it I don't know which one is stepping up……

  8. YasserArraFeck

    This is why Anne stays with him – Mittens may not have Rafalca's personality, but he has snake-like flexibility

  9. eggsacklywright

    The fact that this soulless turd is even in contention for office is a pitiful reflection of the state of the nation.

  10. BeachRose

    There is no Romney plan. On anything. Here is the strategy:

    1. Make stuff up if anyone asks.
    2. If anyone wants details, say you don't get to find out until after the election, so ha ha ha

  11. MacRaith

    Hey, go easy on the guy. He was working as hard as he could to keep it down to four contradictory versions; left to his own devices, it would have been around twenty.

  12. belmontreport

    News agencies are a little bit like a 4th grader. They've already talked about this story (when the interview aired), so now they've moved on. Those of us that spend all day thinking about politics will know what happened, but those low-information swing voters are going to just think that he said his plan was the same as Obama's but it isn't Obamacare (so way better).

    By the way, the people I hate the most during elections are not Republicans. I really hate the low-information swing voters. They are the reason why everything has to be smiles and unicorns and God and guns and FREEDOM and 'Merica. They're the reason Obama has to bowl, Romney has to talk about Obama taking God off of money, and we all have to pretend like press releases actually say something. They are also the reason I have to hear fucking Ann Romney prattle on about how sweet her husband is, while she nervously opens her eyes wide enough to give me nightmares. Can you please stop watching The Bachelor for an hour, visit the candidate's websites, read their stances, and then make a decision? It isn't that fucking hard, and you're fucking shit up for the rest of us.

    Sorry. Rant over.

    1. T3rbo

      I feel the same way. What makes me sick to my stomach is how these people make decisions: they seem to go with who they like more instead of who is the better policy guy. This works in Obama's favor, but when I see any news show that has a panel of undecided voters, I can't bear to watch anymore. The undecideds tend to give responses that are designed to be met with approval, like they want the interviewer to tell them good job for saying something correctly.
      The undecided voter, on television shows, don't ever admit that they haven't done any research outside of media consumption or casual conversations with other idiots, so all they can do is vaguely quote the candidates' often repeated talking points or sound bites. The more I type, the more I realize that the undecided voter has a lot in common with the right wing voter. Perhaps the non college educated white male believes the talking points and the undecided voter does not?

      1. belmontreport

        I realize now that a lot of what I wrote is super classist. I understand that not everyone has the privilege to sit at a desk all day and read about politics while at work. And I realize that many people when they go home just want to spend time with their kids or go to their second job or just relax, not worry about politics. It is frustrating, but I shouldn't really be mad at them. I was going to say that I should be mad at an educational system that hasn't taught them media literacy or enough about government to be able to make informed decisions, but the reality is, part of the reason education is so fucked is because they keep electing Republicans.

        Ehhhh. You're right, hopefully the fact that Obama is more likable will help them make the right decision, even if it is just based on that time when they saw that guy bear hug him and then he had a beer.

        1. T3rbo

          I think it is more of a kind of willful ignorance, which should be intolerable. It makes sense when people do not have access to information in third world countries or houses without the internet, but if someone chooses to not become engaged, at least every four years, with facts and information, that speaks more to the character of the person and not to the state of the economy or to the state of the educational system. Yes, civics classes are missing in a lot of high school classrooms, but to actively choose to remain ignorant in a house that has more than one smart phone, an internet connection, multiple computers and tablets, etc., is not easily excused even if it is easily explained. Citizens are failing the country, and forgiveness of this failure is a kind of an enabling of bad behavior, no?

          1. belmontreport

            I agree with that is true for many people.

            I do have a Facebook "friend" that recently posted that politics isn't her "thing", but that she'd vote for Clinton again because he gave an awesome speech on Wednesday. The problem? She is a year older than me, so that means that she couldn't have voted for Clinton ever.

            I wanted to yell at her about how politics should be everyone's "thing", because it is her responsibility to be engaged in how her government runs. She constantly bitches about schools losing funding (she is an elementary school teacher), state parks enacting a fee, the cost of healthcare, etc. These things are part of politics! But you know… like you said, willful ignorance.

            But I think a lot of it does have to do with people's media illiteracy. The fact that anyone is swayed by attack ads is proof of this.

        2. NellCote71

          I watched all the primary "debates," granted, mostly for the entertainment value. I watched all nights of both conventions, granted to see just how much the GOP would screw up. I do go out of my way to learn as much as I can about the other side. However, I will absolutely not turn into any Faux news program, listen to Rush Limbaugh or click on those racist, homophobic, hate-filled websites. I want the GOP to have worthy, sane candidates as much as anybody. It is good for the country. This current lot and the electorate are not. One can only hope they forget or are too drunk to vote on election day.

  13. Eve8Apples

    In other words, under RmoneyNOcare, your health insurance coverage will randomly vary every few hours depending on the direction of the wind, the time of day, the day of the week, and whatever the Magic 8 Ball says when you get sick and request health insurance pay your medical bill.

  14. chicken_thief

    Whatevz. He ain't a blah moozlin who never had a job so he's got my vote locked up.

    I can't wait for those tax cuts to trickle down to me!

  15. mbobier

    My, my — with so much flip-flopping and contorting, Mittens really should have a team of chiropractors traveling with him.

      1. eggsacklywright

        Professor Irwin Corey? Although, I have to admit that anyone who starts a speech with "However….." would get my vote.

  16. IonaTrailer

    My gay, retired brother-in-law (with existing high blood pressure) said yesterday this election could potentially ruin his life if Romney gets elected. He could be denied health insurance for the pre-existing condition, or if he could find a policy it would be ruinously expensive. He and his partner could be denied the right to make health decisions, and if Romney ran the economy into the ground with his tax cuts to the rich, they'd lose everything they worked for.
    We have got to make this election a win for the Democrats.

  17. rickmaci

    Mr. Romoney, "what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

  18. T3rbo

    Amazing, you can actually see the Tea/Republican Party ruin Romney's policies and his chances for election in real time!

    Romney: "Of course I am going to have a set of healthcare policies that benefit Americans: I fucking created RomneyCare!"

    Four Hours Later, Romney: "I for one welcome our Corporate Overlords and their ideas. Only hard working Americans will have access to market based solutions, because Constitution!"

  19. LibrarianX

    I thought his plan all along was: if discovered to have a lingering condition, we will smother you with plastic bags (pillows cost too much).

  20. Troglodeity

    Wow, I can stay on my parents' healthcare plan to "whatever age I like"? That's FANTASTIC! Can Romney also sign a law requiring them to let me stay in their basement to whatever age I like too, because I think I'm going to need that if he's elected.

    1. HistoriCat

      Wait a second – my mom is on Medicare. Does that mean I can get on Medicare and bring along my family? Medicare for All – the system works, people!

  21. christianmuslin

    Romney knows all he needs is a pulse on Nov 6 and no statements that offend significant segments of the gop cluster %#&@* and he has a good chance. It is ariithematic: he isn't blah! What a sorry excuse for a humsn being.

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