“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sean Hannity Tosses Softballs to Mitt Romney On Healthcare

I caught Mitt Romney's appearance on Sean Hannity's Fox News program last week on the evening of the day he formally announced his presidential candidacy. To say I was disappointed is an understatement.

Hannity behaved shamefully. What he did was toss some softball questions at Romney concerning the former Massachusetts governor's failed health care plan. The plan is eating up increasing percentages of the state's budget. Last I read, it had grown by something like 15 percentage points over prior spending. The state is resorting to a care pricing and rationing board to try to limit cost growth.

Meanwhile, Hannity asked Romney generically about the plan. Romney responded, to paraphrase his key points,

'It wasn't the perfect plan, but it was the best we were going to get. I know what I'd change, if anyone wants to ask me. Obama should have asked me what to do differently before he passed Obamacare.....We included a mandate for coverage because what we had was some people who could afford care coming into emergency rooms to get free treatment and expecting the state to pay for it. We said, 'oh no, you're not going to do that.'......So really the mandate is a conservative tenet to enforce individual responsibility.'

Say what?????

Does anyone really believe that last statement? It's not credible at all. I don't think anyone seriously thinks Massachusetss' health care cost problems were caused by wealthy Boston Brahmins skipping down to the local public hospital to hit the ER for long term care, do you?

But Hannity, having lost Gingrich as his conservative presidential touchstone, is apparently clinging to Mitt now.

Here's what I wish he would have asked Romney:

"Governor, Massachusetts has experienced tremendous cost overruns far beyond your projections when you signed Romneycare. How do you explain that?

The current president is going to use Romneycare against you to blunt any attacks on Obamacare. What can you possibly say to refute his attacks?

Do you really expect conservatives and independents to believe that your signing a health care bill with an individual mandate allows you to stand as a conservative?

Why isn't the true conservative approach to drop a mandate, and simply say, 'no coverage, no care. Period?"

Hannity's shameful allowance of Romney to evade tough questions about his Romneycare doesn't do any good for Romney or the GOP. What better place for Romney to come to grips with the inevitable campaign-killing questions about the failed Massachusetts system than a friendly conservative program on Fox News?

If you ask me, Romney displayed the shallow slickness that cost him the nomination in 2008. Hasn't he learned anything? Hopefully we voters will remember what he learned then and dump Romney this time, too.

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