Thursday, October 04, 2012
The Great Romney Healthcare Hoax
How Romney Pushed State Health Bill Emails Show Governor
Defending Insurance Mandate for Massachusetts Residents
By MARK MAREMONT June 5, 2012
When Mitt Romney left office as Massachusetts governor, his aides removed all emails from a server computer in the governor's office, and purchased and carted off hard drives from 17 state-owned personal computers, according to a current state official. But a small cache of emails survived, including some that have never publicly surfaced surrounding Mr. Romney's efforts to pass his now-controversial health-care law. The emails show the Republican governor was closely engaged in negotiating details of the bill, working with top Democratic state leaders and drafting early copies of opinion articles backing it. Mr. Romney and his aides, meanwhile, strongly defended the so-called individual mandate, a requirement that everyone in Massachusetts have or buy heath insurance. And they privately discussed ideas that might be anathema to today's GOP—including publicly shaming companies that didn't provide enough health insurance to employees. Mr. Romney signed the bill April 12, 2006, and that night sent an email thanking a top aide, saying the law would help "hundreds of thousands of people…have healthier and happier lives." Through a public-records request, The Wall Street Journal obtained what is believed to be the most complete set of the internal emails to date, including attachments to some of the messages. Mr. Romney once trumpeted the overhaul as his signature achievement as governor, but he has since played it down amid GOP attacks on the 2010 federal health-care bill signed by President Barack Obama, which bears similarities to the Massachusetts plan. Both contain individual mandates that require residents to buy health insurance. Mr. Romney today defends the Massachusetts plan as a state initiative, while attacking what he calls "ObamaCare" as an unjustified federal takeover of the health-care system. Many Republicans oppose the individual mandate as unconstitutional, and the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this month on that issue.