PEOPLE ARE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN CARS. Guess who made that profound comment and when?
It was Mitt Romney last year, explaining the new Massachusetts health insurance policy which included an individual mandate. The policy was modeled on car insurance, and Romney explained the individual mandate in the policy with these words:
"We insist that everybody who drives a car has insurance," Romney said in an interview. "And cars are a lot less expensive than people."
Well, that was then. This year Romney proposes a health insurance policy for the whole country which doesn't include the requirement that people must buy health insurance if they can afford it. Now the idea is to transform the federal assistance states currently get to cover the uninsured into block grants, to add a few tax deductions and to turn an even blinder regulatory eye on the health care industry.
The Romney plan has at least two serious problems. First, the financial solutions he suggests are insufficient to cover the costs of any universal health insurance plan. Second, his plan would still have uninsured people requiring health care, and some additional funding would be needed to cover those folk. Unless we decide to let them die in front of emergency rooms.