This is going to be a short note:
Governor Mitt Romney signed most of a sweeping new healthcare bill into law yesterday at a festive Faneuil Hall ceremony hailed as a hallmark of bipartisan achievement
Can we call it bipartisan when Governor Romney vetoes everything he doesn't like? Essentially, this bill is now an entirely Republican bill - until the legislature fixes it. It's much like President Bush's medicare prescription drug bill: it amounts to a huge payout to healthcare companies, while not even remotely encouraging businesses to increase healthcare coverage. There's no stick... is there even a business carrot? What incentive do businesses have to offer health insurance that didn't already exist?
No. Sorry, Boston Globe. It was a bipartisan effort, but Mitt Romney just lost the right to call it that. I understand why he did it and don't blame him, but he can't have his cake and eat it too. Either he has to tell conservatives that, in an extremely blue state, he had to compromise or he abandons his efforts to create bipartisan legislation. That's what he did, he ditched bipartisan efforts on the side of the road when he realized he was about to be labeled a Massachusetts Liberal.
The fact that it will probably still happen is poetic justice. Conservatives don't like government mandates, even if it's on lowly people and not fabulous corporations. Get used to it, Mitt. You're a Massachusetts Liberal now.
In criticizing the way the Globe describes the bill, I would like to say they got some things right. The bill presents a lot of questions and the Globe touches on them.
A legislative staff analysis estimates that the groundbreaking healthcare plan would start losing money in two to three years, which could put pressure on lawmakers to spend more tax money, increase the fee on businesses or scale back the coverage of the sweeping bill. The analysis projects that the plan will be about $160 million short of its estimated cost of $1.56 billion in the fiscal year that starts July 1, 2008.Massachusetts has taken the first step to Universal Health Care, but we have only scratched the surface. The bill offers almost as many questions as it does answers. How are we going to pay for it? What is public assistance? Are we leaving too many middle class people at risk because of thrusting all the high costs on them without any of the necessary assistance?
These are questions that will be answered over the next few years. Our next Governor will be a huge part in deciding that. Let's pick a good one.