Monday, January 14, 2008

Mitt Romney's Bizarre Hospital

Mitt Romney said something odd at one of the recent Republican presidential debates (at St. Anselm College, NH). I wondered if I had imagined it, but there's a transcript.

Challenged by Fred Thompson on his health insurance mandates in Massachusetts, Mitt Romney had this to say:

Yes, we said, look, if people can afford to buy it, either buy the insurance or pay your own way; don't be free-riders and pass on the cost to your health care to everybody else...

If somebody is making, let's say $100,000 a year, and doesn't have health insurance, and they show up at the hospital, and they need a $1,000 repair of some kind for something that's gone wrong. And they say, "Look, I'm not insured, I'm not going to pay." Do you think they should pay or not?

Is this a problem in Massachusetts? Do people making $100,000 a year go into hospitals, receive treatment, refuse to pay, and get bailed out by the state? No wonder Massachusetts is in such bad shape. They're going to have problems funding health care if they don't bother to send a bill or pursue non-payers with the wide range of available remedies.

His hypothetical $100k free-rider doesn't pass the laugh test, suggesting, oddly enough, that multi-millionaire Mitt Romney tried to "out-poor" Fred Thompson.

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