Charles P. Pierce Loves Romneycare
In the new Esquire, Charles P. Pierce digs deep into the unusual existence of the universal health care bill Mitt Romney passed as governor of Massachusetts. He talks with Jon Gruber, the MIT economist who helped Romney devise the mandate, to Gov. Deval Patrick (who’s implemented most of the law), and to patients who have benefited from it. But Pierce also writes about his own health problems and the fact that Romneycare was the very reason he and his family were able to get affordable coverage after he left his job:
There is an undeniable sense of being trapped in the system of employer-based health care, a powerful psychological screw for the employer to turn when the employer wants concessions in other areas, which it always does. A year or so later, when I became the target of a lethal combination of intellectual cowardice and grasping corporate brownnosing, working there became completely intolerable. One of the things necessary for my escape, however, was the knowledge that decent health insurance was available for my family at a marginally affordable price. I was one of the lucky ones. I lived in Massachusetts, and Mitt Romney once was my governor.
Pierce is a canny political writer and essayist, so he takes great glee in pointing out that Romney once earnestly believed in the law (his official portrait at the State House includes a binder of Romneycare), but has subsequently debased himself in his head-long run away from it to win over the Republican party:
I have watched the entire presidential campaign in which Mitt Romney has run, and I have watched it from a very odd perspective. I have seen politicians who repeatedly change their positions on crucial issues the way Mitt Romney has. I have seen politicians who regularly mischaracterize their opponent’s position, even egregiously, as Mitt Romney has. None of that surprises me anymore. But I can honestly say that Mitt Romney is the first political candidate I ever have seen consciously run away from the good he’s done for thousands of people.
The whole piece is worth a read.