Mitt Romney and The Health Care Debate

Several people are speaking out against President Obama’s current health care proposal. One of those folks happens to be former Governor of Massachutes Mitt Romney. Now just for a refresher, President Obama has favored a plan that provides coverage for all Americans. He has proposed a public option where the government would serve as a competitor to the current private system. All of which has been opposed by Mr. Romney. However a close examination of his career as Governor reveals that he too not only proposed but signed into law a reform bill that required all residents to buy health insurance coverage.

There were punishments for residents that elected not to purchase health care coverage. Many would face the loss of their personal income tax exemption. This exemption was worth $219. The exemption increases monthly and is based on half the cost of health insurance coverage. There were some changes enacted to the proposal. The most controversial change was the addition of a provision which requires firms with 11 or more workers that do not provide “fair and reasonable” health coverage to their workers to pay an annual penalty. This contribution, initially $295 annually per worker, is intended to equalize the free care pool charges imposed on employers who do and do not cover their workers.

Does this sound familiar? It should because it is essentially the same form of health care reform that President Obama is proposing. It begs to question why Mr. Romney is now proposing much the same reform that he enacted while Governor in Massachutes in 2006.

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