About a week ago, Mitt Romney told the nation on Meet the Press that he supported certain parts of Obamacare, specifically the parts prohibiting denial of care based on pre-existing conditions and the clause that allows young adults to stay on their parents’ plan. Both of these help the normally uninsured (or soon to be uninsured) keep their insurance when they need it the most – before they are getting substantial paychecks and when they are seriously ill.
Romney’s support for aspects of a law that Republicans almost unanimously despise would seem to liberals as a step in the right direction; Romney is breaking the party barrier and supporting a law that protects our fellow citizens’ right to health. This is, however, a mere political move to win over moderates and independents, and is not genuinely supportive of Obama’s law. After this interview, a Romney aide assured Romney supporters that his stand on health care has not changed. According to the aide, Romney was not proposing a federal law requiring such features, but voicing his belief that in a free and competitive market, insurance plans will offer what is demanded. By this logic, the American public does not want any of these provisions. Denial of care to protect the bottom line is still an all too common policy.
On other issues, Romney remains as conservative as ever. He does not support women’s reproductive health (and is supported by a party that doesn’t have a basic understanding of the workings of the reproductive system). Gay marriage is still out of the question. Tax cuts are a must, especially for the wealthy. Global warming is still a “maybe” despite overwhelming scientific evidence, and he wants to increase oil drilling and fracking despite the huge environmental damages these practices cause. If anything, he has become more conservative. As governor of Massachusetts he created Romneycare, a moderate health care reform law with many similarities to Obamacare, and supported checks on carbon emissions and pollution, a position that he has clearly reversed.
What does this change mean for America? As Romney follows his party farther and farther to the right, the less likely he is to win the upcoming election. His actions, like his speech to his wealthy donors in May about how those who vote for Obama are freeloaders who feel “they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing” shows that Romney is utterly out of touch with Americans. Additionally, should he imprudently attack the president again as he did after the attack on the American embassy (especially without all the information), instead of encouraging solidarity in a time of crisis, the election may be completely out of his reach. Hopefully, it is now. The last thing America needs is a president who considers his fellow citizens lazy and adapts his values to the current political climate.
Don’t be fooled by twisted words and rhetoric. Romney and his party remain conservatives, and that won’t change overnight.