"What I would do is keep, as we have today, state responsibility for those that are uninsured. You see I believe in the 10th Amendment. I believe the states have responsibility to care for their people in the way they feel best."
So said Mitt Romney, Republican candidate for President, in his most detailed speech on health care policy to date. Speaking in Orlando under a banner announcing, "Repeal & Replace Obamacare," Romney pledged to replace Obamacare in several steps. Most importantly for my purposes, here is what Mitt Romney did and did not do:
- He pledged to uphold and protect the 10th Amendment in all of his health care policy decisions.
- He did not criticize Americans for exercising their 7th Amendment right to ask a jury to hold health care professionals responsible for deadly medical errors. He didn't even mention civil suits.
- He was not inconsistent or hypocritical with the 10th Amendment by simultaneously proposing to crush states' and individual rights by instituting unconstitutional federal medmal limits.
- He did not back the efforts by health care companies, their associations, or their Beltway allies to enact such laws.
- He did not promise to reward the pro-Obamacare health care associations, the very groups that shoved Obamacare down our throats through their secret deals and lobbying, with another special deal to immunize them from civil liability.
- He did not associate himself with the doctors in Congress who are trying to enact special interest legislation to protect their industry from accountability and responsibility through federal tort reform.
- And he did not commit to using a phony CBO estimate of budget "savings" from medical malpractice limits as a way to pay for other budget items.
Now I know that as Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney enacted statewide limits on awards in medical malpractice lawsuits.
I also know that his campaign website includes a proposal to "Cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits."
So which Mitt Romney would be president?
Is it the self-proclaimed protector of states' rights? Or is it the former governor who unabashedly closed state courthouse doors to victims of deadly medical errors? Will he convert into a true federalist?
Mitt Romney? We'll see...