By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter:@BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
Yesterday, Mitt Romney sent shudders through the base by saying that there are parts of ObamaCare he likes and intends to preserve.
One of these is the Perpetual Adolescence provision, that by government mandate keeps children on their parents’ health insurance policy until long after they should be launched into a life of adult independence. Gov. Romney apparently intends to make things even worse by letting kids stay on their parents’ plan until their parents pass from this mortal coil.
A second and far more alarming admission on the governor’s part is that he wants to preserve the ban on health insurance companies considering pre-existing conditions. This “guaranteed issue” provision will mean the end of private health insurance. Period.
This requirement would mandate that all insurance companies issue policies to anyone who applies no matter what existing health complications they may have. This means unlimited liability for insurance companies, since they have no idea who will walk in the door next with an existing medical condition that would require hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions in surgical, hospitalization and treatment costs.
The premiums companies would have to charge would be so high that no one would be able to afford them, and private health insurance companies would simply go out of business. And then no one would have access to health insurance at all. How is that compassionate in any way, shape, or form?
This is no different than mandating that auto insurance companies be underwrite everybody who walks in the door, no matter what shape their car is in, even if they have just wrapped it around a tree. Just as there would be no reason to take out auto insurance until you needed a new car, so no one would have reason to purchase health insurance until he got really, really sick and was facing health costs of staggering proportions.
Who would be left then to provide health insurance? Why, the government of course, and the government alone. Thus Mitt Romney could wind up being the president who gave us single payer, government-run health insurance by driving every private insurer out of business or into bankruptcy.
Some conservatives complain when conservative voices such as mine register complaints about Gov. Romney’s agenda. They don’t want his feet held to the fire until after he defeats President Obama. That will be the time, they say, after he’s been elected, to put the pressure on.
But surely this is misguided. If we don’t hold his feet to the fire now, how will it be possible to do it then? If he gets elected while ignoring legitimate conservative concerns, because conservatives haven’t even voiced them, what possible reason do conservatives have to think he’ll pay attention to conservative concerns while in office?
The truth is that conservatives who complain loudly and longly now, in the hopes that the governor can be persuaded to at least sound like a conservative, are doing him the biggest favor of all.
The more he sounds like the governor who gave Massachusetts socialized medicine, the more he pulls away from and de-energizes the conservative base. And he moves farther and farther from the many, many independents who are not Republicans because the GOP is not conservative enough for them.
I am convinced that the political pros have it all wrong on independents. The meme out there is that there are Democrats on the left, Republicans on the right, and all the independents are somewhere in between.
I believe this analysis is flat wrong. Surely there are voters in the middle. I do not dispute that. But there is a sizable block of independents who refuse to affiliate with the Republican party because it is not conservative enough for them. While the GOP platform expresses their values, they have been disappointed time and time again by candidates and officeholders who betray the fundamentally conservative principles that the GOP platform stands for.
They have become so disenchanted with the spineless, big governmentness of Republicans who will not stand for fiscal or social conservatism that they have checked out of the party altogether. The Republican party of today, they sense, is run by ruling class Republicans who care more about the Georgetown cocktail circuit and what the Washington Post says about them than they do about the future of America. That Republican party no longer speaks for them.
And the more Gov. Romney goes Etch-A-Sketch on essential principles of conservatism, the farther away he moves from this disaffected base, and the more he endangers his own electoral chances.
Bottom line: the conservatives who complain vocally about his lurch to the center-left are the best friends he has in the world, and represent his last, best hope of sitting one day in Barack Obama’s empty chair.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)