Another day, another Mitt Romney falsehood.
It turns out that, contrary to what he said on yesterday's Meet the Press interview, Romney doesn't want to preserve the Obamacare prohibition on denying people health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions.
This is what Romney said:
“Well, I’m not getting rid of all of health care reform,” Romney said on NBC’s ”Meet the Press.” ”Of course, there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I’m going to put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage.
But this isn't true. His campaign staff has told reporters that Romney's position on pre-existing conditions hasn't changed. He only is in favor of assuring protection for people who have continuous health insurance coverage.
Which is what the law basically already requires.
BuzzFeed passes along yet another clarification. According to an aide, "Gov. Romney will ensure that discrimination against individuals with preexisting conditions who maintain continuous coverage is prohibited."
This has long been Romney's position, and it's not clear if it's meaningful or not. This kind of protection has been the law of the land since 1996 for people with group coverage. And people who lose group coverage already qualify for individual COBRA coverage for 18 months. So the only way Romney's statement means anything is if he's saying he would pass a law that requires insurance companies to offer permanent individual coverage at a reasonable price to people who lose their group coverage. Needless to say, Romney has never actually committed to that particular detail.
Romney gets more laughable every day, even as his electability sinks like a stone post-convention. He won't tell voters how he plans to reduce the deficit by cutting taxes. Supposedly the rich won't get as many deductions, but like Bill Clinton said, Romney lacks basic arithmetic skills.
Mr. Romney has pledged to cut individual income tax rates for everyone, and to do it without increasing the federal budget deficit or putting new tax burdens on middle-income people to make up for the lost revenues from the rate cuts. But he has provided no further specifics, confounding analysts and leaving himself open to attack from Democrats.
Asked on the NBC program “Meet the Press” on Sunday which tax deductions he would eliminate, he said only that he would target “some of the loopholes and deductions at the high end” while lowering the “burden on middle-income people.”
Democrats — as well as a broad range of economists from the left, right and center — say that the consequence of ending tax breaks substantial enough to offset the lost revenue from income tax rate cuts would be to hurt middle-class Americans.
Many independent analysts contend that the only way to raise the revenue Mr. Romney is talking about would be to eliminate breaks like the preferential treatment of investment income or the mortgage-interest deduction.
Their position is central to the Democrats’ argument that eliminating tax breaks — called tax expenditures because they often function like government spending programs — would hit the middle class the hardest.
...The problem, tax analysts say, is that it is mathematically impossible do all three of those things. High-income earners would pay far less as tax rates fell. Even if the Romney campaign eliminated every one of their noninvestment tax breaks and credits, rich families would still not pay what they do today.
That raises the question of whether the plan would increase taxes on the middle class, add to the deficit or require less-steep rate reductions.
“The combination of stuff they’ve specified is not only impossible — it is impossible several times over,” said William G. Gale, the director of economic studies for the center-left Brookings Institution and a co-author of a definitive Tax Policy Center study on Mr. Romney’s plan, whose arithmetic the Obama campaign is citing.
Romney's entire campaign is founded on smoke and mirrors. I can hardly wait for his debates with President Obama. The more voters learn about Romney, the less they like him. And the more dissembling he does on issues like coverage of pre-existing conditions, the less they trust him.