In his remarks after the Obamacare ruling, Mitt Romney wisely avoided criticizing the Supreme Court. Instead he took the opportunity to make a policy arguments against the law. He mentioned taxes, Medicare cuts, job inhibition, employers dropping coverage and added debt. Oddly he did not make the two strongest arguments.
First, it would have been smart to take on the Independent Payment Advisory Board, explaining that the president’s plan is about rationing Medicare. It is among the most noxious provisions in the law. I’m at a loss to understand why he hasn’t made a bigger deal of it.
Second, he could have used the opportunity to make a forceful attack on the jumbo bait and switch. Here’s how that one goes: “President Obama lied to the American people in promising he wouldn’t tax the whole country. To keep his unpopular legislation, he told the Court something different — the individual mandate is a tax. Had he been honest, it is doubtful it would have passed. Congress. The solution is to repeal the tax on every American.”
Romney did, however, use the airtime to give the outlines of the “replace” part of his agenda. He should do more on that score.
As for President Obama, his remarks were brief. There was one glaring misdirection: namely, his claim that if you have coverage you won’t lose it. Well, what you don’t get to do is keep the coverage you want. In fact millions of people will discover that their employer no longer will provide coverage or that the coverage they have doesn’t meet Obamacare’s definition of coverage, thereby requiring that they shell out more for coverage they may not want or need.
Well, you can’t say the issue isn’t joined: We’ve got one guy promising free stuff from a greatly expanded government and the other guy saying we should revive the private market. Good thing there is an election coming up.