90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, June 18, 2012

Emails Reveal Romney’s Strong Backing Of Individual Mandate At State Level

Then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at a news conference about the state's universal health insurance program in Boston in 2006. (AP)

New emails obtained by the Wall Street Journal show just how strongly Mitt Romney pushed for the individual mandate while he was negotiating healthcare reform in Massachusetts.

President Obama has repeatedly said he fashioned his health care reform act on the Massachusetts plan, including the mandate, which requires that everyone buy health insurance.

Romney has now distanced himself from the Mass. healthcare law that he helped author, and as recently as this weekend he decried the individual mandate at the federal level as unconstitutional.

One email, containing a draft op-ed article for the Wall Street Journal, showed that Romney was an ardent defender of the individual mandate:

Using an argument deployed today by the Obama administration, Mr. Romney defended the mandate by noting that taxpayers generally foot the bill when the uninsured seek health care.

“Either the individual pays or the taxpayers pay. A free ride on government is not libertarian,” the published op-ed stated. In a line that didn’t make the edited version, Mr. Romney added: “An uninsured libertarian might counter that he could refuse the free care, but under law, that is impossible—and inhumane.”

It’s remarkable that these emails even exist. When Romney left office, some of his aides removed all emails from a server computer in the governor’s office and bought hard drives from state-owned computers.

While wiping out the emails has not been deemed illegal, it has been controversial.

The recently revealed emails were on another server that the aides missed, and obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Wall Street Journal.

Guest:

  • Mark Maremont, Wall Street Journal senior editor

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

October 23 Comment

New Documentary Profiles Human Rights Watch Team

An elite group known as the E-Team travels across the globe documenting human rights violations and war crimes.

October 23 Comment

Bottom Of The Sea Is ‘A World Of Surprises’

The world's oceans cover nearly two-thirds of the Earth's surface, yet little is understood about the ocean floor.

October 22 13 Comments

Colorado Backs Away From Pot Edibles Ban

Critics say a ban would violate the state's voter-approved legalization of recreational marijuana, which took effect in January.

October 22 4 Comments

Modest Raise For Social Security Recipients

Economist Diane Swonk says the 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase falls short of the inflation older Americans actually see.