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Sep 15 2007

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years ago

Romney: Defining Moment is Now


By: James Lynch

Cedar Rapids Gazette

Saturday, Sep 15, 2007


"Mitt Romney wasn't about to take sides in the intrastate football rivalry that had dominated the afternoon, telling Jones County Republicans only that the 15-13 Iowa State victory over Iowa was 'a fun game.'


"However, the former Massachusetts governor and 2008 GOP presidential hopeful did take sides on the choices facing America.


"The unprecedented challenges facing the nation are a defining moment, much like the country faced at the time of the American Revolution and the Civil War, Romney told more than 150 people at a Republican fundraiser in Anamosa last night.


"He has no doubt the nation -- under attack from radical Islamic jihadists, facing new competition from China, using too much energy and spending too much money -- will change course.


"The question, Romney said, is whether it will follow the lead of Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama 'and make a sharp left turn.'




"'No,' the crowd shouted, and Romney agreed, saying he wanted to 'hold fast to the principles that made us great.'"




"Noting that Clinton plans to roll out her health care policy Monday, Romney predicted it would cost more than existing programs and rather than be run by the states, it would be run from Washington.


"'I don't want the people who managed the Katrina cleanup running my health care,' he said."...

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Bringing The Market To Health Care

By: John F. Cogan And R. Glenn Hubbard

The Wall Street Journal

Saturday, Sep 15, 2007


"Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's recent health-care reform proposals, which rely on free-market principles and federalism, will go a long way to fixing our health-care system's woes.


"The centerpiece of Mr. Romney's plan is to attack the tax code's discrimination against cost-effective private insurance. He proposes to allow individuals to deduct out-of-pocket health-care expenditures from their taxable income, allow individuals who purchase health insurance premiums on their own - rather than through their employer - to deduct health insurance premiums, and to expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) by eliminating the requirement that a qualifying health plan contain a high deductible."




"The tax preference's impact has been profound. It is the principal reason why nine out of every 10 private health-care plans in the U.S. are purchased through an employer. It is the principal reason why six out of every seven dollars of health-care spending is made by someone other than the person receiving the care. And, it is a key reason for the U.S. health-care system's excessive cost and waste.


"Many economists (including us) have emphasized the large benefits to health care of revoking the tax preference. Yet elected officials have repeatedly failed to enact the change because of strong political opposition."




"Mr. Romney's proposal to allow individuals to deduct out of pocket medical expenses is a significant advance in this 30-year progression to a level tax playing field between out-of-pocket expenses and insurance. And a more level tax playing field would encourage individuals to choose health plans with lower premiums and higher copayments for their routine health-care purchases. With more 'skin in the game,' individuals would exert more control over their choice of health-care services. The health-care savings would be large. We estimate that a proposal such as Romney's would reduce private health-care spending by 6%."




"We estimate that making out-of-pocket expenses tax deductible, combined with Mr. Romney's other proposals, will reduce the average premium of employer-provided family health plans by around $2,300 per year. Workers' wages will rise by this amount on average. To be sure, higher out-of-pocket expenses will offset part of this increase – $1,000 of it. But workers will still experience a net increase of $1,300 in (taxable) income. Mainly because of this economic effect, we estimate that the U.S. Treasury's revenue loss will be modest – about $10 billion per year.


"Mr. Romney's proposal also allows persons who purchase health insurance on their own to deduct their premium payments. This tax deduction will make insurance significantly less costly for unemployed persons and workers in firms that don't offer insurance coverage."




"Mr. Romney's proposal to eliminate the 'high deductible' requirement will allow individuals to establish an HSA regardless of their health plan's deductible. Eliminating the high deductible requirement will maintain the cost-reducing benefits of HSAs."




"The key to reducing the U.S. health-care system's excessive cost without damaging its ability to innovate is to allow competitive market forces to operate. These forces have worked in every other market to keep costs low and improve quality. There is no reason why they won't work in health care. Attacking the tax code's bias against efficient and cost-effective health insurance is fundamental to creating an economically sound health-care system."


Mr. Cogan, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, was deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Reagan. Mr. Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School, was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush. They are both advisers to the Romney campaign.

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