Ezra Klein tries to make sense of the many Mitt Romney campaign positions on health care. Basically Romney is trying to sound like he’ll keep Obamacare’s guaranteed issue regulations, but that’s not what his plan says:
To most of the world, that sounded like Romney was saying he was going to keep Obamacare’s protections for people with preexisting conditions. And enough reporters know Obamacare well enough to know that you can’t keep those protections without keeping quite a bit of the law. That’s why people thought Romney’s position had changed.
But to folks who’ve been following Romney’s game of three-card monte on this issue, it was clear he was just being strategically vague in describing his position: Romney has long said he would protect people with continuous coverage from being discriminated against due to preexisting conditions. But this is something that the law mostly does now, and that would leave 89 million Americans out in the cold.
Romney’s play here was obvious enough: By being a little fuzzy about what, exactly, he was proposing, he could sound like he had a way to protect people with preexisting conditions while still saying he wants to repeal Obamacare. He’d get the best of both worlds. But the problem with trying to strategically confuse people is that you actually confuse them, and that’s what happened here. Rather than coming away thinking Romney had a secret plan to protect people with preexisting conditions, they went away thinking Romney had a secret plan to protect Obamacare.