The Case For Mitt Romney, Ctd

During his endorsement, Frum argued that Romney is unlikely to repeal Obamacare. I replied:

Romney has said it will be his first priority on Day One to end the program despised by every element of his far right party. He says this almost every day. David thinks Romney is cynical enough to make that clear, binding pledge day after day, ad after ad, and then instantly renege on it, even with a Republican majority in both Houses.

Frum clarifies:

1) If Democrats hold the Senate, as they likely will, possibly with an increased majority, how does repeal become law? 2) Even if Democrats lose the Senate, what exactly does the repeal statute look like? Is it the 1-sentence law simply voiding the law? But such a law would have immediate impact on a lot of Republican constituencies. It would, for example, immediately raise prescription drug costs for many Medicare recipients. Don’t the phones start ringing in congressional offices as seniors discover that fact? What about the 20-somethings on their parents’ health insurance. How do they (and their parents) react when they learn they will lose their coverage? Angry, right?

Can and will congressional Republicans really muscle through that anger? Especially if they have dropped a half dozen or so House seats? Or will they begin to expand their 1-sentence law to start addressing voter concerns? As the law grows, it will rapidly bulk into a substantial health reform on its own. As it bulks, it will accumulate more and more opposition, not only among Democrats, but among Republicans too. The Republican party that failed to pass a healthcare reform in the eight years 2001-2009 is not ready to pass a healthcare reform in the first nine months of the next Congress. Yet that’s what it must do if it is to repeal Obamacare while preserving Obamacare’s most popular features. And that’s what I doubt it will be able to do. The claim is not that Romney is lying to his supporters. The claim is that healthcare change is hard, and the repeal of Obamacare will be an especially complicated and dangerous change.

But if the latter is true (which it is), so is the former. Romney isn’t dumb. He knows how complicated it would be. And yet he insists it can be done on Day One. So he’s a liar – which is why we shouldn’t worry about voting for him.