Mitt Romney — April 7, 2012 at 11:29 am

Ann Romney: ObamaCare Poster Woman?


We can’t give all Americans a car elevator, but we can help everyone get decent health care.

A few weeks ago we learned that Mitt Romney’s palatial estate in La Jolla not only had its own lobbyist, it also had a car elevator. Yes, an elevator just for cars.

Maybe Mitt paid for it with the pittance, only a few hundred thousand dollars, he was paid for public speaking appearances. Or the money came out of his blind trust, which he never instructed to invest only in America. However he paid for his car elevator it seemed a perfect example of how a guy who made millions betting against American workers might not be the right man to lead an America in an income inequality crisis.

But then someone made the point: Mitt’s wife Ann has Multiple Sclerosis. The car elevator is probably intended to make moving around a little easier.

D’OH. Sad face. Even for someone who calls himself (or herself) LOLGOP, it was a bummer. Cross one example of gross Mittiness off the list.

Then I got thinking: What if Ann Romney weren’t Ann Romney? What if she were a mother of six with a history of MS and cancer and suddenly thrown into the free market to purchase health care?

Jeffery Young at the Huffington Post had the same questions. His answer:

Romney, who turns 63 later this month and also has a history of breast cancer, would likely be in dire straits if she had to turn to the open market for health insurance — without her husband’s millions.

“Ann Romney would literally be unable to get health insurance in most states in America and if she could get it, she’d pay an unbelievable price,” said Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. And it probably wouldn’t cover treatments for M.S. and cancer, he said. Gruber helped develop both the Massachusetts health reform law signed by then-Gov. Mitt Romney in 2006 and the national law enacted by President Barack Obama two years ago.

Forget that every woman could pay more for less health care if ObamaCare is repealed. Think of the women like Ann Romney who don’t have Ann Romney’s resources. Think of the pain of that existence doubled by the burden of finding and paying for treatment in a system designed to deny you care.

I do believe Mitt Romney had people like his wife in mind when he passed his health care plan in Massachusetts. You know he repeatedly said we should be using his model, including the mandate, for the entire country, until he turned on Fox News in late 2009. Romney’s need to run to the right in order to have any hope of keeping conservatives from devouring him won’t even let him admit that empathy, a sense of fairness and decency for all, should play a role in health care.

But Ann Romney, by just being Ann Romney, makes that case wherever she goes.

[CC image by BU Interactive News]