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RomneyCare Is the BiPartisan Center

Greg Sargent:

The Plum Line: Some interesting numbers on “repeal” from CNN just landed in the old in-box:

Thinking about the health care bill that Congress passed this week, which of the following statements best describes your view of what Congress should do in the future?

  • Congress should make additional changes to increase the government’s involvement in the nation’s health care system: 27%

  • Congress should leave the bill as it is: 23%

  • Congress should repeal most of the major provisions in that bill and replace them with a completely different set of proposals: 47%

  • No opinion: 3%

For Dems, there’s no denying that the repeal number of 47%, nearly half, is uncomfortably high. That said, a total of 50% don’t want repeal, and more than one-fourth, 27%, want more reform.... No matter how realistic repeal is in the real world, these numbers suggest that the battle over the promise of repeal will continue to occupy a central place in the 2010 midterms, and could be every bit as polarizing as the previous 12 months. No rest for the weary...

Where CNN fell down on the job is in not specifying what the "completely different set of proposals" would be. As far as I know, the Republican Party is still at:

Republicans’ plan for common-sense health care reform our nation can afford without a government takeover of our nation’s health care system that kills jobs, raises taxes on small businesses, or cuts Medicare for seniors:

  • Number one: let families and businesses buy health insurance across state lines.
  • Number two: allow individuals, small businesses, and trade associations to pool together and acquire health insurance at lower prices, the same way large corporations and labor unions do.
  • Number three: give states the tools to create their own innovative reforms that lower health care costs.
  • Number four: end junk lawsuits that contribute to higher health care costs by increasing the number of tests and procedures that physicians sometimes order not because they think it's good medicine, but because they are afraid of being sued.

I suspect that CNN's numbers would have been quite different had their question been: "Congress should repeal most of the major provisions in that bill and restore insurers' power to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions..." Yet once you set as a goal eliminating coverage denials, the next resting point is RomneyCare--or something very close to it.