Mitt Romney: “This is the private market.”

Thus far, I’ve seen not a single pundit (not to say there isn’t one, but I’ve not seen it as yet) make a comment regarding Romney’s statements at the debate.

Lots of stuff on this lies and U-turns, but nothing about this.

Which is surprising considering Mr. Romney is supposed to be the guru of health care reform, having done it while Governor of Massachusetts.

Here are the quotes from the debate:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: So at — at Cleveland Clinic, one of the best health care systems in the world, they actually provide great care cheaper than average. And the reason they do is because they do some smart things. They — they say, if a patient’s coming in, let’s get all the doctors together at once, do one test instead of having the patient run around with 10 tests. Let’s make sure that we’re providing preventive care so we’re catching the onset of something like diabetes. Let’s — let’s pay providers on the basis of performance as opposed to on the basis of how many procedures they’ve — they’ve engaged in. Now, so what this board does is basically identifies best practices and says, let’s use the purchasing power of Medicare and Medicaid to help to institutionalize all these good things that we do.

Mr. Romney’s responses:

R. ROMNEY: In my opinion, the government is not effective in — in bringing down the cost of almost anything. As a matter of fact, free people and free enterprises trying to find ways to do things better are able to be more effective in bringing down the costs than the government will ever be. Your example of the Cleveland clinic is my case in point, along with several others I could describe. This is the private market. These are small — these are enterprises competing with each other, learning how to do better and better jobs.

I used to consult to businesses — excuse me, to hospitals and to health care providers. I was astonished at the creativity and innovation that exists in the American people. In order to bring the cost of health care down, we don’t need to have a — an — a board of 15 people telling us what kinds of treatments we should have. We instead need to put insurance plans, providers, hospitals, doctors on targets such that they have an incentive, as you say, performance pay, for doing an excellent job, for keeping costs down, and that’s happening.

Intermountain Health Care does it superbly well.

And then a few moments later:

MR. ROMNEY: Mayo Clinic is doing it superbly well, Cleveland Clinic, others. But the right answer is not to have the federal government take over health care and start mandating to the providers across America, telling a patient and a doctor what kind of treatment they can have. That’s the wrong way to go. The private market and individual responsibility always work best.

See the pattern here?

Mr. Romney concludes that all these health care facilities are doing a better job simply because they are “private market…enterprises competing with each other.”

Really, Mr. Romney?

Cleveland Clinic

As one of just two non-profit health systems in the world to make the list of 100 companies, Cleveland Clinic has established itself as an industry leader through a variety of innovative initiatives. In recent years, Cleveland Clinic has instituted programs that manage potential conflicts of interest, provide transparency on the industry relationships of physicians and researchers, and offer free health and wellness programs to employees and their dependents, as well as the community at large.

Mayo Clinic

As a not-for-profit organization, Mayo Clinic reinvests all earnings into improving patient care. Yet philanthropy provides essential support as we develop better methods to understand, predict, prevent, diagnose and treat disease, and train the next generation of physicians and scientists.

Intermountain Health Care

What’s the difference between nonprofit and for-profit systems?

In large part, it’s about accountability. For-profit health systems must give their shareholders a return on their investment. Nonprofit health systems, while not accountable to shareholders, have an obligation to their stakeholders — the communities in which they are located. They have an opportunity and an obligation to use any excess money they make to help their patients and improve the health of their communities.

Intermountain’s organization as a nonprofit allows it to make decisions differently from the way for-profits make decisions. As a nonprofit, we can offer services that benefit the community, even though those services might not generate high margins.

Mr. Romney – EACH of these health care providers are non-profit entities.  They are not there to extract the health care dollars of patients to enrich the coffers of the shareholders.  They are there to treat their patients and provide valuable services to their communities, not increase the profits of the Wall Streeters who have invested heavily into our health care system and who demand EACH quarter that profits be increased.  Insurance companies are only one component of the problem that was only partially addressed.  And if these for-profit entities are so willing to compete in the “free market” then why weren’t they forced to compete with a public option?  We all know the answer to that — don’t we Mr. Romney?

Under your plan – which is no plan other than overturning Obamacare, we will continue to feed the Wall Street beast at the expense of health care consumers  whose very lives, sometimes, depend on that healthcare.  And, sadly, not all of us live near these non-profit health care providers, nor can afford to make the trip to get to them.

Your comments lead one to believe that you have absolutely no understanding of this.  If that is true, how can you possibly solve the health care crisis you will return us to without Obamacare?  Sure it’s not perfect, but it’s a beginning.  And you appear to have no desire to make it better, only dismantle it throwing millions who now have new options available to them to the Wall Street wolves.

You complain about how Obamacare is costing us more when the increases in cost have been reduced from 11-13% per year to less than 3% per year with others finding the premiums have been reduced, many receiving refunds…and this is WITHOUT the four insurance plans yet being available to purchase.

Mr. Romney this is a serious problem for many in our country.  Evidently, you’re not serious about it.



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