Romney: Look, I’m still crazy

It looked like Mitt Romney might be pivoting to the center, but I guess he decided he needed to shore up his conservative flank because he’s back to crazy land:

Romney minimized the harm for Americans left without health insurance.

“We don’t have a setting across this country where if you don’t have insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re going to die when you have your heart attack,’  ” he said as he offered more hints as to what he would put in place of “Obamacare,” which he has pledged to repeal.

“No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital. We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.”

He pointed out that federal law requires hospitals to treat those without health insurance — although hospital officials frequently say that drives up health-care costs.

Republicans must think this is a winning idea, since Bush, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum have all said basically the same thing. Of course, Romney disagrees with his past self. There are several problems with this idea: by definition, emergency rooms are for emergencies–you’re not going to get treatment for chronic conditions there which is why people without insurance are more likely to die than those who have it; emergency rooms are expensive so it’s not the way to rein in health costs; hospitals will still try to charge the patient–there’s a reason so many bankruptcies are because of health; emergency rooms can often be overcrowded which is why people sometimes die waiting for care. Just wait a few days though, Romney will probably change his stance.

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