Yesterday, Republican nominee for President Mitt Romney offered some possibly problematic language regarding his plan to repeal and replace the President’s health care law. This morning, Tea Party Patriots called upon Romney to clarify exactly what he meant by saying he would “not [get] rid of all of health-care reform.”

A few hours before Tea Party Patriots published its concerns, Grace-Marie Turner blogged at National Review’s “The Corner” that foes of the President’s health care law should calm down and remember that while repeal of the law is important, so is replacing the law. Turner, President of the free-market health care think tank Galen Institute, pointed out that the two policies Romney said he would keep are popular, and that without the “replace” part of “repeal and replace” health care will continue to be a public policy concern in America. Below is her blog post in full.

 

Calm Down, Conservatives – by Grace-Marie Turner

Some conservatives are aghast that Mitt Romney told NBC’s Meet the Press that there are some health reforms he would support.

“I’m not getting rid of all of health-care reform,” Mr. Romney said in an interview broadcast Sunday, sending conservatives into a fury. “Of course there are a number of things that I like in health-care reform that I’m going to put in place.”

Romney was responding to a question from host David Gregory who asked him what he would do about two of the most popular provisions of Obamacare. Romney said up front he would repeal Obamacare, then he immediately acknowledged there are indeed problems which demand solutions.

Romney is right. There are problems in the health sector that need to be fixed, and we can’t stick our heads in the sand and pretend otherwise. If we fail to act, the health-reform battles will return with a vengeance.

Here is the full transcript of the relevant part of the Meet the Press exchange:

GREGORY:  On health care, you say that you would rescind the president’s health-care plan on day one. Does that mean that you’re prepared to say to Americans, young adults and those with pre-existing conditions, that they would no longer be guaranteed healthcare?

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, of course not.  I say we’re going to replace Obamacare. And I’m replacing it with my own plan. And, you know, even in Massachusetts where I was governor, our plan there deals with pre-existing conditions and with young people. Everybody . . .

GREGORY: So you’d keep that part of the federal plan?

MR. ROMNEY: Well, I’m not getting rid of all of health-care reform. Of course, there are a number of things that I like in health-care reform that I’m going to put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage. Two is to assure that the marketplace allows for individuals to have policies that cover their family up to whatever age they might like. I also want individuals to be able to buy insurance, health insurance, on their own as opposed to only being able to get it on a tax advantage basis through their company.

Pre-existing-condition coverage and coverage for young people have been two of the more popular parts of Obama’s Affordable Care Act. It would be politically foolish to cast them aside without offering any alternative.

Romney was right to acknowledge there are problems that need to be fixed. The alarmists who think that means he won’t repeal Obamacare need to calm down. Congress will see to it that a bill reaches the Oval Office if Obamacare opponents have majorities in both houses. Then they can get to work in fixing incentives to get health reform right — without turning one-sixth of the economy over to the federal government.

When it comes to the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, Tea Party Patriots fully support only one option related to reforming it – full repeal. Repeal comes first, then replacement. Turner’s excellent points notwithstanding, we will call upon the Romney campaign to clarify exactly what Mr. Romney meant in his comments.