UPDATED: MITT ROMNEY FINALLY ADMITS ACA HELPS LOTS OF PEOPLE.
Thomas G. Stemberg, who cofounded Staples Inc. and invented the office superstore, died Friday at his home in Chestnut Hill, two years after he was diagnosed with gastric cancer. He was 66.
...With the backing of Bain Capital and its cofounder Mitt Romney, the first Staples store opened in Brighton in 1986. Growing rapidly, Staples took the top spot on the Globe’s 1991 list of the 50 fastest-growing companies in the state, with a sales growth rate of 83 percent. Today Staples is worth more than $8 billion.
...Romney also credited Mr. Stemberg with persuading him to push for health care reform in Massachusetts when he was governor.
Romney said that shortly after he was elected, Mr. Stemberg asked him why he ran for governor. Romney said he told him that he wanted to help people, and Mr. Stemberg replied that if he really wanted to help, he should give everyone access to health care, which Romney said he hadn’t really considered before.
“Without Tom pushing it, I don’t think we would have had Romneycare,” Romney said. “Without Romneycare, I don’t think we would have Obamacare. So, without Tom a lot of people wouldn’t have health insurance.”
In a 2012 interview with the PBS show “Frontline,” Mr. Stemberg said “the uninsured are creating a crazy burden on our system. ... It just ought to be made more efficient, and you can’t do that unless you get everybody covered.”
Of course, Romney's statement comes on the same day that the House Republicans passed ANOTHER bill to repeal the ACA (making it their, what, 50th time doing so? 55?):
The House of Representatives passed Friday what was supposed to be their best shot at an Obamacare repeal measure to get through the Senate and onto the President's desk. The only problem is, yet again, it faces a math problem in the Senate: not because of filibustering Democrats this time, but a few Republicans who say it doesn't go far enough.
The plan for the bill, The Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, was that it would overcome a Democratic filibuster in the Senate by using a legislative maneuver known as reconciliation, which only requires a majority in the Senate for passage. That makes it immune to a filibuster from minority Democrats. But the process is complicated, in part because reconciliation can only be used on measures that decrease the federal deficit. Full-scale Obamacare repeal, the Congressional Budget Office has said, would add $353 billion.
Friday's bill only targets some of the unpopular aspects of Obamacare -- including the individual and employer mandate, the "Cadillac" tax, and the medical device tax -- in a way which the CBO has said will decrease the deficit. But because it is only a partial repeal that leaves in place things like the Medicaid expansion and the exchange subsidies, some conservatives are warning it does not go far enough.
Then again, as several people immediately noted via Twitter:
Historians will look back to this quote as the moment Republicans started claiming Obamacare was their idea. Haha. pic.twitter.com/ZBf4TR5WPs
— Mike Nellis (@MikeNellis) October 23, 2015
Yup. 20 years from now, I guarantee you Republicans will be running around waving misspelled signs reading "GET YOUR GOVERNMENT HANDS OFF MY OBAMACARE!!" with absolutely zero irony or reflection. (photos via rwnj.org, JimGinPA & Dawn Teo)
UPDATE: Well, that didn't take long...
After the Globe story published, Romney responded with a statement Friday saying he is still opposed to ObamaCare.
"Getting people health insurance is a good thing, and that’s what Tom Stemberg fought for," Romney said. "I oppose Obamacare and believe it has failed. It drove up premiums, took insurance away from people who were promised otherwise, and usurped state programs. As I said in the campaign, I'd repeal it and replace it with state-crafted plans."
Of course, the ACA allows individual states to do just that via the 1332 innovation waivers allowed for by the ACA itself...such as the one which is about to go on the ballot in Colorado, as it happens...but Mitt never let facts stop him before, why start now?