I was not going to comment on Mitt Romney after the election, but this remark is so indicative of his world view that I cannot let it go by. He was talking with donors – and why is it that this is the only group with whom he seems to share his actual views – about losing the election because President Obama was giving out “gifts” to targeted groups in the electorate. Here is one example of a “gift:”
You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000, or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity, I mean, this is huge. Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus.
Let’s ignore the fact that the Republican candidate for President in 2012 thinks Hispanic voters have different concerns than other Americans, or that for Mitt Romney, $10,000 is an amount he is willing to bet to win an argument in a debate. But yes, health care for a family that is barely making more than the federal poverty level ($19,090 for a family of 3 in 2012) is a big deal. I mistakenly thought that when Romney got his health care reform passed in Massachusetts that he knew that.
So, if you are a guy struggling to support his family or a single mom with two kids, $30,000 a year, or $2,500 per month, may not seem to leave much left over after you pay rent, utilities, food, transportation, and clothing for the kids to go to school, but Mitt Romney apparently thinks you can scrape together $833 for health insurance. Or, maybe, he thinks you should go without it.
One person who will need health care “in perpetuity” is Tammy Duckworth. The 44-year old lost both of her legs when the helicopter she was co-piloting in Iraq was shot down by insurgents. She ran for Congress from Illinois, challenging Joe Walsh, an incumbent whose chief claim to fame appears to be popping off. Walsh, who did not serve in the military, attacked Duckworth for, according to him, talking about nothing but her vet status. As he said, “What else has she done? Female, wounded veteran…ehhh.” (Quote is from Mother Jones.) Fortunately, it will be Duckworth representing the 8th District starting in January.