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PSN on April 13, 2006 - 2:57pm
Looks like it's a bad idea to play "Let's Make a Deal" with Mitt Romney. The Massachusetts Governor vetoed the employer assessment yesterday, a move that was expected to happen, but is still deeply disappointing. What makes it even more distressing is that the employer assessment -- a charge for medium and large businesses that choose to not provide insurance coverage to workers -- is that at $295 per employee, it was rather small, especially in comparison to the $1000 fine for individuals who "choose" to not have insurance, often because it is not affordable.
As Progressive States reported last week, Romney's contributions to the bill were largely based on his work with the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank that gets major donations from the medical-industrial complex and big corporations who don't want to contribute their fair share to increasing health costs. With his actions this week, it is clear that while Romney hungers for the limelight with his actions for health care for all, he is also interested in bowing and scraping to the far right.
John McDonough and Health Care for All in Massachusetts are calling for the legislature to overturn this veto and seven others from the bill. Legislators are already moving to do precisely that. They've also noted that the learned of Romney's decision through a press release.
With the legislature expected to override Romney's vetoes -- vetoes that had major effects on a bill that was the result of years of negotiations -- it is clear that Romney's gesture was little more than a symbolic gesture, a symbolic slap in the face for working families in Massachusetts and a symbolic slap on the back for the corporate interests that have long supported Romney's political career.