Mitt Romney must still be trying to mitigate the damage RomneyCare has done him in the Republican primary by pretending he really doesn't understand the realities of the nation's health care crisis. Because it's pretty hard to imagine that, in crafting the Massachusetts plan, he didn't know what he was doing and why. At any rate, in his effort to be perceived as uber-conservative, Romney is displaying both ignorance and cruelty surpassing most Republicans. At Think Progress, Igor Volsky documents his turn on Medicaid, using this appearance on Sean Hannity's radio show.
ROMNEY: It's mathematically pretty straight forward how you hold down costs, which is you say, we're going to cut it by a certain amount and then comes the hard work of saying where you're going to cut it. And that why I've laid out a plan that balances our budget…taking Medicaid and giving it back to the states and growing it only 1 to 2 percent a year.
For the record, that is not "holding down costs." It's the government paying less by cutting people out of the Medicaid system because it is not keeping up with the increase of health care costs. That's on top of turning Medicaid into a block grant, the House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan/Republican budget plan that Romney has adopted, an approach that will likely not reflect actual costs to states for Medicaid. So Romney makes the Ryan plan even more parsimonious. Volsky:
Comparatively, Romney’s reductions would result in even steeper cuts that would affect tens of millions of low-income Medicaid beneficiaries—seniors in nursing homes, people with disabilities, children—for whom the program has become a critical source of coverage. A very rough back-of-the envelope calculation using the CBO's projected federal Medicaid expenditures for 2012 as a baseline (and then growing that number by 1.5 percent annually through 2021) demonstrates the sheer magnitude of Rommey's cuts as compared to current law and Ryan's plan. The results show that Romney could reduce the size of the program by more than 40 percent over that period
Again, that's doing absolutely nothing to hold down costs of health care, something none of the Republican plans have attempted. It's punishing people for being sick or old (or sick and old) by cutting them out of the system.