During the debate:
OBAMA: There's no indication that [Romney's plan] somehow is going to help somebody who's got a pre-existing condition be able to finally buy insurance. In fact, it's estimated that by repealing Obamacare, you're looking at 50 million people losing health insurance at a time when it's vitally important...
LEHRER: Let's let the governor explain what you would do ...
ROMNEY: Well, actually it's -- it's -- it's a lengthy description. But, number one, preexisting conditions are covered under my plan.
After the debate: Brian Buetler:
Romney Adviser Gives Up The Ghost On Pre-existing Conditions: After the first presidential debate at the University of Denver in Colorado on Wednesday night, one of Mitt Romney’s top advisers acknowledged that, as a result Romney’s plan to repeal Obamacare, people with pre-existing medical conditions would likely be unable to purchase insurance. The admission directly contradicts the GOP candidate’s claim during the debate that “pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan” — a contention Romney has repeated on the trail and that his campaign has repeatedly walked back.
“With respect to pre-existing conditions, what Governor Romney has said is for those with continuous coverage, he would continue to make sure that they receive their coverage,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, referring to existing laws which require insurance companies to sell coverage to people who already have insurance, or within 90 days of losing their employer coverage.
Pressed by TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro, Fehrnstrom said those who currently lack coverage because they have pre-existing conditions would need their states to implement their own laws — like Romney’s own Massachusetts health care law — that ban insurance company from discriminating against sick people.
“We’d like to see states do what Massachusetts did,” Fehrnstrom said. “In Massachusetts we have a ban on pre-existing conditions.”
What do you do with somebody who lies this brazenly this often?
If there was anybody who cared about policy and the policy process who was still in the tank for Romney and not voting against him, this was a dealbreaker.
Romney's Sick Joke: [e]verything Obama said was basically true, while much of what Romney said was either outright false or so misleading as to be the moral equivalent of a lie. Above all, there’s this:
MR. ROMNEY: Let — well, actually — actually it’s — it’s — it’s a lengthy description, but number one, pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan. No, they aren’t. Romney’s advisers have conceded as much in the past; last night they did it again.
I guess you could say that Romney’s claim wasn’t exactly a lie, since some people with preexisting conditions would retain coverage. But as I said, it’s the moral equivalent of a lie; if you think he promised something real, you’re the butt of a sick joke.
And we’re talking about a lot of people left out in the cold — 89 million, to be precise.
Furthermore, all of this should be taken in the context of Romney’s plan not just to repeal Obamacare but to drastically cut Medicaid.