Monday, NRO published a brief piece referencing a Politico article discussing Mitt Romney’s pick to head his transition team, if he should win, Former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt. The Leavitt appointment raised eyebrows in conservative circles, even getting a mention on the Rush Limbaugh show, because his company has profited handsomely from the start-up of the state Health exchanges under the auspices of Obama-care. That’s right, Leavitt loves the state exchanges, as he’s cashed in on them, and while some have urged me to drop my opposition to Romney and climb aboard his campaign bus, or at least occupy the kennel strapped to its roof, I’ve been unwilling and this is one of the reasons for my resistance. I have no interest in electing another statist to the White House, but more than this, I really don’t wish to be in league with the profiteers who are working overtime to make sure that whomever occupies the White House next year, we will be universally shafted with Obamacare.
NRO picked up on the following in the Politico piece, and it’s significant:
Leavitt has said some relatively positive things about certain elements of Obama’s health reform law, suggesting earlier this year that “Obamacare” empowers the HHS secretary “to do certain things that are clearly aimed at trying to move us in the right direction.”
[Leavitt chief aide Rich] McKeown, who still works with Leavitt at his Utah-based health care consultancy, acknowledged that the former governor does not want to undo one key part of the controversial legislation [Obamacare].
“We believe that the exchanges are the solution to small business insurance market and that’s gotten us sideways with some conservatives,” he said.
The exchanges are not only a matter of principle for Leavitt — they’re also a cash cow.
The size of his firm, Leavitt Partners, doubled in the year after the bill was signed as they won contracts to help states set up the exchanges funded by the legislation.
One of the things I warned you about the GOP establishment is that there are those who have not only political sympathies with the left, but also a number of people who have learned how to profit from the big-government mechanisms the left invariably puts in place. These people are nefarious, and in the end, they always undercut conservatives and conservatism. They’re more interested in the deal, and making a buck than in standing on any principle. Conservatives are right to worry when they see Romney appoint somebody to his transition team who is such a thoroughly enthusiastic advocate for the exchanges being set up by Obama-care. Let’s not mince words: There is a class of Republicans who are willing to make money off of governmental actions without respect to ideology, philosophy, or any consideration beyond their own bottom lines, and by all appearances, Leavitt is one of these.
Leavitt is close to Romney, having been Governor of Utah, particularly when Romney was working with the Salt Lake City Olympics, and there can be little doubt that Romney’s choice for transition team may indicate some of the back-scratching that goes on in politics, but I also believe it reflects part of the problem with Mitt Romney. He’s not a conservative, and he’s probably going to work to keep at least some parts of Obama-care, as I’ve contended right along, and he’s effectively admitted it in his previous statements. Once you realize this, it’s an elementary matter, and the importance of the controversy over Leavitt’s appointment to a prospective Romney transition team tells the tale. Back in February, Florida Attorney General and Romney supporter Pam Bondi told us the same thing.
Ladies and gentlemen, we’re in real trouble here. If the Supreme Court doesn’t overturn Obama-care in its entirety, we’re never going to see it repealed in full. The Romney crowd simply won’t do it, because they’re making too much money from setting up the state exchanges, and in the final analysis, we won’t be able to get out from beneath the heap they’ll dump on us all. Much as many conservatives have always suspected that Romney would oversee the full implementation of a program that is just like Obama-care, for all intents and purposes, we must now do what I have always stated we would be forced to do if Romney somehow manages to win the presidency: We will have to play self-defense, not merely against the left, but also against a Romney administration.