Ann Romney Wouldn't Find Free-Market Health Care Without Mitt Romney's Millions
If Ann Romney weren't wealthy, she might have even more in common with Kelly Gaeckle.
Both women suffer from multiple sclerosis, a chronic neurological disorder that impairs motor function, cognitive abilities and vision and can cause uncontrollable muscle spasms, fatigue and dizziness. Patients eventually can lose the ability to walk.
Romney, whose husband is Mitt Romney -- the leading Republican presidential contender, the ex-governor of Massachusetts and a former corporate honcho worth as much as $250 million -- presumably doesn't struggle to pay for her treatments, even if she doesn't consider herself wealthy.
Romney, who turns 63 later this month and also has a history of breast cancer, would likely be in dire straits if she had to turn to the open market for health insurance -- without her husband's millions.
"Ann Romney would literally be unable to get health insurance in most states in America and if she could get it, she'd pay an unbelievable price," said Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. And it probably wouldn't cover treatments for M.S. and cancer, he said. Gruber helped develop both the Massachusetts health reform law signed by then-Gov. Mitt Romney in 2006 and the national law enacted by President Barack Obama two years ago.