Former Massachusetts governor and likely 2012 presidential aspirant Mitt Romney has been on the wrong side of the defining political battle of our time.
Mr. Romney claimed earlier this month on “Fox News Sunday” that the Massachusetts health reform plan he signed into law in 2006 is “the ultimate conservative plan.” But there are many similarities between it and the ObamaCare loathed by conservative voters.
Both have an individual mandate requiring most residents to have health insurance or pay a penalty. Most businesses are required to participate or pay a fine. Both rely on government-designed purchasing exchanges that also provide a platform to control private health insurance. Many of the uninsured are covered through Medicaid expansion and others receive subsidies for highly-prescriptive policies. And the apparatus requires a plethora of new government boards and agencies.
While it’s true that the liberal Massachusetts legislature did turn Mr. Romney’s plan to the left, his claims that his plan is “entirely different” will not stand up to the intense scrutiny of a presidential campaign, especially a primary challenge. Mr. Romney needs to be more honest about his Massachusetts experiment and its failings.
Mr. Romney insisted in a recent interview on “Fox News Sunday” that “our plan is working well,” and he defended his state’s right to create its own plan. He also said in his book “No Apology” that because of the plan everyone in Massachusetts now has access to “portable, affordable health insurance.” Not exactly.
Given that Romney is nearly the last person I’d like to see nominated, I am happy that he’s throwing political capital out the window by sticking to his story.
Of course, the best candidate, should he decide to run, is this guy.