Governor Romney’s greatest political achievement occurred on a sunny spring day in 2006, when he signed RomneyCare into law. RomneyCare guarantees all Massachusetts residents access to affordable health insurance. In just five years, RomneyCare has reduced the state’s uninsured percentage to about 1%. RomneyCare remains exceptionally popular, with polls showing that more than 75% of Massachusetts residents are happy with the plan. With these results, how could anyone not support RomneyCare?
Meet Governor Romney, confirmed serial flip flopper. Romney, of all people, has reduced his support of RomneyCare regulated health insurance markets (RomneyCare, ObamaCare). He now favors vouchers.
Romney’s flips and flops are legendary. Consider the individual mandate, a provision designed to encourage everyone to buy health insurance. Romney was initially for the individual mandate, which required all Massachusetts citizens to obtain health insurance or pay an estimated $400 fine. He turned against the mandate when its constitutionality was challenged (the challenge failed in the U.S. Supreme Court).
Romney did another flip-flop on the issue of whether RomneyCare could work in other state. Romney knows that any state could deploy their version of RomneyCare, but the relentless attacks on ObamaCare (thus implicitly RomneyCare), convinced Romney to deny RomneyCare’s “portability” to other States.
There are two additional reasons why Romney turned his back on RomneyCare – his greatest achievement. First, conservatives believe that if they can wreck ObamaCare, it will undermine Obama’s bid for reelection. That’s why some predict up to $100,000,000 worth of attack ads, over the next 60 days, will test ObamaCare’s resolve.
Many of these ads attacking ObamaCare were implicitly attacks on RomneyCare. Romney could have stood up for the RomneyCare approach (including ObamaCare), but he lacked the guts to take on Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin. Instead, Romney caved to conservatives, and joined the relentless assault on ObamaCare.
Romney also found a new mantra “I will repeal ObamaCare,” which he intones every chance he gets.
Secondly, by incorporating the core of RomneyCare into ObamaCare, President Obama had usurped a solution which Romney expected to campaign on.
Embarrassingly, this left Romney high and dry with respect to a health plan. Luckily, Congressman Paul Ryan, now Romney’s running mate, had pulled together a voucher-based health insurance program. Romney quickly evaluated the voucher approach, and decided that RyanCare would do. Romney is, for the moment, 100% pro-voucher.
Politicians, like Governor Romney, who change positions on critical issues like health insurance, whenever the political winds shift, lack the integrity needed for a successful Presidency. Instead, Romney will be remembered as the rich loser who wanted to take away the only health insurance that millions of America’s will be able to afford.
I trust that when Romney has to debate a real health care policy expert – President Obama – Romney will get the political thrashing he so clearly deserves. On election day we, the voters, can thrash Romney again at the polls. I can hardly wait!