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1. Mitt Romney is Opposed to Government Intervention in Health Care, Like Obamacare!
When it comes to health care reform, the motto of the Tea Party has been “repeal Obamacare,” but for Mitt Romney it’s “repeal and replace.” But replace with what? Romney defended his own government intervention in health care in Massachusetts, Romneycare, in a similar way to Obama’s defense of Obamacare. An MIT professor who helped formulate Romneycare and advised Democrats on Obamacare noted many similarities between the two laws. The president himself identifies the Massachusetts law as a blueprint for his own program (though as Romney notes, he was never consulted for his expertise by the Obama administration). Recently, Romney was the target a vicious attack ad trying to connect him, through his work at Bain Capital, to a woman who lost her health insurance and died of cancer. Romney’s chief spokesperson, Andrea Saul, didn’t rebut the attack by pointing out the glaring inconsistencies of the narrative, but instead noted that had the woman lived in Massachusetts when Romneycare was in effect, she would’ve never lost her health insurance. Not exactly the kind of defense a candidate opposed to even more government intervention in an already heavily-regulated health care market would give. The comment drew calls for Saul’s resignation, but she remains on Team Mitt.
At the same time, the Obama campaign uses the threat of the repeal of Obamacare to marshal support for the president. Just this week, the first lady framed the debate over Obamacare as a question of health, asking an audience “Do we want these reforms to be repealed? …Or do we want the people we love to have the care they need? That’s the choice we face.” Although Romney may bank on the unpopularity of Obamacare, especially among the conservative grassroots, he’s never repudiated the idea of government intervention in the health care market. He even went so far as to tout the Israeli government's intervention in health care as an aspirational model. But what if Romney is actually sincere about repealing Obamacare, and the “replace” part of his mantra is just him trying to play both sides like politicians are wont to do? In June, The New Yorker laid out what it would take to repeal Obamacare and why a President Romney wouldn’t be able to do it. The most compelling point? Republicans are highly unlikely to get the 60 votes in the Senate needed to repeal the law.