Mitt Romney vs. ObamaCare

Mitt Romney wants to be president. And at this point, he's stuck with the Republican party as the vehicle. And that means he's going to have to run against ObamaCare. That's awkward, though, because Romney presided over the creation of Massachusetts' health care overhaul, which served as the model for ObamaCare. This is going to be fun watch:

"Overall, ours is a model that works," Romney said in response to a question after a speech at Iowa State University. “We solved our problem at the state level. Like it or not, it was a state solution. Why is it that President Obama is stepping in and saying ‘one size fits all’ ’’?

Obama’s signing of a federal health care law has put Romney — a possible 2012 presidential candidate — again on the defensive over the most significant achievement in his brief career in public office. The former governor, who has been mentioned as a possible candidate again for president in 2012, had labeled Obama’s bill “unhealthy for America’’ and has called for its repeal, even as conservative critics say it was modeled on Romney’s policy.

Yesterday, Romney proudly acknowledged that his bill included a set of new insurance regulations that “President Obama always likes to talk about in his health care plan — the good stuff.’’ Romney trumpeted the achievement of near-universal coverage in Massachusetts, while declining to acknowledge that the mechanism he used to achieve that goal — a requirement that individuals buy private insurance — is the same as the much-criticized mandate of Obama’s plan.

The accounting of “some similarities’’ and “some differences’’ between the two systems was a more delicate comparison than Romney has offered recently, when he wholly rejected the idea that the two had anything significant in common.

“People often compare his plan to the Massachusetts plan,’’ Romney said in an interview last month. “They’re as different as night and day. There are some words that sound the same, but our plan is based on states solving our issues; his is based on a one-size-fits-all plan.’’

Meanwhile, the state system's success—or lack thereof—is being debated at the state level as well. Timothy P. Cahill, for example, has left the Democratic party and is running for governor as an independent. He's currently the state treasurer, and he's out strong against the state's reform plan. Here's a sample from a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed:

As state treasurer, I can speak with authority about the Massachusetts pilot program. It has been a fiscal train wreck.

The universal insurance coverage we adopted in 2006 was projected to cost taxpayers $88 million a year. However, since this program was adopted in 2006, our health-care costs have in total exceeded $4 billion. The cost of Massachusetts' plan has blown a hole in the Commonwealth's budget. Just last Thursday, Gov. Deval Patrick's office announced a $294 million shortfall related to health-care costs.

If not for federal Medicaid reimbursements and commitments from Washington to prop up this plan, Massachusetts would be broke. The only reason MassCare has survived is that we have been repeatedly bailed out by the federal government.  

The passage of ObamaCare has made it exceedingly difficult for Mitt Romney to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 (though given the likely weak field, anything is possible). He's going to have to defend the Massachusetts plan and attack the Obama plan, which are essentially the same thing, and do so without reigniting old charges that he's a flip flopper. How will he differentiate his state's plan, aside from the fact that it was limited to a single state? And how will he respond to the fact that the state's treasurer is arguing loudly that the plan is a fiscal catastrophe? I suspect this will be entertaining. But it's not likely to be successful.

I've noted the failures of the Massachusetts system on multiple occasions.

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  • Steve Nash Equilibrium||

    The only reason MassCare has survived is that we have been repeatedly bailed out by the federal government.

    It's a good thing there's a level of government above the Feds who can bail their asses out when health care costs balloon out of control.

  • ||

    If the Republican party let's Mitt Romney win the nomination, Obama will be re-elected and America will be finished. And it will have been the fault of the Republicans to boot.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    It's a good thing there's a level of government above the Feds who can bail their asses out when health care costs balloon out of control.

    Soros?

  • ||

    Jesus!

  • Cornholio||

    Faith.

  • ||

    The Illuminati. 'Bout time those fuckers started pulling their weight.

    That and the Hari Krishnas.

  • smartass sob||

    The United Nations?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Kochtopus

  • ||

    Cthulhu!

  • Xeones||

    If only there was a certain man from Lowell who could explain this for us...

  • Ptolemy||

    "Overall, ours is a model that works."

  • Copernicus||

    Is that so?

  • Galileo||

    Really?

  • ||

    romney is almost as much of a joke as sean hannity - might have heart in the rite place (mite not) but juggle-head

  • Mitt||

    When you look this good, you don't have to know anything.

  • ||

    He's going to have to defend the Massachusetts plan and attack the Obama plan, which are essentially the same thing, and do so without reigniting old charges that he's a flip flopper. How will he differentiate his state's plan, aside from the fact that it was limited to a single state? And how will he respond to the fact that the state's treasurer is arguing loudly that the plan is a fiscal catastrophe?

    I happen to have the answer to that. I realize it is bad form to repost an earlier one but it seems so appropo:


    John|12.8.09 @ 3:12PM|#

    I would never have faith in any politician not fucking up. Fucking up seems to help politicians rather than hurt them. Mitt Romney was a disaster as a governor who created a healthcare "reform" that is now failing miserably and bankrupting the state. Yet, people will still list his being a governor as making him qualified to be President.

    Groovus Maximus|12.8.09 @ 3:42PM|#

    But John, that was his utter GENIUS!

    He lobbied for this at the behest of the state and sign it in so he could later say, "Hey, I was being open-minded...trying to be bi-partisan and reach across (around) the aisle. I knew it was going to be a miserable failure. Some times people just have to see things for themselves."

    Instant presidential cred.

    /end snark

    If he is the nominee, his flip flopping with make a fish out of water look like Marcel Marceau.

  • ||

    Actually I caught him making the Sunday morning talk show rounds last month and he was repeatedly asked how he could both support the Mass plan and oppose the Obama plan? His response: the Obama plan sucks because health care reform should be implemented at the state level. Generally speaking, I'm all in favor of using states as laboratories of democracy, but the essence of running a successful lab is recognizing when an experiment goes horribly wrong.

  • smartass sob||

    Generally speaking, I'm all in favor of using states as laboratories of democracy, but the essence of running a successful lab is recognizing when an experiment goes horribly wrong.

    I wonder how the guinea pigs feel about that?

  • Jeffersonian||

    The problem is that, right now, the Massachusettes "laboratory" is nothing but a smoking hole in the ground because of RomneyCare. Obama looks on that smoking hole and is determined to do the same thing for America.

  • ||

    Romney was long gone from office when the system started falling apart. During his governorship it was still supported by tobacco settlement money.

  • ||

    And federal government money. The way that Medicaid and other money works (especially when Democrats control Congress, as the numbers on this rule have gone back and forth), states that increase their own spending on Medicaid get federal subsidy for a portion of the money. Massachusetts only had to pay a certain fraction of the cost of expanding coverage; the rest was covered by extra federal subsidies.

  • ||

    His response: the Obama plan sucks because health care reform should be implemented at the state level.

    Physician slavery is wrong at the federal level, but OK at the state level?

    I seem to recall that argument being made about another sort of slavery, not too far back.

    "state's rights". [ptooey]

  • ||

    Dear GOP:

    NO.

  • ||

    Ah, Romeny... such good hair...

    And who wouldn't vote for a guy wearing magical underpants?

  • ||

    And who wouldn't vote for a guy wearing magical underpants?

    How very intolerant of you, I will pray for your soul.

    If you would just invite me in I could share some literature with you.

  • ||

    How I am being intolerant? The vast majority of people wear underpants, so there must be a lot of popularity in the general public for them. And who doesn't like magic?

    Magic underpants are the Reese's Cup of clothes.

  • ||

    The vast majority of people wear underpants

    And you know this how?

  • ||

    The nightmare of zippers.

  • ||

    Certainly not your dating history.

    ZING!

  • dave b.||

    You can't zing your own post.

  • ||

    ZING!

  • ||

    "You got fairy dust in my depends!"

    "Your depends fell in my fairy dust"

    Fairy Dust, Depends....

    I, for one, welcome our fairy dusted, depends clad overlords!

    Errr....wait.

  • ||

    You just described Pelosi. You know that, right?

  • ||

    Damn, that reminds me. I need to get out to the front porch and freshen up the chalk body outline before Saturday.

  • ||

    When I finally figured out what you were referring to I realized that that is a damned fine idea.

  • Warty||

    Another fucking werewolf!

  • ||

    Well, you're pretty well limited to Werewolves, Zombies, and Vampires when you step into the ballot booth.

  • Steve Nash Equilibrium||

    Do Mormons count as Christfags? Inquiring minds need to know.

  • ||

    Really, deep down... aren't we all Christfags?

  • ||

    Me laddie.

    I already got me own. And I only vote for the gold standard and Catholics.

    "They're magically delicious!"

  • ||

    Does anyone even like Mitt Romney?

    I have heard a lot of talk about him, but no one seems to own up to actually liking the man. It's always "Romney is the front runner", "Romney would make a good candidate", "Romney could beat the democrats in '12", never "I like Mitt, he represents all that is good in America".

    My gut tells me that he is like Guliani, another despicable power grubbing pol that most people see right through.

    So yeah, fuck him.

    I will need more coffee before I post anything remotely coherent, just needed to warm up.

  • ||

    Whether you like Giuliani or hate him (and I certainly fall into the latter camp) at least he stands for something concrete. Romney doesn't even have that going for him.

  • ||

    I really don't know what Guliani stands for. I do know that he was mayor of 9/11, err I mean, New York.

    I think he saw opportunity instead of tragedy in the 9/11 attacks, which makes him a scumbag in my book. Just another statist feeding on fear in the pursuit of power.

  • Zeb||

    What concrete thing exactly does Giuliani stand for?

  • ||

    Rudy Giuliani.

  • ||

    "A small man in search of a balcony."

  • David Pinto||

    I'm self employed, living in Massachusetts. When the law went into effect, I took out a high deductible, catastrophic policy. It morphed into a cheaper PPO policy, but according to my insurance company, no longer meets Massachusetts standards for minimum coverage, even though it's perfect for my family and my financial situation. It turns out that it's worth paying the $1200 fine rather than buying the minimum coverage Massachusetts requires.

    The kicker is, due to my location in Massachusetts, the policy does meet state requirements! My accountant had to dig through regulations to discover that, the insurance company had no idea. If I had not defied what appeared to be the state mandate, I would have doubled my insurance bill for nothing.

  • smartass sob||

    It turns out that it's worth paying the $1200 fine rather than buying the minimum coverage Massachusetts requires.

    It's worth paying a $1200 fine simply because one doesn't buy the kind of insurance policy a bunch of other people think one should have? Hmph! I'd move the hell out of that place and leave to the cannibals to feed off each other. Nothing so funny as watching a bunch of thieves and con-artists trying to do each other.

  • ||

    It's worth paying a $1200 fine simply because one doesn't buy the kind of insurance policy a bunch of other people think one should have? Hmph! I'd move the hell out of that place and leave to the cannibals to feed off each other.

    Unfortunately, you now have to move the hell of the USA to accomplish this. The number for the fine is different, but the principle is the same. Catastrophic insurance isn't "real insurance," according to the POTUS.

  • ||

    Romney has no freaking chance in hell of winning the nomination. If someone doesn't draft Daniels or Johnson soon, the GOP is going to get stuck with Huckaby.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I'll suck a lit road flare before I vote for Gomer Pyle.

  • ||

    ""the GOP is going to get stuck with Huckaby.""

    Mr. You're killing your kids if you smoke in the car with them riding along.

    Can't the GOP do better than a nanny?

  • Cookie Kwan||

    Seriously. If the GOP can't find anybody better than Romney, then they deserve to fail.

    Earth to GOP -- put your money behind Paul Ryan!

  • Colin||

    Ryan already gave a Shermanesque refusal to run.

    But, then again, so did Obama once.

  • Geotpf||

    One can't go directly from A league ball to the majors. You have to stop at AAA first.

    That is, if Ryan (or anybody else) wants to be president, he needs to show he can win an election state-wide first. Either governor or senator will do.

    Indidentially, this is one of the many reasons Paul never had a chance.

  • ||

    That is, if Ryan (or anybody else) wants to be president, he needs to show he can win an election state-wide first. Either governor or senator will do.

    Which is why it's disappointing that Pence didn't file for Indiana Senate.

    Sen. Feingold appears vulnerable, but Paul Ryan isn't running. Ryan has said that 2012 against Herb Kohl for Senate is a possibility.

  • creech||

    Had he any religion other than Mormon, it is likely Romney would have been the GOP's 2008 candidate, with a good chance of winning. So today's bill would be RomneyCare (essentially same as ObamaCare) and the GOP would be praising it and the Dems tearing it apart. Ah, how the history of the U.S. swings based on Joseph Smith claiming to find some gold plates near an obscure N.Y. town.

  • ||

    So today's bill would be RomneyCare (essentially same as ObamaCare)

    I doubt even Mitt Romney would have signed a RomneyCare bill against the united opposition of his entire party. Likely the whole health care debate would never have happened.

    I tend to agree that he is un-nominatable, although he will certainly throw a lot of sand in the gears.

    Despite his vocal protestations to the contrary and current relatively low profile, I do believe TexGov. Perry is going to run. Worse than Romney? Hard to say. Please God, give us Cantor or Johnson or Ryan.

  • smartass sob||

    Ordinarily I would say "give us anybody but Perry," but then I remember I said that about Hillary in the last election. We can see how that turned out.

  • ||

    And I remember people yelling "anybody but McCain!"

  • T||

    Urgh. Perry talks a good game, but that's about it. When push comes to shove, he's as unprincipled as anybody else. The Trans Texas Corridor debacle is pretty much all you need to know about Perry and his approach to problem solving.

  • ||

    The Trans Texas Corridor debacle is pretty much all you need to know about Perry and his approach to problem solving.

    That he's not reflexively anti-foreigner, and that's he's pretty good on using toll roads and user fees to pay for things?

  • ||

    Or:

    That he is all too willing to use political office to deliver fat paybacks to well-connected supporters.

    See, also, the mandatory chlamydia vaccine debacle.

  • Scotch Hamilton||

    Who cares about Romney, nobody can defeat Obama, especially as the economy improves.

  • billy-jay||

    So he's a one term president, then.

  • smartass sob||

    What makes you think the economy will improve - especially anytime soon?

  • ||

    ""nobody can defeat Obama, ""

    Is Terrence Hill running?

  • ||

    I've said all along that Obama's chance of getting reelected will hinge solely on the state of the economy. However, I'm starting to think that the GOP is so retarded that they could blow this election even if the economy's still in the toilet. When you can make the Dems look like they have their shit together, well that's just embarrassing...

  • Brett||

    This. If the economy improves (and that's a big if), then he'll get re-elected, especially against the GOP candidates we keep hearing about. What a group of jokers.

  • kinnath||

    Isn't Mitt's campaign moot? Androids don't have birth certificates.

  • Colin||

    Romney still might win the nomination -- by default.

    There is simply no one else. No one.

  • ||

    You do know the Iowa cauci are 22 months away, right?

    No one would have thought Bill Clinton was going to be a serious presidential candidate in March 1990.

  • ||

    Jeb Bush. 22 months is a long time in voter memory lifetime. By 2011 Jeb can start riding the Bush nostalgia.

  • Geotpf||

    Obama (and his advisors) would drool at the chance at running against a Bush.

    No matter how well the Republicans do in 2010, they simply don't seem to have a candidate who can beat Obama in 2012. All possibilities have fatal flaws of one sort or another.

  • ||

    No matter how well the Republicans do in 2010, they simply don't seem to have a candidate who can beat Obama in 2012. All possibilities have fatal flaws of one sort or another.

    That's what people said in 1990 about beating George Herbert Walker Bush, though.

  • Mike Laursen||

    And that means he's going to have to run against ObamaCare. That's awkward, though, because Romney presided over the creation of Massachusetts' health care overhaul, which served as the model for ObamaCare.

    Looking forward to seeing his head explode during a live debate.

  • ||

    If I were one of Romney's advisors, I'd tell him to just come out and say it was an experiment that didn't work, and that he's not flip-flopping at all; he still believes that universal coverage is a worthy goal, but now sees that the method used in MA has not worked. And he can add that that's one reason we have federalism, so that states can serve as laboratories etc. I think such a line would play well in the GOP, especially if he gives the greatest hope of beating Obama.

    Seeing as how he's surrounded by professional spin doctors, I can't imagine he hasn't gotten this advice. I know the CW is that politicians don't admit mistakes because they're afraid of such an admission being used against them; but more and more I think they don't admit mistakes purely because their egos are too big and fragile.

  • ||

    Agreed, Tulpa. And it gives him a stick to beat Obama with.

    "Look, we tried this in Massachusetts, and it didn't work. Even knowing it wouldn't work, this failed law professor/would-be autocrat got his Congressional lackeys to pass it. So, who would you rather have as President? A guy who tried this, knows it failed, and has some ideas on how to fix it? Or an ex-community organizer with ties to the two most corrupt political machines in America, who doesn't give a goddam what the country wants?"

    I might vote for that guy. But Mitt Romney will never be that guy.

  • IceTrey||

    Obama was never a professor, he was only a lecturer. Maybe, since no one has ever seen any of the records to prove even that.

  • ||

    Hence, "failed" law professor.

  • ||

    The problemn with that line of thinking is that one could just as easily point to Romney's signature on Massachusetts' amended independent contractor statute, the pernicious effects of which were chronicled last week right here on H&R.

    The Mittster did not say squat about the union backed legislation, never mind that the same's sponsor and chief backer in the Massachusetts Senate was none other than the disgraced Diane Wilkerson. For the unenlightened, Ms. Wilkerson was indicted on various bribery and corruption charges. Even here in the People's Republic of Mass, she is considered a naughty girl.

    Romney's candidacy is DOA - like his personality.

  • ||

    So, Romney is not part of the "no one else?"

  • ||

    Can we at least get somebody who can do basic addition and subtraction, this time?

    Is that too much to ask?

  • ||

    Now, there's someone I do with someone would assassinate.

  • ||

    Former President Ronald Reagan also believed in the individual mandate.

  • Hacha Cha||

    from what I've read both plans seem pretty much the same, the only positive difference about the MA system is that I believe people are allowed to opt out due to philosophical and religious objections.

  • Hacha Cha||

    which got me thinking, ah yes, another constitutional violation in the new fed health bill, a first amendment violation. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion... well lets see, allowing Amish to opt out but not atheists and other people with a sincere objection is a first amendment violation. so lets see: 1st, 5th, 8th, 9th, and 10th amendments are being violated by this bill. am I missing any?

  • ||

    From the Boston Globe today:

    "Gov. Deval Patrick is planning to plug a $195 million spending gap with a mix of cuts, budget transfers and money from the state's rainy day fund.
    Patrick said the gap was caused in part by more people using the state's MassHealth program..."

    Beware of Obamacare, if it is truly modeled after MassHealth! Its only in its second year and look at the problems that are happening in Mass

  • ||

    truth,,,,obama people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led."
    "The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one."
    "All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it."
    "Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise."pelosi don't see much future for the Americans ... it's a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social inequalities ...obama feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance ... everything about the behaviour of American society reveals that it's half Judaised, and the other half negrified. How can one expect a State like that to hold TOGTHER.They include the angry left wing bloggers who spread vicious lies and half-truths about their political adversaries... Those lies are then repeated by the duplicitous left wing media outlets who “discuss” the nonsense on air as if it has merit… The media's justification is apparently “because it's out there”, truth be damned. STOP THIS COMMUNIST OBAMA ,GOD HELP US ALL .THE COMMANDER ((GOD OPEN YOUR EYES)) stop the communist obama & pelosi.((open you eyes)) ,the commander

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