When former Sen. Rick Santorum accused Mitt Romney of having signed a health care overhaul virtually identitical to ObamaCare, Romney responded with a lengthy defense of the plan he signed as governor of Massachusetts.
I've noted the many similarities between the two plans before. But the resemblance extends beyond the plans themselves: Igor Volsky at ThinkProgress noticed how much Mitt Romney's defense of RomneyCare last night resembled President Obama's defense of ObamaCare, and put together the following video to highlight the similarities:
This isn't even a complete compilation of the similarities. During last night's debate, Romney also defended his plan from charges that it resembled ObamaCare by arguing that in Massachusetts, "there's no government plan." He's used this line before, but it's never helped distinguish Romney's health overhaul from Obama's: There's no "government plan" in ObamaCare either, or at least no more of one than there is in RomneyCare. Both ObamaCare and RomneyCare rely on a regulated market and an expansion of Medicaid. Nor is Romney the only one to point this out in order to defend the structure both plans share: In his State of the Union address earlier this week, President Obama touted the fact that "our health care law relies on a reformed private market, not a government program."
In the end, Romney only ended up reinforcing the similarities between his plan and President Obama's. It's hard to make a convincing case that the RomneyCare is somehow dramatically different from ObamaCare while relying on virtually the same arguments employed by ObamaCare's most prominent defender.
Granted, this isn't exactly a new thing for Romney. In May of last year, he gave a major speech defending RomneyCare and attacking the president's plan. But Romney's big defense of his own plan turned out to be virtually indistinguishable from a defense of ObamaCare.