Friday, May 13, 2011

Universal Healthcare is Good...that is until it becomes a political albatross!

Mitt Romney wants to earn the GOP nomination for the 2012 election.

Mitt Romney passed a universal healthcare bill while governer of Massachusetts.

Republicans don't like universal care and yearn to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Mitt Romney's Massachusetts healthcare plan looks a lot like the Affordable Care Act.

Mitt Romney has a big problem.

So, when in doubt, flip flop.   Yesterday, Mitt Romney addressed a Michigan crowd and explained, armed with a powerpoint, the differences between his Massachusetts act and the Affordable Care Act..  His major gripe was that healthcare should be solved as a state issue and not a federal one, even though the one he chose for his state (a successful plan by the way) mirrors the federal plan.  This, at face value, makes no sense to me other than the fact that Republicans generally like states' rights (because most feel we still live in the 1800's), thus he's trying to appease a base that questions him.  But even though I'm not convinced its best left as a states rights issue, Romney claims the ACA is a forced "one size fits all" approach to healthcare that is doomed to fail...except...the bill actually has a state waiver that allows states to pursue their own healthcare plan as long as it, essentially, meets the general requirements of the ACA. 

On a similar note, the Massachusetts law requires the individual mandate that many Republicans are claiming is unconstitutional.  Romney agrees that the mandate isn't valid because of its use on a federal level, but could be used on the state level if the state chooses to do so, even though most Republicans consider the mandate outright wrong because it forces people to buy something even if they'd prefer not to. 

The question is, how bad does this make him look to his base?  It seems as if he's fighting a losing argument with a paper thin defense.  After all, Republicans find his Massachusetts plan objectionable.  Knowing Romney often switches positions to appease his audience (he was once pro-choice until that became complete poison for a GOP presidential nominee), how soon will he denounce his own plan for the sake of victory? 

Just an observation.  It doesn't take a genius to know this is gonna be a hard one from him to weasel out of. 

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