Anatomy of Romneycare

Last time around, in the race for the GOP nomination in 2008, Mitt Romney sought to present himself as the the conservative candidate. That should have been the right space to occupy in the field of contenders on the Republican side, but Romney turned out to be a tough sell as a conservative. He’s still a tough sell on that score, but he has adjusted his marketing accordingly. This time around, however, he has the weight of Romneycare tied to his ankles. Even though he may otherwise be the strongest candidate in a weak Republican field, Romneycare is a menace to his candidacy.

Obamacare is the single greatest threat to our freedom raised so far by the Obama administration. Millions, probably billions, of dollars are being spent right now by the state and federal governments to implement it, and by business to comply with it. Someone who does this kind of work for a living really ought to write a story about it.

Republicans understand the threat of Obamacare and Americans want it repealed. Democrats framed the statute to take full effect only in 2014, after the next election. Republicans seek a standard bearer who can stand as an effective opponent of the monstrous law before it is too late to undo it.

As the man who presided over the adoption of the Massachusetts health reform plan, Governor Romney is not well positioned to be such a standard bearer, or so it seems to me. Our friend Hugh Hewitt briefly addressed Governor Romney’s health care program at pages 150-153 of his highly complimentary 2007 book A Mormon in the White House? Hugh quoted Romney describing the program as one in which “we can get everybody else insured without spending any more money…Now that was the kind of rigorous analysis that you follow and that I followed in consulting. It’s data. It’s analysis.”

Grace-Marie Turner is the president of the Galen Institute. In the Wall Street Journal video below, dating from last week, Turner discusses Romneycare and Obamacare. Romney could take a Nixon goes to China approach to the repeal of Obamacare, but that isn’t quite what he promises to do. Turner’s anatomy seems to me to add some clarity to the issues confronting us.

We don’t hear much about Obamacare nowadays from the Obama administration. It is the administration’s signal “achievement,” yet the administration isn’t bragging much about it. Why is that? In an important article in the September issue of the American Spectator, Turner inferred the method to the Obama administration’s silence. “We haven’t intercepted their memo to the Oval Office,” she writes, but she extrapolates from recent White House tactics what Obama’s advisers have recommended to Obama.