To listen to Mitt Romney tell it, the State “experiment” on FORCED healthcare in MA was a success, and he was allowed to pass such a bill because that is what States do, “experiment.” Having personally witnessed the cram down of Obamacare, I knew immediately that Mitt Romney would never get rid of Obamacare.Â How did I know? He keeps using “repeal and replace.” Well, Mr. Romney, we have seen your “replacement” and it looks a lot like Obamacare, which shouldn’t be a surprise because it was the FOUNDATION for Obamacare The Wall Street Journal Blows Up Mitts Excuses
Like Mr. Obama’s reform, RomneyCare was predicated on the illusion that insurance would be less expensive if everyone were covered. Even if this theory were plausible, it is not true in Massachusetts today. So as costs continue to climb, Mr. Romney’s Democratic successor now wants to create a central board of political appointees to decide how much doctors and hospitals should be paid for thousands of services.
The Romney camp blames all this on a failure of execution, not of design. But by this cause-and-effect standard, Mr. Romney could push someone out of an airplane and blame the ground for killing him. Once government takes on the direct or implicit liability of paying for health care for everyone, the only way to afford it is through raw political control of all medical decisions.
Mr. Romney’s refusal to appreciate this, then and now, reveals a troubling failure of political understanding and principle. The raucous national debate over health care isn’t about this or that technocratic detail, but about basic differences over the role of government. In the current debate over Medicare, Paul Ryan wants to reduce costs by encouraging private competition while Mr. Obama wants the cost-cutting done by a body of unelected experts like the one emerging in Massachusetts.
Mr. Romney’s fundamental error was assuming that such differences could be parsed by his own group of experts, as if government can be run by management consultants. He still seems to believe he somehow squared the views of Jonathan Gruber, the MIT evangelist for ObamaCare, with those of the Heritage Foundation.
In reality, his ostensible liberal allies like the late Ted Kennedy saw an opening to advance their own priorities, and in Mr. Romney they took advantage of a politician who still doesn’t seem to understand how government works. It’s no accident that RomneyCare’s most vociferous defenders now are in the White House and left-wing media and think tanks. They know what happened, even if he doesn’t.
For a potential President whose core argument is that he knows how to revive free market economic growth, this amounts to a fatal flaw. Presidents lead by offering a vision for the country rooted in certain principles, not by promising a technocracy that runs on “data.” Mr. Romney’s highest principle seems to be faith in his own expertise.
More immediately for his Republican candidacy, the debate over ObamaCare and the larger entitlement state may be the central question of the 2012 election. On that question, Mr. Romney is compromised and not credible. If he does not change his message, he might as well try to knock off Joe Biden and get on the Obama ticket.
Mitt Romney is a man who believes he should be President, not because he lives by Conservative principles, but because he believes it is his turn. Â In the GOP that has been a problem for a long time–the idea of “my turn” or “his turn.” He thinks he can wait out certain States and make up for those losses in others. He is absolutely WRONG! Mitt Romney, and his taking of liberty and freedom from the people of MA with Romneycare, has shown himself to be a big government Republican and that is NOT the Republican that will be carrying the GOP into the 2012 election cycle. We, The People of these United States of America will see to that!