Mitt Romney has distanced himself from the health care reform bill he signed as governor of Massachusetts amid criticism the law bears more than a passing resemblance to Obamacare, which he’s repeatedly pledged to repeal if elected in November.
But a series of emails obtained by the Wall Street Journal reveals Romney was actively engaged in negotiating the specifics of the 2006 Massachusetts bill and that he and his top aides championed a provision identical to one in President Barack Obama’s law requiring individuals to have or buy health insurance.
Just as passing a national health care law was supposed to be the legacy achievement for Obama, Gruber says that back in 2006, as Romney got ready to run for president, the Massachusetts law also looked like a surefire political winner.
Over time, Obama and Romney have had a mirror image relationship with the linchpin of their health care laws: Romney was for the mandate before he was against it.
But in 2006, emails obtained by the Journal under a public records request show, Romney and his top aides pressed for an individual mandate even when Massachusetts Democrats weren’t yet embracing such a proposal.
We think Mara’s excellent piece just talks about what a shame it is that our politics is where it is right now because in their different ways both Romney and Obama came to the conclusion that while the individual mandate has a lot of problems with it, it was one way to solve the problem of the uninsured and the free rider problem.
[Related: Bill Clinton warns of 'calamitous' Romney presidency]According to the emails, Romney personally drafted a Wall Street Journal op ed that defended the individual mandate.
Romney’s draft, slightly different from the final version that was published, insisted taxpayers ultimately foot the bill when the uninsured seek health care—an argument that has been echoed by the White House in defending Obama’s bill.
But according to a draft obtained by the Journal, Romney went one step further, arguing, An uninsured libertarian might counter that he could refuse the free care, but under law, that is impossible—and inhumane.
How more insane can this be, when they are already running a huge deficit, by giving illegal aliens welfare, food stamps, health care in the form of MediCAL, Section 8 housing and a education for their children to K 12, although this isn’t true as they are passing laws so these students can appropriate state tax payer dollars for college.
[Related: Nancy Reagan endorses Romney]But Romney has said very little about the individual mandate.
At some point soon, the Supreme Court will tell us how much of the Affordable Care Act is still standing, if there is going to be an individual mandate.
A Wall Street Journal op ed published in March 2011 called him compromised and not credible because of his support of the mandate in Massachusetts and described him as Obama’s running mate.
In a subsequent letter to the editor, Romney defended the bill, but did not specifically respond to the paper’s argument that his support of the mandate was a violation of conservative principals.
Rachel Coombes is a business journalist based in Beijing, China. Rachel has a passion for financial markets and breaking news stories and loves writing about business news, stock market, and economic opinions that matters most to its audience. Rachel spends a lot of time discovering and researching latest financial markets and industry news stories in order to make sure the latest and greatest stories are brought to you first on BigBoardNews.com.