Now that the GOP field fighting for the ’12 nod has been essentially set, political pundits and junkies alike will now settle in for the real race and issues to emerge. In the case of the media-anointed frontrunner, former Mass. Gov.
Now that the GOP field fighting for the ’12 nod has been essentially set, political pundits and junkies alike will now settle in for the real race and issues to emerge. In the case of the media-anointed frontrunner, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, it is his tenure with what has become the nation’s incubator for universal care coverage on a global scale — colloquially known as Commonwealth Care — that will either haunt him … or define him in the all-important run up to January.
Not only does Romney have to meet issues of his faith and politics (Mormonism) and social conservatism (regarded as a moderate, esp. by Tea Party activists) head on, he now has to prove that his stance on healthcare delivery is actually a conservative one — in spite of the fact that the law guaranteeing care to all of Massachusetts’ citizens was signed on his watch. The bar on how Romney will position himself just became a little more precarious, with news breaking that the WH’s blueprint for the reform law, pejoratively known as Obamacare, was based upon Romney’s Mass. law more closely as a model than was previously thought.
“The White House wanted to lean a lot on what we’d done in Massachusetts,” said Jon Gruber, an MIT economist who advised the Romney administration on health care and who attended five meetings at the Obama White House in 2009, including the meeting with the president. “They really wanted to know how we can take that same approach we used in Massachusetts and turn that into a national model.”
The president even presided over one of those meetings himself in mid-2009. In an effort to diffuse the impact of this revelation, aides to Romney suggest that Gruber’s role was not central to the ultimate tone of the reform law. Good luck with that strategy.
Gruber was personally recognized by Romney for his role when he signed the health-care bill into law and was later appointed by Romney as a board member to the Connector Authority. (He also was given a photograph of the signing ceremony personally signed by Romney that read: “Jonathan, with deep appreciation and congratulations. A Triumph! Mitt Romney.”)
It will be interesting (and fun) to see how Romney can continue to make distinctions between the ACA and his personal stamp on Massachusetts’ model of universal coverage. | LINK
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