Romney made an appearance on Hannity and Colmes. His demeanor was a little looser and his mood was jovial than in some prior appearances and debates. A solid performance. It is also clear he’s sticking by his Massachusetts health care plan. There was this exchange following guest host Bob Beckel’s claim that Romney had not been talking about his health plan:
GOV. ROMNEY: You have not been going to my meetings. I talked about health care plan every time. This is a way to get people insured without expanding government programs. Without expanding Medicaid and instead helping people to get private market based insurance. It is one of the things I am most proud of. I hope I get to debate Hillary Clinton.
BECKEL: Well I do follow closely… The one thing you to leak out of your proposals is the part that I thought was courageous which was that if you could not afford it, the state would pay for it.
GOV. ROMNEY: The plan I put forward said that nobody got free insurance. Everyone would pay what they could before. We have a sliding scale based on your income and the state will help to pay a portion of the premium cannot afford for the poor. The good news is that it costs us less to help them buy their own private insurance that was costing us giving up free care at hospitals. I do talk about that. I will be giving a speech to the Florida medical association describing our plan in some detail. I insisted that everyone pays something. Our legislature overrode the idea and people at the very low and got a free and I think that was a mistake.
In this exchange you see the outlines of the debate on the GOP side. Will voters recognize that Romney has done something others have only talked about? Or will his plan strike GOP voters as too much government and too much regulation of health care? Will be interesting to watch.