Mitt Romney got limited coverage on Friday for his healthcare roll out. Today the Wall Street Journal gives a reaction (subscription required), beginning by reviewing Romney remarks at the August 5 debate praising his Massachusetts plan and then remarking that his new plan “is a step forward for Mr. Romney on health policy, largely because is doesn’t take Massachusetts as its model.” It goes on to critique the Massachusetts plan for failing to deregulate the insurance industry but then praises his new plan. The Journal does chide him for failing to promote interstate insurance sales as Giuliani did (David H. and I tossed this back and forth at length with David arguing that more should be done in this regard.)The Journal then concludes that Romney’s own “universal” plan in Massachusetts did ” a great deal to set back the kind of tax reform he now espouses. The issue for GOP primary voters to consider is why he went in such a different direction in Boston. Granted, a mere Governor counldn’t restructure the federal tax code, and he was dealing with a far-left legislature. Yet his willingness to compromise in Massachusetts on core matters of principle, and then trumpet those statist policies as a ‘free-market’ solution, raises questions about how far and easily he’d bend to a Democratic Congress.” I have a few reactions: 1) Barring perfect consistency I’d rather have a politician reach a correction conclusion so I’m pleased Romney came out with a plan along the lines he did 2) But continuing to tout his prior plan does, as the Journal suggests, raise a consistency issue. and 2) At some point there is just so much policy evolution voters can take. An isolated instance of “growth” usually passes muster but many of these do raise an issue and Romney’s opponents will no doubt be making that a theme as they gear up this fall.