Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will be giving a speech Thursday in which he is expected to tackle head-on the similarities between the health care bill he signed into law and the legislation signed by President Obama that Romney promises to repeal. We don’t know exactly what Romney is going to say yet, but the Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza gives us some previews:
“He’s going out early and will be on offense when it comes to repealing Obamacare,” said one Romney aide to speak candidly about the strategy behind the speech.
What Romney won’t do, according to aides, is apologize for signing the health care law in Massachusetts.
Instead, he will, in essence, double down on the argument he has made about the Massachusetts plan for the past 18 months or so – that it was the right decision for that state at that particularly time and was never meant as a national model.
The trouble with this approach is that the most substantial real-world evidence we have that Obamacare won’t work is the failure of similar features in Romneycare. Mitt Romney is staking out a position that makes it difficult for Republicans to make that argument. The best Republicans will be able to do is say, “We know Obamacare is likely to produce crowded emergency rooms, long medical wait times, and increased costs to the taxpayers because that’s what a similar plan did in Massachusetts. But that Massachusetts plan was the right decision for that state at that particular time. It’s only bad nationally.”