Mitt Romney leads some polls in the coming race for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination, but he continues to have a big ObamaCare problem. How does the man who once touted his role in passing RomneyCare, highlighted by an individual mandate to purchase insurance, in Massachusetts attack President Barack Obama, who applied the same principle nationwide? Especially when the courts have begun striking down the latter?
The putative candidate is attempting to run away from the issue, but his task is not an easy one. Reports ABC:
On the kick off to his “No Apology” book tour Mitt Romney is on message – refusing to apologize for the Massachusetts health care law that, like President Obama’s federal legislation, requires citizens to buy health insurance.
“I’m not apologizing for it, I’m indicating that we went in one direction and there are other possible directions. I’d like to see states pursue their own ideas, see which ideas work best,” Romney told me.
That stand seems to reject the advice of Karl Rove and others who say that Romney can’t get the GOP nomination in 2012 unless he finds a way to distance himself from “Romneycare”, but Romney did concede that his Massachusetts plan is imperfect.
As for “Obamacare”? It’s a “very bad piece of legislation,” Romney said, siding with the federal judge who ruled it unconstitutional and wrote in his decision that “it is difficult to imagine that a nation which began…as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place.”
There is an important constitutional difference between a state and federal mandate–states have “police power” and thus are authorized to regulate where the federal government, which possesses only limited, enumerated powers, cannot. But there is no difference in substance, and so far candidate Romney continues to defend his handiwork.
Having gotten the issue so wrong when he was governor, just how would he handle health care if elected president?