With Apologies to Mitt Romney (No. 2 in a Series)

My original interest in Mitt Romney stemmed from his healthcare plan from when he was the Governor of Massachusetts. Generally people say they prefer Dems for healthcare even though most people reject their idea for the public socialization of a government option, so the fact that a Republican governor was able to make sure 98% of the people were insured, using free market principles while still satisfying people on the left (Ted Kennedy stood next to him when the bill was signed into law), I was very curious to hear more. This was the type of candidate we need.

Unfortunately someone decided that Romney shouldn’t talk aboot accomplishment as much as try and turn himself into Reagan v2.0, so you never heard him mention healthcare during the primary. Also, there was one aspect that didn’t pass the conservative purity test so instead of defending himself against his opponent’s attacks, just ignored it. In this regard, I don’t owe Romney an apology as much as he owes us one, but it is what it is.

Now that healthcare is front and center and he doesn’t have to run for something, we get to see the Romney we should have seen last year…the policy wonk. Some snippets from his recent Sunday morning appearences…

We decided we wanted to get everybody insured. We’ve done that. I understand that the president considers his plan, in some respects, following the model of Massachusetts. Let’s learn from our experience. And that is, we got everybody in our state insured. Some 98 percent now are covered by insurance. And we did not have to put in place a government plan. We have competition in the health insurance market. There are hundreds of health insurance companies that all compete with each other. We don’t need to have the government get in and create a health insurance company in order to have competition…

And let’s be clear, here, George. This is not about getting competition in health coverage, which is already there. This is instead a Trojan horse. Barack Obama, when he ran for office, said he’s in favor of a single-payer system. He’s said it for years. This is a way of getting government in the insurance business so they can take over health care. It’s the wrong way to go. And every single Republican and every thinking Democrat who knows something about the private sector would realize the wrong thing for America is to get government into the health care business….

Massachusetts is an expensive state to do a lot of things. But the key thing I can tell you is this. What’s happened to the health insurance premium for people buying insurance in Massachusetts? It’s been cut in half. For an individual, a young male, let’s say 35 years old, buying insurance in Massachusetts for themselves, the premium has been cut in half since our plan went in place. So the cost of buying insurance is down. And that’s the course that you have to have for the nation. Look, the idea that you have to get government into an enterprise in order for that to become competitive makes no sense at all.

I really liked the way he closed…

I think it’s critical at a time like this that we bring more balance to Washington. With an issue like health care on the docket, for instance. In Massachusetts, when we dealt with that issue, we spent two years, Republicans and Democrats, coming together. We got — In the vote of the legislature, it was 198-2 to pass our plan. Senator Kennedy and I were there at the celebration of our plan. We did something on a deliberate and comprehensive basis that involved both parties. We’re not doing that in Washington. Republicans have been pushed aside. We need to see if we can’t bring more balance to Washington. And I’m going to fight to do that in the coming year or two.

2012 can’t come fast enough. Romney/Sanford!

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