Tonight as I settled in for the evening by doing a little reading, I came across an article in Forbes Magazine written by Peter Robinson which — frankly — I’m shocked made it past the editors. It begins with a headline that accuses Gov. Romney of flipflopping on his health care reform in Massachusetts:
Mitt Romney appears to have changed his mind once again about the statewide health care program he enacted as governor of Massachusetts. Obviously running for president in the next election, Romney is a brilliant man and an impressive candidate. But he has some explaining to do.
At first Romney boasted about the program. Signing the legislation in 2006, he claimed he had been able to “steal” the health care issue from the Democrats. This was understandable. Polls showed that Massachusetts health care reform proved popular among Massachusetts voters.
Then Romney clammed up, seldom mentioning the program during his bid last year for the GOP presidential nomination. This too was understandable. Romney was attempting to grasp the free-market mantle of Ronald Reagan. Touting a government-run health care program would scarcely have helped.
Now Romney has gone back to gushing about the program.
It’s like Mr. Robinson is a modern day Rip Van Winkle, falling into a deep sleep in 2006 and waking up a few minutes before the deadline for his article. His assertion that Gov. Romney curiously fell silent about his health care reform after 2006 is not only ludicrous, it’s demonstrably false.
I google, so you don’t have to.
– He wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal which reads, “As governor of Massachusetts, I led the fight for reforms that used free markets and innovation, rather than big-government control, to lower health-care costs and cover the uninsured.” 2007
– He “… defended and touted and bragged about the singular political and policy accomplishment of his tenure as Massachusetts governor: the health care system reform…” — The Atlantic, discussing an October 2007 debate
– He talked about it while campaigning for John McCain in 2008
– He discussed it with the Des Moines Register in 2007.
– He did a PowerPoint Presentation to Florida Medical Association about it. 2007
Anyway, I could go on and on, but sleep beckons. Nevertheless, I think David summed it up well recently:
During the campaign, the Governor spoke of his program frequently, including in televised debates, and it has always been a key part of his political biography. But — and here’s the key thing — health care was not the dominant concern in the Republican primary. Ahhh yes, the Republican primary — dominated as it was by discussions of Iraq and “true conservatism” — it had very little room for a debate about universal coverage. But now? Well, that’s only the dominant topic in our entire national political discourse. So I think it’s safe for the Governor to weigh in.