One of the more discouraging things about living in the conservative echo chamber is how often the conventional wisdom in intra-conservative spats is based on, well, falsehood and exaggeration. In 2007/2008, Mitt was the “flip-flopper” despite the fact that we could easily point to similar changes from other candidates — and even to dramatic policy changes during the course of the campaign. So it’s terrible when Mitt runs as a pro-choice candidate in 1994 but OK when Fred Thompson does it? It’s bad for Mitt to change his mind on abortion before the campaign but OK for Mike Huckabee to do an immigration about-face?
And don’t even get me started on John McCain and offshore drilling.
I fear that we’re on the cusp of another one of those “everyone says it so it must have credibility” moments when it comes to health care. Here’s the Wall Street Journal talking about the Governor’s alleged “Massachusetts Baggage:”
But there’s also one huge elephant in the room that Mr. Romney will have to clear if he decides to run in 2012: Massachusetts’ universal health care legislation, which hasn’t been popular with fellow GOPers. Indeed, it must pain Mr. Romney that so many Republican critiques of ObamaCare cite the cost overruns and other problems encountered by RomneyCare. As he geared up to run for president a few years ago, Mr. Romney notably switched his positions on abortion, gun rights, immigration and “don’t ask, don’t tell.” He won’t find it so easy to flip-flop on Romney care, and he apparently knows it. Mr. Romney is sticking to his guns by defending the Massachusetts plan. “I like what we did in Massachusetts. I think it works in Massachusetts,” he says.
No doubt there is some GOP grumbling about his health care reforms. But is that grumbling informed? Are the alleged “cost overruns” and “other problems” real or imagined?
The nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation says things are going well:
Despite a public perception that the state’s landmark healthcare reform law has turned out to be unaffordable, a new analysis by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation finds that the cost to taxpayers of achieving near universal coverage has been relatively modest and well within initial projections of how much the state would have to spend to implement reform, in part because many of the newly insured have enrolled in employer-sponsored plans at no public expense.
It’s time to get out ahead of the story now before “unaffordable Massachusetts healthcare” becomes the “flip-flopper” smear of the next election cycle.