Months after the GOP primary came to an end, Mitt Romney finally grew comfortable touting his Massachusetts health care law, even though he couldn’t really use it effectively as an asset on the campaign trail.
“[D]on’t forget — I got everybody in my state insured,” Romney said in an interview three weeks ago. “One hundred percent of the kids in our state had health insurance. I don’t think there’s anything that shows more empathy and care about the people of this country than that kind of record.”
But there’s a tragic plot twist in this father-son reunion tale. Though he clearly takes pride in the accomplishment — and as recently as 2008 had hoped to run for president as a candidate uniquely suited to take the program nationwide — the national health reforms he is now promising to enact in 2013 would deeply, perhaps fatally, undermine his greatest achievement in public life.
Like the Affordable Care Act, Romney’s Massachusetts law relies on adequate federal funding to provide subsidies, and an individual mandate — to pull younger, healthier people into the insurance risk pool and hold premiums down. Romney’s promised reforms as President — specifically his support for deep cuts to Medicaid and his call to allow individuals to purchase insurance across state lines — threaten that foundation.