Part 1 in a developing series of in-depth analysis by Dr. Jeff Fuller (See Part 2 and Part 3)
Is Health Care a Problem for Romney?
It is now a central dogma of the GOP’s 2012 pre-primary that the biggest obstacle Mitt Romney will face is his history on the issue of Health Care — mainly that RomneyCare is similar to, and was a template for, ObamaCare (which Republicans rightly loathe). In this multi-part series I will discuss the issue in depth and debunk some of the superficial and opportunistic fire (both “enemy” and “friendly”) Romney has been taking of late.
By way of background, as a practicing physician I live and breath health care everyday. I strongly feel that, as Americans, we have the best health care available in the world and I’m proud to play a part in that. I was actually first drawn to investigate Romney back in 2005 when the Massachusetts Health Care bill (alternatively called MassCare or RomneyCare) was first passed. I was impressed with Mitt’s courage and skill in addressing such a controversial subject, and within such a liberal state. The fact that The Heritage Foundation was on board with the plan gave me an extra level of comfort as well. After thoroughly studying Romney’s history and platform on other issues as well, I strongly supported Mitt from that point, and continue to today. There are definitely major problems with our healthcare system, but rarely do you find conservative leaders willing to tackle any of those problems. It is almost ironic that it would have been a lot less headache politically for Mitt (in retrospect) if he had done nothing on this issue. What’s the old cynical saying? “No good deed will go unpunished” seems to apply here.
Never afraid to speak his mind, Democrat Ed Rendell (who is often known for his candor), summed up Romney’s apparent conumdrum quite well:
“If I were in charge of the Republican Party – by the way, this will be the kiss to death to the guy I’m going to mention – Mitt Romney would be the candidate, no ifs, ands, and buts about it,” Rendell said Friday night. “He’s got the best credentials to talk about the economy and job creation,” he said. “But Mitt Romney, I don’t think can get the nomination, because of healthcare.”
It’s that last point that is becoming the new “conventional wisdom” regarding Romney’s imminent candidacy. Even some conservative columnists have already written Romney’s obituary over the issue. In dramatic and grandiose fashion, John Podhoretz recently wrote:
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