Romney Is Godfather of ObamaCare

Mar 27, 2012 by

[I am not quite sure why the media has suddenly decided to dwell upon Romney’s negatives after having pushed him as the Republican candidate for so long, but this weekend two articles allow us to see what the Democrats would say about Romney if he were to win the primaries.

 

Heretofore, the media has helped to make Romney look like the inevitable candidate, probably thinking he would be a pushover if up against Obama because RomneyCare is a model for ObamaCare.

 

For whatever reason, the following articles should give Santorum supporters grounds to say, “Elect Santorum instead of Romney because Santorum can defeat Obama.”

 

Plouffe: Romney ‘Godfather’ of Obamacare

 

Sunday, 25 Mar 2012 10:17 AM

 

By Paul Scicchitano

 

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Plouffe-Romney-godfather-Obamacare/2012/03/25/id/433782?s=al&promo_code=E83D-1

Excerpts from this article:

White House senior adviser David Plouffe on Sunday labeled Mitt Romney the “godfather” of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law…

“By the way, Mitt Romney’s the godfather of our healthcare plan. If he’s president, remarkably, he’s running away from that past. And he’s going to say he’s going to try and throw all this away,” Plouffe declared on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

…Host David Gregory pressed Plouffe, saying, “Mitt Romney’s the godfather of the Obama healthcare plan — so will he get the credit if it all goes well down the line as well?”

Plouffe responded with a touch of sarcasm: “… But I think that there’s no question that our healthcare plan — his experts were involved in it. It’s a model that was utilized.”

“The mandate is an idea supported by the Heritage Foundation, Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, most famously . . . the godfather of the mandate, Mitt Romney. So we’re confident that it will be upheld,” Plouffe said told host George Stephanopoulos.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/us/politics/ted-kennedy-helped-shape-mitt-romneys-career-and-still-haunts-it.html

 

 

THE LONG RUN

Kennedy Helped Shape Romney’s Career, and Still Haunts It

 

By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG

Published: March 24, 2012

 

Excerpts from this article:

 

BOSTON — When Gov. Mitt Romney signed legislation in April 2006 requiring most Massachusetts residents to have health coverage, Senator Edward M. Kennedy stood by his side, beaming like a proud father. They were onstage at historic Faneuil Hall in Boston, a setting that had a special resonance for the two.

 

 

Senator Edward M. Kennedy stood by his side, beaming like a proud father. Mr. Romney’s complicated relationship with Mr. Kennedy, from campaign foe to health care partner, helped shape both his political career and his image. Today, as a Republican candidate for president, he is courting conservative voters, a constituency that does not look kindly upon Mr. Kennedy or the Romney approach to health care…

 

Mr. Romney’s attempt in 1994 to “out-Kennedy Kennedy,” as people here say, led him to take stands on issues like abortion and gay rights that he has since backed away from, giving rise to accusations that he is a flip-flopper.

 

 

But it was their work on health care, a lifelong passion for Mr. Kennedy, that may have had the most enduring impact on Mr. Romney. The legislation gave him national standing to run for president in 2008, only to emerge as a political liability in the current campaign in a way that neither man could have foreseen.

 

…By September 1994, with Mr. Kennedy tied up in Washington working on President Bill Clinton’s health care bill, polls were showing a tight race. Alarmed, the Kennedy campaign sent a video crew to Indiana to interview factory workers who had been laid off by Ampad, a paper products company that had been acquired by Bain Capital.

 

The resulting advertisements featuring struggling, angry workers sent Mr. Romney’s ratings, and his confidence, sliding. “He looked like someone who had seen a ghost,” said Joseph Malone, a Republican and former Massachusetts state treasurer, who ran into Mr. Romney soon after the commercials ran.

 

Those commercials are still having an effect on Mr. Romney today. “They seeded the public perception of him as a takeover artist who made his money stripping companies and firing people,” said Robert Shrum, the Kennedy strategist who produced them.

 

…On Election Day, Mr. Romney lost, 58 percent to 41 percent.

 

Mr. Romney did not make health care a cause when he ran for governor in 2002. But by the fall of 2004, changing circumstances in Washington pushed him into it — and into a partnership with Mr. Kennedy.

 

Years earlier, the senator had negotiated a deal with the federal government that waived certain rules, giving Massachusetts flexibility in administering its Medicaid program and extra money for hospitals that cared for the poor. But the waiver was set to expire, and President George W. Bush’s administration wanted to cut off the money, depriving the state of $385 million a year.

 

As a Republican governor, Mr. Romney could have made his case by himself to the Republican administration in Washington. But Mr. Kennedy had pull in Washington and was close to Tommy G. Thompson, the health and human services secretary under Mr. Bush. The senator’s involvement gave Mr. Romney “political cover,” said John McDonough, a professor of public health at Harvard who ran a health care advocacy group at the time.

 

In January 2005, on Mr. Thompson’s last day as health secretary, the two men persuaded him to let Massachusetts redirect the money to cover the uninsured. The state promised to enact legislation doing so within a year.

 

For Mr. Kennedy, the agreement seemed a path to universal care; if Massachusetts passed a bill, he reasoned, it might serve as a template for national legislation.

 

…But with Democrats in control of the state legislature, Mr. Romney had little hope of passing a bill on his own.

 

…Unlike Mr. Romney, who often had trouble putting lawmakers’ names with faces, Mr. Kennedy “knew all the members on a first-name basis,” said Robert E. Travaligni, a Democrat and former president of the Massachusetts Senate.

 

For both the senator and the governor, the health bill was a crowning achievement. Yet today, as Mr. Romney struggles to defend the Massachusetts law while arguing that he would repeal the federal one, he is not eager to talk about his partnership with Mr. Kennedy. Last fall, at a debate in his native state, Michigan, he was asked about it.

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