…we do know that the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994. – David Frum
I’m sure Teddy appreciated this. I sure did.
USA Today is reporting that Americans think it was better to pass health care than not. Translation: even a bad bill is better than nothing. It’s why Republicans were always stupid not to join in. From USA Today:
Americans by 9 percentage points have a favorable view of the health care overhaul that President Obama signed into law Tuesday, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, a notable turnaround from surveys before the vote that showed a plurality against it.
By 49%-40% those surveyed say it was “a good thing” rather than a bad one that Congress passed the bill. Half describe their reaction in positive terms, as “enthusiastic” or “pleased,” while about four in 10 describe it in negative ways, as “disappointed” or “angry.”
So how Mitt Romney reconciles the fact that Pres. Obama just signed into law a national version of Romneycare I don’t know and obviously neither does he. That’s why his op-ed for NRO yesterday was just plain weird.
[...] His health-care bill is unhealthy for America. It raises taxes, slashes the more private side of Medicare, installs price controls, and puts a new federal bureaucracy in charge of health care. It will create a new entitlement even as the ones we already have are bankrupt. For these reasons and more, the act should be repealed. That campaign begins today.
“We’re sure that it must be difficult to endure all the comparisons of the similarities between your signature health care plan and the bill passed last night when you are trying to appear to be the angriest of the angry far right wing in the Republican Party, but it doesn’t cover up the blatant hypocrisy of lashing out against policy that you thought well enough of to campaign for and sign into law,” said DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan.
In an e-mail to reporters, Sevugan provided a point by point comparison of “ObamaCare” and “RomneyCare” to highlight the similarities between the two plans, points Romney will likely have to explain in a Republican primary is he decides to seek the White House again in 2012.
So for the Democrats, it was RomneyCare or nothing. Thus the task for Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama was to hold the Democratic right to RomneyCare while not losing the Democratic left. As long as they could say to the left, “Look, this is what we can pass: It’s a lot better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick (and a poke in the eye with a sharp stick is a lot better than our current health-care financing system),” they had a chance of holding the left, especially if they could sweeten it with progressive tax and subsidy policies. But if they pointed out the intellectual origins of the plan—oh, and by the way, the guts of the plan came out of the conservative über-think tank, the Heritage Foundation, and it was what Mitt Romney thought was good policy back in 2004—then the left-wing Democrats’ heads would have exploded and their votes would have vanished. – Brad DeLong
So, we’ve got history made today, no matter how bad the bill, with Romney bucking the public trend even though he implemented similar health care legislation in Massachusetts. Mr. Romney obviously having no intention of listening to David Frum. But you can bet his opponents for 2012 have dancing negative ads already playing in their heads.
We’ll have to see if the popularity boost health care is getting starts to help Democrats in the Midwest for November, with the latest PPP polling positively dismal.
But while Romneycare ties Mitt up in knots, it paves the way for Huckabee, Pawlenty and others, including that woman the left loves to hate, Sarah Palin, who had this to say about health care just yesterday: “It was supposed to help more people get coverage, but there will still be 23 million uninsured people by 2019.” Sarah want’s universal health care? Who knew!
Evidently Sarah hasn’t looked at the tax side of Obamacare/Romneycare. That’s the place any good conservative would start.
TM NOTE: Link to graphic coinciding to the Joe Biden quote via Twitter.