- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Romney tiptoes a fine line on health care
Voters distinguish Massachusetts law from Obama’s, survey finds
Mitt Romney’s opponents say his Massachusetts health care law is so similar to President Obama’s that he’ll be unable to draw distinctions as the GOP’s presidential candidate, but a new poll out last week finds that voters don’t see the two laws the same.
The results of the Kaiser Family Foundation survey bode well for Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, who has walked a fine line as he tried to defend his own legislation while painting the president’s as destructive.
Of Republicans who were familiar with the Massachusetts and national laws, 62 percent said they see Mr. Obama’s law as different from Mr. Romney’s law, while 38 percent said the two laws were similar. The results were comparable among Democratic voters, with 57 percent calling the two laws different and 43 percent saying they are similar.
About one-fourth of those asked said they didn’t know enough to respond.
The issue has dominated much of the GOP’s nomination battle, popping up again in a Newt Gingrich interview on “Fox News Sunday,” with the former House speaker saying the “the gap between Romneycare and Obamacare is that big,” holding two fingers about a centimeter apart.
“Think about what that means, going up against Barack Obama … you’re going to claim [that] top-down government-run medicine on the federal level doesn’t work, and we should repeal it,” Mr. Santorum told Mr. Romney. “And he’s going to say, ‘Wait a minute, governor. You just said that top-down, government-run medicine in Massachusetts works well.’ “
In response, Mr. Romney repeated his standard defense; namely, that while his law was the right solution for Massachusetts, states should be allowed to deal with health care as they see fit.
Health care experts who helped write the Massachusetts reform agree that the law largely succeeded in what it was intended to do: extend coverage to most residents. According to a Health Affairs study released last week, the uninsured rate has dropped from around 14 percent before the law was passed to around 6 percent and has remained there since 2009.
While it does require individuals to purchase coverage and offers subsidies for lower-income earners through an exchange, the law didn’t include many of the federal Affordable Care Act’s cost-control measures, such as limiting how much insurers can spend on overhead and making large rate increases subject to review.
Given the similarities — and the differences — experts remain divided on whether and how much it will hurt Mr. Romney politically.
Jonathan Gruber, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a key architect of the state law, said successful reports coming from Massachusetts spells bad news for his campaign.
“Right now, Romney’s problem is that the law succeeded, and that’s a problem for him,” Mr. Gruber told The Washington Times. “He’s trying to argue that somehow it won’t succeed nationally. The truth is, it’s bad news for Romney.”
But Amy Lischko, who served as Mr. Romney’s health care policy director, said that’s a stretch. There is plenty of room to draw distinctions between the two laws, she said — and she thinks Mr. Romney is doing a fairly good job of drawing them.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- A familiar fading feeling for McMahon in Connecticut
- Romney’s bid to undo health law faces hurdles
- Hill GOP presses Medicare probe
- Romney, Obama advisors butt heads over binders, Big Bird and “Romnesia”
- Outsiders abide by rules in Brown-Warren race
Latest Blog Entries
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow