WASHINGTON, DC – Why should a state be able to impose a mandate that people buy health insurance, but not the federal government? Variations of that question have plagued Mitt Romney as he’s tried to differentiate his Massachusetts Health Care plan from President Obama’s health care reforms. But when the question was recently posed by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, the Republican responded succinctly: “States have rights that the federal government doesn’t have,” he said, before asserting a state’s right to try different things to see what “works” and issuing a non-apology for his plan. On Good Morning America Tuesday morning, he “refused to apologize” for Massachusetts’s plan.
Pundits have now seized on Romney’s answer as a potential strong strategy for a looming 2012 presidential bid. Why? Because Romney now appears to be in line with the debate that is likely to unfold as the constitutionality of federal health care reform gets decided in the courts.
- He Finally Has a ‘Plausible’ Campaign Answer, says Politico’s Ben Smith, who notes that Romney “struggled” to distinguish his plan during last year’s debate. “Romney’s argument is now much stronger. Because the main objection to ObamaCare, as its critics call it, is no longer a matter of policy nuance,” Smith writes. “Now critics primarily make the case that it’s an unconstitutional expansion of specifically federal power. And on that turf, the similar structure of the plans doesn’t matter. Romney enacted his at a state level, and states
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