Some observers are concerned that Obama will deflect criticism of Obamacare by noting Romney paved the way for mandated insurance as the Governor who signed into law Massachusetts’ Affordable Care Act. My online friend bgates has offered up what he considers should be Romney’s response:
“Mr President, you’ve talked before about the system we set up in Massachusetts, and you’ve given me the impression you know the name of the bill and not much else. I’m not sure how you got through Harvard with that approach, but in my time at Harvard and in my business career I learned the importance of collecting all the facts, not just a superficial summary. So let me educate you about the Massachusetts Affordable Care Act and my role in it.”
“The first thing you should know is that during the period when the Act was developed, and throughout my term as governor, both houses of the state legislature were controlled by the Democrats. That meant that I could either complain about them not agreeing with me, or I could try to work with them to try to reach compromises on the important issues facing our state including health care. I decided the only responsible thing to do was to seek compromise, though of course that meant I had to accept not getting everything I wanted. So I assembled a nonpartisan team of experts, and we studied several innovative ideas, and working together with the legislature we got a bill that everyone in Massachusetts could live with. It was not the bill I would have written on my own. In fact, I tried to veto eight sections of the bill that I thought would be harmful, and the Democratic legislature overrode every single one.”
“The bill you signed wasn’t the product of compromise. In fact no Republicans in Congress voted for it at all, but it was pushed through by a Democratic legislature and signed by you, a Democratic President – and Americans were so displeased at how the entire thing was handled, from the length of the bill (over a thousand pages longer than what we did in Massachusetts) to Nancy Pelosi saying you had to pass it before America could find out what was in it, that dissatisfaction with how you and your party rammed that bill through led to the historical rise of the Tea Party in the 2010 midterms.”
[insert a couple sentences of meat on the differences between MACA and Obamacare.]
“Now, in my history I can point to the product of compromise between my Republican gubernatorial administration and a Democratic legislature; it’s not perfect, but some parts are effective. In your history, you can point to a bill that was written by a Democratic legislature, signed by a Democratic President, and resoundingly rejected by the American people. You’ve had two years to try to come up with a compromise between a Democratic President and a Congress split between the two parties, and you haven’t been able to address the concerns of the public and fix the problems in your bill even when your party still controls the Senate and you only need to compromise with the House.”
“You thanked me for my leadership in developing health care legislation that was broadly acceptable to my constituents. I wish I could return the compliment. Since I cannot, because you have not demonstrated the ability to lead in producing reform with bipartisan support, I look forward to returning leadership to Washington next year.”
-that’s about as squishy as I can bring myself to write, and it’s about as firebreathing as I can picture Mittens getting on stage. Whaddya think?