Kelly Mehler, @HFNewsTweet
Kelly Mehler is Social Media Producer for Healthcare Finance News. She interacts with readers, sources and healthcare finance industry experts in Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and at live events.
Why Romneycare still haunts Mitt
April 4, 2012
The candidates are still going at it. For frontrunner Mitt Romney, the biggest challenge of the Republican presidential primaries seems to be the direct similarities between his own Massachusetts healthcare law, and the Affordable Care Act, spearheaded by President Obama.
The Rick Santorum campaign released a new ad attacking Romney that spotlights the similarities between the two.
“What if I told you this man’s big government mandating health care included $50 abortions and killed thousands of jobs,” the narrator says, pointing at a picture of President Obama. “What if I told you he supported radical environmental job killing cap and trade and the Wall Street bailout.”
“What if I told you the man I’m talking about isn’t him – it’s him,” the narrator says, as a picture of Mitt Romney is shown.
The question arises whether this continuous backlash will forever haunt the Romney campaign. With a far lead in the primaries, readers have begun to wonder if the likeness of the two laws will hurt Romney’s efforts come November.
“Romney seems to have his line on Obamacare worked out: ‘It's a matter for the states,’” commented @Mx867 on The Daily Beast blog. “The beauty of this line is that it enables him to pretend that what he did was okay (he was a state governor) and different from what Obama did.”
On the Tennesseean Facebook group, Warren Wakeland commented that Republicans are only in the race for one thing: to rule Obama out. “Romney has made it clear he will work to repeal Obamacare if the court upholds it. There's not much more he can do to comfort conservatives about that.”
But perhaps it’s not just the act of repealing the Affordable Care Act. The parallels between the Massachusetts law and Obamacare make Romney look flip-floppish and unpredictable.
“Romney, the father of the health care mandate, will be debating the man who used Romney's blueprint for Obamacare. Ironic?” asked Slayde Warren on Facebook.
Another reason some analysts say Romney has already lost the race against Obama is his standing with women voters. Women are forsaking the GOP over its opposition to Obamacare's contraceptive coverage mandate. A USA Today/Gallup poll showed that women support Obama over Romney, 54 percent to 36 percent.
On a Washington Post related article, @drbillemoine commented that virtually none of the policies and practices of the right are acceptable to voters, especially women. “Denying women access to healthcare via Planned Parenthood … is inadvertently designed to alienate women."
“I think Romney has to find a conservative female Republican about whom it is impossible to say that she is too inexperienced, and can handle an interview well,” replied @Muddy_Buddy_2000. “I recommend Condoleezza Rice or Kay Baily Hutchson.”
Still, Romney must make a decision to his healthcare overhaul plan. Will Obamacare be Romney’s redeemer? Ironically, even as politicians were saying he couldn’t attack Obamacare because of similarities in Massachusetts, Romney has in fact been attacking Obamacare – and has since its inception.
Time to move on from the attacks and get to the drawing board.