It may be a bit early to be thinking about the 2012 election. Election campaigns definitely need to be shorter, but that’s not yet the way it is, so here are a few thoughts specifically about RomneyCare and Romney….
The recent federal law requiring an “individual mandate” for people to go out and buy health insurance is enormously unpopular with conservatives. It seems to me that there are two arguments that Romney can make about the individual mandate in RomneyCare, and both arguments can be made at the same time.
First, it’s a federalism issue, and he never supported an individual mandate ordered by Congress, as far as I know.
Second, even before RomneyCare and ObamaCare, everyone in Massachusetts was effectively insured against catastrophic health costs, in the sense that hospital emergency rooms were barred by federal law from turning away people who lacked private insurance. So, some form of statewide individual mandate is appropriate to relieve taxpayers of that burden. The individual mandate in RomneyCare did that. But it also did more, and therein lies a potential problem for Romney.
He may be the GOP’s most electable guy, so from a pragmatic point of view I hope he can address this issue early on, and (if he can) get it out of the way.
By the way, this is my first blog post straight from my smart phone. The telecommunications revolution is truly amazing.