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Possible 2012 Presidential Candidates squared off over health care yesterday. While neither Mitt Romney nor Mike Huckabee have announced their candidacy for the 2012 GOP nomination, the jabs have begun. Some may believe it is too early for the fights to begin. However, living in Iowa, we’ve already seen ads encouraging people to run for President as well as negative ads. In Iowa, the closing of the polls means the beginning of the next caucus season.
The rumble between Huckabee and Romney began when POLITICO reported that a chapter in Huckabee’s new book, “A Simple Government,” includes two complete pages tearing apart “Romney Care” and comparing it to “Obama Care”.
“Obama Care”, the health care reform that is highly unpopular among voters, is currently being reviewed as a lawsuit in several states and has been found to be unconstitutional by at least one Federal judge. Having your health care program compared to “Obama Care” is something a GOP political candidate might want to distance him/herself from. And I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of this yet.
“Ever since the debate over (the national) program began, it’s been compared to “Romney Care”, the failed statewide health-care program implemented by none other than my fellow GOP member Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts,” Huckabee states in his book.
Mitt Romney responded saying he’s “proud” of “getting everyone covered” when he was governor of Massachusetts. It was his foresight as Governor of Massachusetts, before “Obama Care” was even a glimpse in the voters eyes, that allowed him to ensure all residents of Massachusetts had health coverage. Unlike “Obama Care”, “Romney Care” is considered Constitutional.
While Huckabee may have taken a few swings at Romney in his book, he sat down for an interview with the Associated Press on Wednesday and discussed a way for Romney to handle the “Romney Care” issue.
“I think it’s not a killer for him,” Huckabee said. “But he has to say either ‘I love it,’ ‘I hate it,’ or, ‘Hey I tried it, it didn’t work and that’s why I would say to you, let’s not do it nationally.’”
“The position he should take is to say: ‘Look, the reason “Obama Care” won’t work is because we’ve tried it at the state level and we know it won’t work,'” Huckabee added.
Romney’s stance is quite different. While he is proud that health care plan did work for Massachusetts but he has acknowledged that it cannot work at a national level.
Health care is something every voter is concerned about. Romney had the foresight to make sure everyone in Massachusetts had coverage when he was Governor. However, he approached it differently than “Obama Care”. Romney made sure the budget was balanced BEFORE implementing his health care program. He also made sure that taxes were not raised in order to support “Romney Care”. Every year he was in office, the budget was balanced.
That sounds like a Conservative approach to a liberal issue. A balanced budget, no new taxes and health care for all citizens. If it is possible, as Mitt Romney has shown, that the budget can be balanced, taxes remain stable and the health care crisis can be handled, could Mitt Romney be the candidate that ALL voters could support in 2012?