Almost exactly five years after signing Romneycare into law, Mitt Romney has announced (via Twitter) that he is officially forming his exploratory PAC committee, which is the first official step towards an inevitable Presidential run. As a guy who reluctantly came around to supporting Romney in 2008, I cannot see how Mitt Romney expects to harness any of the anger over Obamacare which propelled Republicans to victory in 2010, given that he himself implemented a healthcare plan that is identical in all almost all its particulars. As the Boston Herald notes:
Like a form of Chinese water torture for Romney, the mandate will be front and center once again this week for every Bay State taxpayer as they struggle with the annual task of filing tax returns.
The first six pages of the instructional booklet for filing income taxes are dedicated to the mandated health insurance coverage requirements. That’s 18 percent of the booklet! By comparison, only one page explains the difficult task of calculating long- and short-term capital gains.
Even after plowing through the six pages on the 1099HC mandate, filers are warned in the “Major 2010 Tax Changes” section that fines have increased for failing to get health coverage.
At one point, Romney might have had an opportunity to argue that he tried to implement an individual mandate healthcare program, but regrettably it failed, and the whole country could hopefully learn from his mistake. His opportunity to do this with any credibility has come and gone. And now, as the 2012 election shapes up to be a referendum on the ill-conceived individual mandate of Obamacare, around comes Romney, a candidate who pushed an identical program into law in Massachusetts, asking GOP voters to give him the opportunity to take on Obama.
Romney would no doubt be a better President than Obama and I would happily pull the lever for him in November, but I fail to see the wisdom in nominating a candidate who is indistinguishable from his Democrat opponent on the largest issue of the day.