The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Democrats Obliviously Laugh About Romneycare’s Unpopularity


Methinks the Democrats are losing sight of the big picture here:

Democrats in at least three states are marking the fifth anniversary on Tuesday of the health care reforms Republican Mitt Romney helped pass when he was governor of Massachusetts. The events were designed to remind voters of Romney’s role in what is seen as the prototype for President Barack Obama’s health policy — a day after Romney announced he was forming an exploratory committee for a 2012 presidential run.

The unpopularity of the individual mandate, and the similarities between the plans dubbed “Romneycare” and “Obamacare,” are indeed serious problems for the campaign of Mitt Romney. It’s also a big problem for President Obama.

Reuters writes, “At the same time, studies show ‘Romneycare,’ reviled by most Republicans in Congress, has met many of its goals and is relatively popular in the state,” which is not even close to being true. The article cites a 2010 poll commissioned by the left-of-center Urban Institute; that study looked at Massachsetts residents’ experience with the new system as of fall 2009.

Things change in a year and a half:

Nearly half of Massachusetts voters are saying the state’s landmark health care law isn’t working. That’s according to a new poll by Suffolk University and WHDH-TV which found 49 percent of respondents said they didn’t feel the 2006 law was helping. Thirty-eight percent said it was working.” Peter Suderman goes over how the plan “met many of its goals,” as Reuters puts it: “run dramatically over budget, leads the individual health insurance market to temporarily shut down, and forces the state’s insurers to operate with losses.

So when Democrats throw their birthday parties and chuckle that Romney’s in trouble because he’s associated with a phenomenally unpopular law . . . I don’t know, does it ever cross their mind that if it’s not popular in Massachusetts, it won’t be popular anywhere?

Tags: Barack Obama , Mitt Romney , Obamacare


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