On the stump Gov. Mitt Romney has touted the Massachusetts health care reforms he signed into law in 2006. Now I am no health care policy expert, but from what I’ve seen the reforms do not look so great as they start to take effect. Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute argues the program is neither controlling costs nor achieving its goal of universal coverage. Just yesterday, AP reported “spiraling costs . . . threaten the landmark law.” (Link via BizzyBlog.) In short, it seems like Mitt’s medical reforms are no Massachusetts Miracle, and hardly a model for the country.
My question for Romney supporters (and those more expert on the subject) are twofold. First, were the Massachusetts reforms a good idea? In other words, should these reforms count for or against Romney’s candidacy? Second, how likely is it that any emerging cracks in the Massachusetts reforms will hurt Romney in New Hampshire? If there are indeed implementation problems, I would expect them to receive more attention in New England media markets than elsewhere, but I also wonder whether Romney’s base is particularly concerned with health care, as opposed to other issues. Any thoughts?