ThinkProgress filed this report from a campaign event in Columbia, South Carolina
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) joined the list of candidates criticizing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) health care plan Wednesday, using an appearance on Good Morning America and a campaign stop in South Carolina to say Romney lacked credibility in the health care debate.
Romneycare, which Huntsman and other Republicans don’t count as a “free market” solution, has plenty of credibility in Massachusetts. Recent polling shows that 63 percent of Massachusetts residents view Romneycare favorably, and the law has been successful on multiple fronts, most notably reducing the state’s uninsured rate to just 1.9 percent. Comparatively, in Utah, 14 percent of the population remains uninsured despite Huntsman’s so-called “free market” reforms.
Yesterday, Huntsman chose to ignore those facts when he argued that Romney had no credibility on the issue:
HUNTSMAN: The question was, when someone who passed and signed that particular law is talking about free market health care, do they have credibility? Otherwise, governors can do whatever they want to do, whatever the aspirations of the people in their state dictate, they can move in that direction. I think the answer was, he would have little credibility talking about market-based health care plans having signed onto that.
Huntsman, who once flirted with the idea of a mandate himself, is correct that Romney lacks credibility on health care. But it’s because Romney has chosen to change his position and ignore the success of the law he signed, not because he signed a law that isn’t working.