I lived in Massachusetts and voted for Mitt Romney in the 2002 gubernatorial election. I’m proud that I did, largely because I’m by no means convinced that a conventional machine Democrat like Shannon O’Brien could have shepherded a path-breaking universal health care law into being. So I’m glad to see Maggie Haberman report that Romney himself is starting to show some pride:
Mitt Romney rejected Mike Huckabee’s call for him to admit that the “RomneyCare” health care program failed, instead saying he’s “proud” of “getting everyone covered” when he was governor of Massachusetts.
“Mitt Romney is proud of what he accomplished for Massachusetts in getting everyone covered,” Romney’s spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, told the Boston Globe, in the first direct response Team Mitt made to Huckabee’s criticism of the health plan in his new book.
I’d love to imagine a scenario in which Romney gives up on his impossible dream of securing a GOP presidential nomination and recognizes that the Affordable Care Act, like the Commonwealth Care initiative, is worthy effort to tackle a very complicated problem that’s going to need continual tweaks over the years. The best hope the country has is for some smallish faction of moderate Republicans — the Romneys, the Browns, the Kirks — to start breaking with repealer orthodoxy and start proposing concrete constructive changes to the new framework. The political system is exhausted by the thought of additional health care reform, but we actually need much more reform than last year’s law gives us.