Sunday, February 04, 2007

Romney and Healthcare

I think Mitt Romney's openness to exploring new ideas on healthcare will be one of his biggest selling points in a general election. This is an issue that he can't be pigeonholed as an idealogue on, and one that showcases his executive experience. In my view, most Americans are anxious for leadership that is not overly partisan or ideological on this and other similarly difficult issues like social security. Romney is someone I see as having the potential to bridge differences in these areas.

I think its less clear how important healthcare will be to Romney in the Republican primaries. This past week, Romney did tout Massachusetts-style healthcare plans while campaigning in New Hampshire, saying "I can't guarantee my state will get it right every single step, but one state out there is going to get it right, and when we see it's working in one of the states, we'll be able to adopt it nationally." But he's also taken care to hedge his bets on the issue, giving him an opening to deflect criticism of the healthcare plan he signed into law last year. Yesterday, while speaking at the Conservative Members Retreat, Romney said of the plan, "I hope [the Massachusetts legislature takes] action that makes it work even better than I could have thought of, but if they take action that makes it unworkable, I'll point that out. I'm not going to sit on the sidelines and not have a comment to make."

What roll will healthcare play in the Republican primaries?

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Blogger Kyle Hampton said...

I think that the actual issue of healthcare is a lower priority for Republican voters, but as Marc stated, it highlights his executive experience and record of accomplishment. I doubt that there are any voters who would say that accomplishing that feat is hollow or meaningless. It's one of the things that distinguishes Romney: a record of accomplishment. Only Giuliani can boast executive accomplishment. The things that McCain can attach his name to are generally losers for Republican voters (i.e. McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, etc). Healthcare will be more of a factor in the general election

3:53 PM  

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