By upholding the constitutionality of the historic national health care reform law last week, the Supreme Court sets up a fierce ideological battle.
It’s between Mitt Romney and Mitt Romney.
If elected president, Romney promises to repeal Obamacare. He says it is bad law and bad policy, and unfairly raises taxes on the American people.
His problem is that as governor, he imposed the same law, policy, and taxes on Massachusetts citizens.
The tax increase Romney now rages against is the result of the “individual mandate,” which requires Americans to buy health insurance and penalizes them if they don’t.
Five Supreme Court justices agreed that the penalty is a tax that Congress has the power to levy.
It’s exactly the same penalty Romney imposed in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts health care reform law, which Romney pushed and promulgated, requires all Bay State citizens to buy health insurance and penalizes them if they don’t.
Romney began his effort with a November 2004 op-ed in The Boston Globe entitled, “My plan for Massachusetts health insurance reform.”
He called for a bipartisan commitment to pass a “comprehensive, market-based reform program,” that would restrain the growth in health care costs without raising new taxes; change how health care is provided; and lead to “every citizen in Massachusetts having health coverage.”
Remember, no one forced the individual mandate on Romney.
It was his baby, introduced in a speech he gave at the John F. Kennedy Library in June 2005.
When the governor unveiled his proposal, a Globe headline proclaimed, “Romney eyes penalties for those lacking insurance.”
When reporters pressed him about it, the governor said: “No more ‘free riding,’ if you will, where an individual says: ‘I’m not going to pay, even though I can afford it. I’m not going to get insurance, even though I can afford it.’”