The Boston Globe publishes an editorial today recounting and supporting Mitt Romney’s role in developing Health Care reform plans for Massachusetts while serving as it's Governor:
“All in all, then, the role Romney played was of a governor sensitive to business concerns and worried about the state’s business climate. Now, conservatives have come to view that individual mandate as an intolerable imposition on personal liberty, rather than an insistence on personal responsibility. In no small part that’s because such a mandate also plays a central role in Obama’s health care plan. But if they weren’t hyperventilating about the national law, they might come to recognize that the role Romney played on the state level was skillful, creative, and business-friendly.”
The Globe editorial explains how Democrats wanted to impose a payroll tax on businesses who did not offer health coverage. Democrat House Speaker Sal DiMasi had set up the idea as a ballot question. The business community was very worried about such costs, as DiMasi was adamant about having businesses shoulder the expense, at a proposed rate of $800 to $1,000 per employee. Until Romney crafted an alternative plan, the Democratic policies were sure to be enacted.
Using information from the Heritage Foundation and the Urban Institute, Romney eventually made the individual mandate the centerpiece of health care reform. The idea of the mandate was born in Conservative and Republican circles as a way to combat the single-payer healthcare plans favored by Progressives. Romney was able to craft a compromise, which eased the burden on businesses, while allowing residents to purchase individual private insurance policies.
Some Conservatives have been assailing Romney for his role in Massachusetts Health Care reform, but as the Globe editorial points out:
”…conservatives might be more favorably disposed if they understood the part Romney played in warding off various schemes feared by business.”
Surely realistic voters will want someone who has the ability to make sound decisions, based on real experience in both the public and private sector, to lead and tackle the issues of the day, as they face a choice in 2012.