The Heritage Foundation and Romneycare, Cont'd

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 27 2011 9:22 AM

The Heritage Foundation and Romneycare, Cont'd

Late last night, Ryan Lizza pointed readers to a long-forgotten video still slotted at the city of Boston website. It's the signing ceremony, April 12, 2006, for the crowning achievement of Mitt Romney's governorship. The whole thing is like water torture for conservatives, who have become convinced since 2009 that a mandate-based health care plan is socialism just as much as anything Emma Goldman dreamed up. One part jumped out to me after reading this excellent Marin Cogan story about Republican annoyance with the pressure groups that keep litmus-testing their votes.

One senior Republican aide said Heritage was less than pure when it promoted an individual mandate in the health care system in the 1990s.
“It’s incredibly ironic that the outfit that brought us the individual mandate believes it has the moral authority to act as the arbiter of conservative orthodoxy,” the aide said.

Boom, roasted. And... well, fairly. In this 2006 video, near the end, you can watch Heritage's Robert Moffit close out the proceedings with a full-throated defense of what Romney is doing.

Screen shot 2011-10-27 at 9.05.33 AM

Some excerpts:

On behalf of my colleagues at the Heritage Foundation, just allow to me express my deep appreciation for your gracious invitiation to be here today. But even more, we've been honored by your request -- myself and my colleague Ed Haislmaier, who's done a lot of the work on this bill -- to participate in giving our best advice and our technical existence in designing a new and different kind of health insurance market, a market that is patient-centered and consumer-based which will ease access to affordable coverage to thousands of Bay State citizens.
This is new. It is a new market where individuals and families will be able to own and control their health insurance and take it with them from job to job. One of the greatest problems with health care in the United States is portability. This bill solves that problem.

And then this:

The real trick is to retain what is best in American health care while correcting its deficiencies and expanding upon its indisputable benefits. Massachusetts has done just that. The applause you've given your public officials today is going to echo far beyond the halls of this hallowed place.

True. It did.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics


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