Mitt Romney and Obama apologists have plenty of differences, but one thing they do agree on is that Obama's health care plan that will force people to buy private health insurance is clearly different from Romney's health care plan that forced people to buy private health insurance, and it would be absurd to equate or even compare the two. Romney was at it again this week, acknowledging that the similarities between the two plans are a liability for him while still trying to explain why this rose isn't actually a rose as long as he calls it a chicken pot pie:
“Our plan was a state solution to a state problem,” Romney said of the 2006 health-care measure he signed into law as governor of Massachusetts. “His is a power grab by the federal government to put in place a one-size-fits-all plan across the nation.”
Sure, Mitt, whatever you say. But unfortunately for both Romney and Obama apologists, the White House is eagerly embracing its Republican role model:
“We have said before that health care reform that then Governor Romney signed into law in Massachusetts is in many ways similar to the legislation that resulted in the Affordable Care Act,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in an off-camera briefing at the White House. [...] “We wholly endorse flexibility and we obviously feel that Massachusetts took a smart approach towards health care reform,” the press secretary added.
I watched a debate a few years ago between Romney and a doctor from Physicians for a National Health Program—whose rejection of Romney-style private insurance mandates and advocacy for a single-payer health system was so commonplace as to be a banal article of faith among Democrats at the time. Of course, that was before a Democratic president's embrace of Romney's system changed many of their minds for them, and they switched from opposing private mandates to supporting them, usually without even passing acknowledgment of the extreme cognitive dissonance.
It's hard to imagine a better illustration of Obama's Midas touch: all he has to do is adopt Republican policies as his own, and they instantly turn from liberal defeats into golden progressive achievements!
(Previous trip to Massachusetts here, if you're interested.)