Former Massachusetts governor and possible 2012 presidential contender Mitt Romney has spent a lot of time campaigning against the recent health care overhaul.
One problem: It looks a lot like the law he signed in 2006 while he was governor of Massachusetts.
“In every important respect the Obama plan and the Romney plan are identical,” says Michael Cannon, Cato director of health policy studies.
In a new video, Cato’s David Boaz and Michael Cannon explain how alike the two plans really are. Watch:
Cato scholars have been critical of Romney’s health care plan since its inception. In June 2006, Michael Tanner authored the Cato Briefing Paper, “No Miracle in Massachusetts: Why Governor Romney’s Health Care Reform Won’t Work,” and concluded:
[T]he act goes far beyond an individual mandate to radically change the way health insurance is bought and sold in the state. Many observers see Massachusetts’s reforms as a model for the nation, but a closer look provides ample reasons to be skeptical.
…Health care needs more consumer control and freer markets, not more government regulation, controls, and subsidies. The Massachusetts reform takes us in the wrong direction.
(It was not long before Tanner’s predictions about the Massachusetts plan came true.)
Romney’s record on health care will certainly come up if he pursues further political aspirations in the next few years. As David Boaz asks, “How can he lead the charge against a health care plan that is modeled on his own? How can he go around denouncing a government takeover and an intrusion of people’s rights when he authored a very similar plan?”