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The Good, the Bad, and Repeal

11:00 AM, Dec 19, 2011 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
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Over at the Washington Examiner, Philip Klein reacts to a Romney video Ben Domenech highlighted this weekend. In the clip, Mitt Romney, who is responding to a young Mike Warren’s question at Vanderbilt, talks about the similarities and differences between Romneycare and Obamacare and says, among other things, he wants to “repeal the bad and keep the good.”

Mitt Romney

Boston, we have a problem.

As Klein notes, the problems this presents for Romney are more than superficial. First, he talks about a number of similarities between the two laws, something he downplays these days. Second, he uses a strangely discomfiting euphemism: Explaining his law, he says, “we have an incentive for people to become insured.” By “incentive” he means the government fined people who didn’t buy insurance. I’m not sure it’s good for a Republican presidential candidate to talk about the individual mandate in such reassuring terms.

And then there’s his desire to not repeal Obamacare outright, but simply to repeal the “bad” parts, but keep all the good stuff.

As Klein notes, this video is not an isolated incident:

When Romney's political action committee launched its "Prescription for Repeal" campaign immediately after the health care law passed, it promised "to support conservative candidates who will repeal the worst aspects of Obamacare" (emphasis mine). The original version of the press release no longer exists on Romney's website since it was converted to his presidential campaign site, but at the time, Kathryn Jean Lopez posted it at NRO's Corner, so you can still read it there.

Now, who knows if Romney still holds to this line? After all, this clip is from a long, long time ago.

By which I mean, March 2010.

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