High Court Decision Provides Romney Opening on Health Care Debate
Sifting through the barrage surrounding yesterday’s SCOTUS announcement, one would not be mistaken if he noted a newly invigorated President Obama. The suddenly validated ACA essentially eliminated the need for his campaign to take a proactive approach to convincing voters of his stance on healthcare reform. He can now be reactive. With the reform law firmly enshrined into the legal fabric of the land, Team Obama suddenly has the luxury of steering this ship. Mitt Romney, meanwhile immediately started his reactionary stance with an impromptu response that has been getting mixed reviews and fact-checked hyperscrutiny.
Romney has heretofore announced a “repeal and replace” strategy with the help of his campaign surrogates. It is a start for him. Up till now, Romney has largely avoided policy specifics on this major issue and on the economy in general. With a reform law that may have been struck down, he certainly would have been the obvious winner in the short term, setting the debate agenda on a topic that would have significantly wounded the message of the incumbent. On that same vein, though, Romney would have had to explain his support for a similar law he supported as the chief executive of a little state known as Massachusetts — a tactic Obama would have definitely exploited. All of this is moot, however. Today, Romney and his campaign start the debate from their end — not because they want to. They have to. We have already seen some indications as to where this strategy will lead, as he has given some hints into what he will pledge to do “on Day One” if elected. Notions like Medicare privatization and blocking Medicaid grants to stakes in favor of a more “market-driven approach” will become increasingly etched into voters’ collective psyche in his initial attempts to rally the base and pull independents and undecideds still hungry for action on “Obamacare”. (They’re out there, you know.)