Romney who has real world executive experience in reforming health-care in the State of Massachusetts has a few pointers for Obama. Probably made out of pity. Fundamentally Obama, reset, and get both sides of the aisle on board using a collaborative approach with a NON POLITICAL AGENDA when addressing this very personal program. His biggest mistake was punting this program’s design to Pelosi and Reid.
Romney on Obama’s Push for Health-Care Reform: Slow Down
Katie Connolly / Newsweek
In the last two weeks, political commentators have expressed doubts over President Obama’s time frame for health-care reform. Meanwhile, even some Democratic lawmakers appear to be getting cold feet. In response, Obama is relentlessly pitching his plan. He has spoken about health care on eight out of the last nine days, and he’s scheduled to hold a town-hall meeting on the topic this Thursday. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is one of the few politicians in the country with first-hand experience of steering major health-care reform through the legislative process. The reforms he enacted in Massachusetts have been criticized for being costly, but they’ve also managed to extend coverage to a significant number of uninsured people. By 2007, the proportion of uninsured people in Massachusetts was the lowest in the country.
I spoke to Romney about his experience with health-care reform this morning. His cautionary words for Obama? Slow down. Here are some excerpts from our conversation:
What do you think needs to happen over the next couple of weeks if President Obama’s deadline for health-care reform is to be met?
I think the president ought to hit the reset button. I think it is critical that he have the participation, involvement, and support of people on both sides of the aisle, as well as people in various sectors of the health economy. If we are going to have a dramatic shift in the nature of so large a part of our economy, then it needs to be something that has been thoroughly vetted and has received great support. Out of a desire to move very quickly, while his support is highest, he has skipped the critical steps of educating, involving, and evolving his own plans to meet the perspectives of the great majority of our citizens.
It sounds like you are encouraging the president to slow down. Aren’t there risks in delaying?
He’s in a very difficult position. We faced a very similar question [in Massachusetts] as we began our process. We spent over two years putting together a health-care plan and then building support for it on both sides of the aisle—working with hospitals, providers, doctors, business groups, labor groups, advocates for the poor. We involved all of these parties, and it took a long time, but what we ended up with was a bill that passed the legislature— if you combine the House and the Senate—198 to 2.