Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney, in deciding to jump all over Sen. Hillary Clinton's health care plan this morning, picked an auspicious location: he stood in front of the emergency pavillion at St. Vincent's hospital in New York.
That's the "Rudolph W. Giuliani Trauma Center" at St. Vincent's, named for the mayor after 9/11.
Said Romney: "Hillary Care continues to be bad medicine. Hillary Clinton fundamentally believes in Washington. She doesn't believe in the American people." He continued in this same vein, using a series of "in her plan" versus "in our plan" riffs.
The subtext: Hillary Care is not Romney Care.
Speaking of Clinton's plan, Giuliani's communications director wrote this statement and e-mailed it to the press:
“If you liked Michael Moore’s ‘Sicko,’ you’re going to love HillaryCare 2.0. Senator Clinton’s latest health scheme includes more government mandates, expensive federal subsidies and more big bureaucracy – in short, a prescription for an increase in wait times, a decrease in patient care and tax hikes to pay for it all.”
Note the "government mandates" part. Giuliani advisers want to compare Romney's Massachusetts health reform bill -- which Giuliani has faulted for its expansion of bureaucracy and its mandates -- to Clinton's.
Whether Romney's Massachusetts bill -- which is not to be confused with the more free-market oriented approach he has taken in the presidential campaign -- is like Clinton's bill... well, that's a debate for health care policy wonks to have.
Romney aides don't buy the comparison, and in any event, seem very willing to debate health care with Giuliani. After all, Romney actually tried to solve the problem.
BTW: What's Fred Thompson's approach?
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