On the fifth anniversary of the enactment of sweeping health-care reforms in Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, the governor who signed them into law, has a problem.
It's not just that Democrats love to talk up those reforms as the underlying framework for the eventual federal health-care overhaul under Obama, thereby tying the GOP presidential aspirant to what conservatives call "Obamacare." Nor is it that Democrats so enjoy taunting Romney for making the reforms he now avoids mentioning, praising them in terms certain to raise the hackles of GOP primary voters. Take this example, from NECN.com in Boston:
The state of Massachusetts threw a birthday party Monday, complete with candles and a cake, for the fifth anniversary of the landmark universal healthcare law. State and healthcare officials gathered at the Dorchester House community health center in Boston to tout the success of the law....
Five years ago, a Democratic legislature passed the law and a Republican governor, Mitt Romney, signed it. Romney was invited to Monday's birthday celebration, but didn't attend, something the current governor doesn't understand.
"I can't understand why anybody who was so central to moving a transformative piece of legislation like this wouldn't be proud of it," said Governor Deval Patrick, (D) Massachusetts.
Or this thank you video, from the Massachusetts Democrats, timed to the anniversary:
The real problem for Romney is that it would be political malpractice if his GOP primary opponents did not take video clips like the below, released in March 2010 by the Democratic National Committee, and turn them into campaign ads. Pay attention in particular to Romney's remarks (at the 0:44 mark) at the January 2008 ABC News-Facebook-WMUR Republican presidential primary candidate debate in New Hampshire.