LeftCenterLeft holds forth on Romney’s health care proposal:
And he does have a knack for co-opting progressive initiatives, muchlike he did in taking Robert Reich’s proposal to combine the Turnpikeand the DOT. It almost doesn’t matter for him that the initiatives failin the Legislature ? he gets to look like the one with bold, reformideas, and the left branch of the Democrats no longer can get tractionon their goals. With health care, for instance, the road toemployer-based mandatory health insurance may be harder.
Well… I’m not so sure. Perhaps he’s admitted that there is space in the public arena for big ideas. That’s not an easy admission for a "conservative" to make, and I think that the ACT! Coalition (which includes Health Care for All, GBIO and others), Sal DiMasi, Travaglini and others can take some credit for forcing this discussion upon him.
As HCFA blogs (hey, what happened to the permalinks?), give the Governor credit for coming up with a big, fat, ambitious, comprehensive, and as it turns out, lousy and detail-free idea. Yes, it’s sucked up a lot of the oxygen in the last week regarding health care. But HCFA has highlighted some of the reaction: "Iresent the implication in the article that my intention is to defraudthe healthcare industry by seeking out medical care and then refusingto pay." Insofar as Romney’s idea gets beat up by just about everyone (thanks David!), I’m hoping that more people will be looking for a reasonable — and suitably ambitious — alternative. We got one.
I hope that we didn’t think that he was just going to out-and-out endorse HA3 (although that would be great), or a universal care constitutional amendment, or something like that — that’s just not realistic. But insofar as he joins the conversation, talking about big steps that we can take to get everyone insured, I welcome it. This is the discussion we should be having. Big ideas, a lot at stake — because people’s lives are at stake.
I see Romney’s proposal in the context of a big political tennisgame: for the moment, we’ve forced him into taking the shot that we wanted him to take. It’s still up to us to take that lob and put it away.