Campaign 2012 | Politics

The Romneycare gap

As an experienced governor and businessman, Mitt Romney was the better-prepared candidate for the financial challenges that face America in 2012. He lost because he faced an incumbent in a recovery cycle (however weak). He lost because the media protected President Obama from scrutiny on his failed economic record and the Benghazi and Fast and Furious scandals. He lost because the Republican Party has alienated Hispanics with its restrictionist immigration stance.

But Mitt Romney also lost because, as the father of Romneycare, he was a fatally flawed candidate in an election about Obama’s government takeover of health care.

As such, Romney shied from Obamacare’s disturbing details because he himself had inflicted the same on Massachusetts: the individual mandate, longer waiting periods, the reduction in doctors, the exploding costs (not to mention Obamacare’s increased taxes and political favors to Big Hospital and Big Pharma).

Had Mitt Romney been without Romneycare’s baggage, he could have twinned the theme of Obama’s poor economic management with the specter of Obama’s partisan, unpopular health reform threatening patient care.


For the entire month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Romney might have paraded women – both single and married – in front of the cameras and shared their miracles of being saved by the best-on-the-planet American health system. Then he could have explained how – if they were in Obamacare’s model systems of Canada or Europe -they would not have received adequate treatment. He could have visited Michigan clinics where Canadians – denied care across the border – come for treatment.

The U.S leads the world in breast cancer survivability. Government-run systems lag badly because of government cost controls and doctor shortages.

Every woman would have understood that. Every woman would have grasped the threat that four more years of Obamacare posed. And the gender gap would have shrunk to nothing.


Henry Payne
Henry Payne is the auto critic for The Detroit News. A 25-year newspaper veteran, Payne is also a Pulitzer Prize-nominated cartoonist with United Feature Syndicate, a former columnist and editorial writer for The News, and a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and other publications. His auto reviews appear every Thursday in the Drive section.