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Mitt's New 'I Care' Message Makes a Pretty Good Case... for Obamacare | The Nation

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John Nichols

John Nichols

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Mitt's New 'I Care' Message Makes a Pretty Good Case... for Obamacare

Mitt Romney, slipping in the polls after his bizarre dismissal of 47 percent of the American people as a “dependent” class with which he would not concern himself, has come up with a new tactic to revive his ailing campaign: compassion.

His message: “I care.”

“There are so many people in our country who are hurting right now,” says the Republican nominee for president. “I want to help them.”

And how does Mitt confirm his concern?

By embracing healthcare reforms that use the power of government to assure that Americans who have no insurance protection—or inadequate insurance—are provided with access to the coverage and the care they need.

“Don’t forget—I got everybody in my state insured,” Romney told NBC News while campaigning in Toledo, Ohio. “One hundred percent of the kids in our state had health insurance. I don’t think there’s anything that shows more empathy and care about the people of this country than that kind of record.”

Give Mitt his due.

As governor of Massachusetts, he did indeed establish a statewide program to expand access to healthcare. He was so associated with the program that it’s come to be known as “Romneycare.”

Just like President Obama’s association with the reasonably similar Affordable Care Act at the federal level led to it being dubbed “Obamacare.”

Both programs are imperfect, especially in the eyes of supporters of broader reform, such as the “Medicare for All” proposals advanced by Senator Bernie Sanders and other progressives.

But let’s accept that working to enact them qualifies as evidence of at least some degree of empathy.

So Romney cares—or, at the least, he cared.

And Obama cares.

The political question that remains to be resolved is this: How does Mitt Romney argue that Americans should vote for him because he cared about those who needed healthcare in Massachusetts while Romney is, at the same time, arguing that Americans should not vote for Barack Obama because he cared about those who needed healthcare in the other forty-nine states?

For more recent Romney hypocrisy, check out his outrageous comments about money in politics.

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