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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Damn with faint praise

Just as I was getting a teeny amount of sympathy for Mitt Romney, along comes a reminder why the Man of a Million Positions infuriates friend and foe alike.

The Globe, in an effort to pump up Our Man Myth against the Republican disdain for RomneyCare, reminds readers that the former Massachusetts governor sought to compromise with legislative leaders over how to pay for universal access to health care.

The individual mandate loathed by conservatives was offered as an alternative to a 5 to 7 percent payroll tax on business favored by then-Speaker Sal DiMasi. Business lined up in support because that very question appeared to be headed to the ballot and the individual mandate would be less costly to them.

Eventually both sides agreed to both an individual mandate and a scaled back payment from non-participating businesses -- a compromise that allowed both sides to declare victory and enact the law.

But while the Globe suggested that forging a compromise was his "true role," Romney displayed his "true colors" during the bill signing:
The compromise that finally broke the long stalemate was based on an individual mandate, but called for companies without coverage to pay $295 per worker per year. That was essentially the Romney plan, but with enough of a business contribution to let DiMasi save face. In a move that angered DiMasi, Romney signed the bill, but vetoed the business levy. The Legislature overrode his veto, reimposing the fee.
And people wonder why no one trusts Romney?

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