Tomorrow, ABC News will be hosting a debate among the GOP candidates in Iowa, to be moderated by George Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer. With Mitt Romney now in full negative mode against Newt Gingrich, here are two lines of questioning I hope the debate moderators pursue:
1) You recently told the Washington Examiner that you would not recommend that any state adopt the health reform plan you passed as Governor of Massachusetts in its entirety. Yet the really controversial part of your plan for many conservatives and Republicans is its use of an individual mandate.
You told Meet the Press in 2007 that you hoped that “most” states pursue a mandate, adding that you eventually would like to see “a nation that’s taken a mandate approach.”
Would you now recommend that other states consider adopting a mandate in particular as they reform their health care systems? If so, how do you square this with the complaint by many conservatives that mandates, even on the state level, represent unacceptable government intrusion on people’s decision-making? If not, how do you square that with your expressed 2007 desire to see most other states adopt it, and what changed your mind?
2) You are now attacking Newt Gingrich for criticizing Paul Ryan’s plan to restructure Medicare with a system akin to private vouchers. In June, you told ABC News that as president, you would sign the Ryan plan if it came to your desk. However, you also told us that you would not offer the Ryan plan, but instead would offer your own plan.
Now that you’re criticizing Gingrich for disagreeing with the Ryan plan, would you as president model your own plan on Ryan’s voucher approach? Would you as president push Congress to pass a plan modeled on Ryan’s proposal? If you don’t intend to push for the Ryan proposal as president, why not, what would you do differently from Ryan, and how is your position different from Gingrich’s?