The Washington Post

Romney needed a pivot

What to make of Mitt Romney’s softening on his opposition to the new health-care law? Further evidence, I think, that Romney’s campaign had finally figured out that it needs to pivot to less hard-line positions. Within hours of the first polls showing the Democrats won the last two convention weeks decisively, Romney tells “Meet the Press,” he wants to retain the requirement to insure people with pre-existing conditions, the most popular part of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). To that ridiculous statement, I would quote Mayor Castro, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

In other words, who wouldn’t want to impose reforms on the insurance market without any mechanism to pay for them? Romney must know that the cost of insuring people with pre-existing conditions is linked to less popular portions of the law, like the individual mandate. However, if you want to maintain a private insurance market and not have “government-run” health care, you’ve got to bring more people into the system, in order to diffuse the cost of insuring those whose demands on the system will be high.

But back to the pivot. His first attempt was overdue, but very awkward. Not auspicious.


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