Video: Romney Praises “Collaborator and Friend” Ted Kennedy for His Role in Crafting and Passing RomneyCare
More fun stuff from self-described “conservative” GOP candidate Mitt Romney. Via Peter Suderman at Reason:
Despite copious evidence to back up the connection, GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney has yet to admit the link between the Massachusetts health care overhaul he signed into law as governor and the federal overhaul President Obama passed last year. You can understand why he’s declined: Given that Romney is running as an establishment conservative for the Republican nomination, the friendly connection to the rival party’s leader and his most prominent policy achievement would be, well, kind of awkward.
But when the Massachusetts law first took effect, Romney did praise a different prominent liberal collaborator as one of the law’s “parents” whose work was “absolutely essential” to passage: former Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, a longtime universal coverage advocate whose proposed 1975 health care overhaul was ditched after the Congressional Budget Office estimated that it would cost three times what Kennedy’s staff had claimed.
One other thing to note is that Romney praises Kennedy for helping make the case that federal support was necessary to fund the state-based coverage expansion. Romney likes to criticize President Obama for cutting Medicare and raising taxes in order to fund ObamaCare. But of course, as a governor, Romney didn’t have the option to cut back on Medicare, a federal program. So, with the help of Sen. Kennedy, he convinced the feds to kick in another way, with expanded Medicaid funding that ended up paying for half of the program’s publicly budgeted cost.