Ron Suskind’s controversial new book, “Confidence Men” reveals how President Barack Obama came to embrace “RomneyCare” as a model of reform.
For example, it reveals that in a memo to President Obama concerning potential health care reform options, White House chief health care official Nancy-Ann DeParle,
directed Obama’s attention to the only working model for reform in the country: Massachusetts, whose health care overhaul bill passed in 2005 under a brokered deal between then-governor Mitt Romney and the state’s Democratic legislature.” (p. 262)
Suskind goes on to demonstrate that President Obama, who previously had not embraced the individual mandate, was impressed by RomneyCare’s impact in Massachusetts:
“… the centerpiece of that program, the individual mandate, was something Obama had drawn up short of endorsing during the campaign, much to the ire of Hillary Clinton, who called him ‘all talk, no action’ on health care. Now, DeParle, in her memo, stressed that Obama should embrace a plan much like that in Massachusetts, driven by the teeth of a mandate, where individuals would be fined for not having health insurance. Obama, never much for the mandate, was concerned about legal challenges to it but was impressed by DeParle’s coverage numbers. Without the mandate, the still-sketchy Obama plan would leave twenty-eight million Americans uninsured; with the mandate, the estimates of the number left uninsured were well below ten million.” (p. 262-263)
It’s no big secret that Obama looked to RomneyCare to craft his plan. But this book may also serve to remind everyone of what is obviously an inconvenient truth for Mitt Romney.