Obama praises Romney for Mass. health care overhaul

Daniel Keylin Contributor
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In a speech to a bipartisan group of governors at the White House this morning, Pres. Obama gave Mitt Romney a nod of approval for Romney’s implementation of health care reform as governor of Massachusetts.

“I agree with Mitt Romney, who recently said he’s proud of what he accomplished on health care in Massachusetts and said he supports giving states the power to determine their own health care solutions,” Obama said.

Obama is not the only Democrat this week to praise Romney for his health care overhaul. “One of the best things he [Romney] did was to be the coauthor of our health care reform, which has been a model for national health care reform,” said current Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

In spite of — or, perhaps, because of — the praise from Obama and Patrick, Romneycare is seen as a major liability to another potential run by Romney for president. Romneycare was enacted in 2006 and created a universal, state-mandated government health care system in Massachusetts.

The repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, is expected to be a prominent issue in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries.

However, Romney has refused thus far to criticize the plan he signed into law despite criticism of it from fellow Republicans.

Just this past Thursday, Romney spokesman Eric Ferhnstrom said Romney is “proud of what he accomplished for Massachusetts in getting everyone covered.” That was in response to a request made earlier in the week by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, another potential 2012 presidential contender, that Romney apologize for his health care overhaul, which Huckabee referred to as “socialized medicine” in his latest book, “A Simple Government.”