It’s the kind of party where the guest of honor is expected not to show.
In anticipation of the anniversary of the state health-care law Mitt Romney signed in 2006, the New Hampshire Democratic Party is planning a tongue-in-cheek celebration for the former Massachusetts governor’s plan, which health-care policy experts argue bears a striking resemblance to the federal health-care law President Obama spearheaded into law last year.
“Without Romney, it’s hard to see how President Obama would have been able to provide quality, affordable health care for every American,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley in an email to supporters Monday. “Take a second today or tomorrow to thank Mitt Romney for providing the critical momentum necessary to get President Obama’s vision of health reform through Congress and signed into law.”
Calling him the “founding father of health-care reform,” the group is urging supporters to send Romney a thank-you tweet, with a link that automatically sends a message to his Twitter feed that reads: “Thanks @mittromney, founding father of health care reform, on its 5th bday! B/c of you, nat’l health care reform is a reality!”
In Romney’s home state, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, will hold a party to commemorate the the law in the state capitol building that promise speeches of praise for Romney.
In January, one of Obama’s top advisers praised Romney for contributing to the national health-care law Democrats passed in 2010.
“We got some good ideas from him,” presidential adviser David Axelrod said.
Lest you think the party is invite-only to liberals, Democratic groups aren’t the only ones getting on the action.
The libertarian Cato Institute last year produced a video that links Romney’s proposal to the Democrats’ health-care plan, and the Washington think thank is planning to dust it off for Tuesday’s anniversary.
“On RomneyCare’s 5th birthday, it’s important to remember that it paved the way for ObamaCare,” Cato’s Twitter feed read Monday.
Romney’s affiliation with a government health-care plan that includes a mandate to buy health insurance — which Romney argued was “conservative” five years ago — puts him in a tricky position for a possible 2012 presidential run that will likely focus on repealing the new federal health-care law.
Romney continues to defend the bill he signed to this day, however, arguing that mandates crafted at the state level are different than federal mandates written from Washington.
Tuesday’s “RomneyCare parties,” and other efforts to tie him to Obama, won’t help him make that case.