Although - as I pointed out on Sunday – Mitt Romney appears to be the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, the issue of RomneyCare is simply not going to go away anytime soon. This past week, we learned there are even more direct ties between the advisors who worked on RomneyCare in Massachusetts and those who worked on ObamaCare in Washington. The ties? Well, they just happen to be the same people. One of these RomneyCare/ObamaCare advisers – Jonathan Gruber – appeared on "The Last Word with Lawerance O’Donnell" this week and had a lot of interesting things to say.
"The truth is that the Affordable Care Act is essentially based on what we accomplished in Massachusetts. It’s the same basic structure applied nationally. John McDonough, one of the other advisors who worked in both Massachusetts and advised the White House, said ‘it’s the Massachusetts bill with three more zeros’," said Gruber (h/t The Right Scoop)
The whole interview is worth listening to and pretty much blows apart Romney’s argument that RomneyCare is different from ObamaCare. And just so you don’t think Gruber is some sort of fringe consultant that Romney barely knows, O’Donnell plays a clip of Romney at the bill signing from RomneyCare thanking Gruber for his work.
Even here in Arkansas, Romney endorser Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr admits that he believes RomneyCare is "socialized medicine" when asked about it immediately following his endorsement.
"Massachusetts is different from Arkansas," said Darr. "Their voters decided what they want. It is a state issue. My argument against the health care (legislation) is the unconstitutionality of forcing Americans to buy that. If a state decides that is what is best for their state, right or wrong. Now do I agree with it? No, I don’t. But that is their state’s right to choose whether it is for them or not."
"I don’t agree with any socialized medicine to be honest with you," continued Darr when asked if he thinks then-Gov. Romney was wrong to enact his plan. When asked specifically if he believed RomneyCare was socialized medicine, he responded, "Yes."
Ouch! Darr explained that his endorsement was in spite of this disagreement pointing to the fact that he agrees with Romney 95 percent of the time and thinks he is the best candidate to defeat President Obama. But when even Romney endorsers have this view on RomneyCare, it is still a problem.