Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Who Is the Father of Healthcare Reform: Obama or Mitt Romney?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Who Is the Father of Healthcare Reform: Obama or Mitt Romney?

Article excerpt

President Obama is likening his federal healthcare reform bill to the Massachusetts healthcare bill signed by former Gov. Mitt Romney. That could cause problems for Romney in 2012.

The next presidential election is more than two years away, but healthcare reform is already causing problems for one presumed candidate - and it's not President Obama.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, is trying to distance himself from the state healthcare reform overhaul that he signed in 2006. The Massachusetts bill included elements such as the individual mandate - that is, requiring people to buy insurance - which is also in the federal plan and is deeply unpopular among conservatives.

Mr. Obama has emphasized the similarities between the Massachusetts healthcare bill and his new national healthcare plan, partly to appear less radical and more bipartisan himself. In doing so, he has also made problems for Mr. Romney.

"When you actually look at the [federal] bill itself, it incorporates all sorts of Republican ideas," said Obama on the "Today Show" Tuesday. "I mean, a lot of commentators have said, 'You know, this is sort of similar to the bill that Mitt Romney passed in Massachusetts. …

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