Will Mitt Romney and the tea party mix?


A recent in article in the Boston Globe entitled “Romney keeps away from Tea Party” discusses the fact that Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor and 2008 presidential candidate, has been avoiding being linked with the tea party movement. It also says the tea party seems to be avoiding Romney. I say good, because like oil and water, Romney and the tea party won’t mix.

At the recent meeting of the Sturbridge Tea Party, Romney and his “Romney Care” were discussed at length and it was agreed this would probably keep any tea party group in Massachusetts  from supporting Romney. While Romney likes to think of the almost universal health care bill in Massachusetts as a success, many others disagree, especially those of us who are paying higher premiums and getting less coverage.

Romney’s chief argument on health care is that the Massachusetts model he engineered works at a state level, but that Obama’s national plan infringes on states’ rights and should be repealed. Explaining this issue would be a high priority, not just in a bid to appease Tea Party activists, but to assure mainstream Republicans who also see the Obama plan as an overreach. – Globe 1/21/2011

All the Massachusetts healthcare bill has accomplished has been to increase the cost of healthcare insurance premiums and decreasing the amount of coverage people can afford. Even the Cato Institute agrees in their policy statement saying their analysis has less of an impact on health insurance coverage than originally stated and that the costs of coverage are more than was estimated.  Cato Institute Last page of statement “Conclusion”

And according to Risk and Insurance.com

Businesses in Massachusetts with fewer than 50 employees saw their health insurance premiums grow by 14.7 percent between 2006 and 2008, the study found. That’s more than double the prereform rate of 7.1 percent between 2004 and 2006.

And it is the employees who have had to absorb these costs. In a state where it is already hard enough to do business, this was not something which was needed. Many of the formerly uninsured who are now insured also fall under various entitlement programs which are subsidized by Massachusetts taxpayers, and not these same taxpayers are subsidizing these people even more through their increased health insurance costs.

At least in Massachusetts this will be a big hurdle for Romney to overcome. I am sure when Romney officially throws his hat into the ring, I will have more to say, but for now I can’t see the tea party movement and Mitt getting along.