Mitt Romney To Talk Healthcare Rip/Replace On Thursday

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We all knew this would happen sooner or later, but Romney seems to be finally throwing his Massachusetts healthcare plan under the bus.

ABC takes a look at the upcoming speech:

Former Massachusetts Governor and likely Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will outline his approach to health care reform in Michigan Thursday, announcing a plan to “repeal and replace” the law that Democrats enacted last year.

As governor in 2006, Romney signed Massachusetts’ bipartisan health reform law. It required everyone in the state to obtain health insurance and became a model for the controversial law that national Democrats enacted for the entire country in 2010. […]

A Romney adviser tells ABC News that he will address his own record on health care reform but that it won’t be a major focus of his speech. While Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has apologized for his past support for legislation to enact a “Cap and Trade” system to cut down on carbon emissions, calling it a “clunker”, don’t expect Romney to do the same on health care reform. Look for Romney to continue his federalism defense: the plan he enacted was right for Massachusetts, but not for the entire country.

Sure, he says he’s not doing it, but he is. We all know he is, even if he doesn’t say that the Massachusetts program was wrong. You don’t set up a statewide system that mandates health care coverage without thinking about the implications for that working on a nationwide basis. Romney had presidential aspirations, was seeking to come up with a Republican alternative to single-payer and he found it. So kudos to him. That’s why Obama’s health care plan was originally seen as compromise until Republicans (who had once supported it) started demonizing it as socialist.

Regardless, here are the talking points for his new plan…

• Restore to the states the responsibility and resources to care for their poor, uninsured, and chronically ill.
• Give a tax deduction to those who buy their own health insurance, just like those who buy it through their employers.
• Streamline the federal regulation of healthcare.
• Reduce the influence of lawsuits on medical practice and costs.
• Make healthcare more like a consumer market and less like a government program.

So how are Americans liking Obama/Romney mandated healthcare? A majority favor it according to a recent poll…

The most recent Kaiser Health Tracking poll from April found that 52 percent of Americans wanted to either expand the health care law or leave it as is, while 35 percent said they wanted Congress to repeal it and replace it with a Republican alternative or simply repeal it without an alternative. Overall, just 15 percent preferred the repeal and replace option.

Still, we won’t really know what Americans think of it until 2014 when it really takes effect, but for now Romney is fighting with the GOP on what has become a more popular idea. Can his message translate to the presidential campaign and win swing voters who now favor his old plan?

More as it develops…