If the goal of running for office is to convince people you’re capable of governing, then what’s with former Governor Mitt Romney and the unclaimed Massachusetts Miracle? The New York Times this weekend profiled the results of health policy by Mr. Romney, by Texas Governor Rick Perry and by former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman.
In a word, Massachusetts wins. In 2006 Governor Romney pushed through a statewide plan for universal health coverage – including an individual mandate, the “ultimate conservative idea” – that he billed at the time as a national model. Now that it’s considered the grandfather of “Obamacare,” Mr. Romney has stopped championing it so loudly. “I’m not going to back away from the fact that I signed that bill,” he says, in remarks quoted by the Times.
The Massachusetts plan hasn’t been perfect, but it has worked. Five years later, nearly everyone has health insurance and the state is relatively prosperous. The Massachusetts economy is growing faster than the national average and much faster than the economies of either Texas or Utah. It’s the kind of record a presidential candidate might run on, if what works in the real world matters more than a political point.