As policy, the Affordable Care Act was bipartisan. As legislation, it was entirely a Democratic affair. Obama's efforts to get bipartisan support in Congress for the bill failed, but he's still selling it as a moderate, middle-of-the-road deal, which it is.
It also greatly resembles the Massachusetts plan put in place by former Gov. Mitt Romney. This has put Romney in something of a bind now that Republicans are attacking the ACA as the twilight of freedom in America. Romney promptly put his good shoes on and started running away from the ACA as fast as he could, but the problem is that Obama, in the absence of actual Republican votes, has every reason to say things like this about the ACA, from an interview with MSNBC this morning (flagged by Greg Sargent):
When you actually look at the bill itself, it incorporates all sorts of Republican ideas. I mean a lot of commentators have said this is sort of similar to the bill that Mitt Romney, the Republican Governor and now presidential candidate, passed in Massachusetts.
This is a rather inconvenient truth for Romney, who remains the front-runner for the GOP 2012 nomination, but will face trouble as long as the president keeps citing his plan as a model for the ACA. Not only is Obama touting how moderate the bill is, as Sargent notes, he's practically cutting campaign commercials for Romney's rivals. In doing so, he's effectively undercutting his most likely opponent, who is already known to even his prospective allies on the right as "Multiple Choice Mitt" because of his reputation for flip-flopping. All he has to do is keep saying Romney's name.
Given that Romney just wrote a whole book attacking Obama for "apologizing" for American foreign policy abroad, you can imagine Obama is enjoying his role in forcing Romney onto his very own apology tour for reforming health care in the Bay State.
-- A. Serwer
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