WHEN IT comes to framing a strong rebuttal to the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision, Mitt Romney’s biggest problem isn’t Eric Fehrnstrom or anyone else in his Boston brain trust.
His problem is Romneycare. Under the health care reform law that Romney championed as governor, Bay Staters must have health insurance. If they don’t have it, they must pay what Romney mostly characterized, back then, as a penalty. Similarly, under Obamacare, Americans who don’t have health insurance also have to pay what President Obama also characterizes as a penalty.
After the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the mandate to buy health care insurance by defining it as a tax, what’s a president and his Republican rival to do? The White House continued to insist it was a penalty. Through Fehrnstrom, his trusted longtime adviser, Romney did too.