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Bad Timing for Romney in Mass. Radio Ads

This can't be what Mitt Romney wants to hear running on the Boston airwaves.

A radio ad sponsored by the state of Massachusetts is warning residents of the Bay State to make sure they have health insurance by Nov. 15 or face "tax penalties." Thanks to the power of Boston's radio stations, the ads can be heard well into New Hampshire.

The problem, of course, is that Romney was the architect of the Massachusetts health care act, which is just now going into effect.

And he's also a candidate who shuns any thoughts of tax increases, which he repeatedly says were not part of the health care reform which provides that all Massachusetts citizens will be covered.

So the word "tax" is not exactly what Romney wants to hear, even though the ad is not talking about tax increases, but rather individual tax penalties.

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden says there is "nothing disputable" in the public service announcement. And further, he asserts that "What's most apparent is that it informs the listener that they can choose the best plan, and since it's a plan based on private insurance, citizens can gain coverage that is affordable."

Fair enough.

But still, the words "tax penalties" are heard twice in the ad, and when you're running for the Republican nomination, those are never welcome words.

Maybe the ad should be considered an in-kind contribution to the Giuliani for President committee?

--Michael D. Shear

By Washington Post editors  |  November 14, 2007; 5:26 PM ET
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A few months ago my son broke his arm. Thinking it was not serious we were directed to the urgent care center in Salem Oregon near the Salem Hospital. When I went in, my son and I were the only non-hispanic folks there. When I showed my medical insurance card to the the receptionist (I am not making this up) she asked another staff member "Do we need to see a medical card?" I was stunned. I usually can't use the bathroom at a health care facility without showing my insurance card first. When my son''s arm turned out to be more serious than expected we were sent across the street to the Emergency Room. I was instantly asked for my medical card even before I was asked for my name. I don''t have a problem with people paying a tax for not having medical insurance. Who do you think was paying for most everyone else in the urgent care clinic. I was (and everyone else with insurance) in the form of increased medical charges and insurance costs. Spread the cost of medicine by tax incentive and tax penalties. By the way--I am not a xenophobe. I have a good share for the latino community

Thank you Mitt for a common sense market approach. It drives the liberals whacky that you have co opted one of the their pet issues. Let the Boston press and the mainstream media pile on. True conservatives know what you pulled off with a market solution was short of amazing.

Posted by: DanLounsbury | November 15, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Good ole Mitt would never turn his back on sick people.

Posted by: Sparky420 | November 15, 2007 9:41 PM | Report abuse

The article reported that citizens who did NOT sign up for health insurance by the deadline would be charged the lowest rate of $150 per month.

$150 is cheap. Even when I was making $17,000 annually I would have given a lot to pay only $150 per month in health coverage. Even now I pay more than twice that with my employer. If you have a spouse or kids you owe it to them to provide them with something. This is a good plan

Posted by: jmeredith | November 15, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Good theory; and, you're right -- Romney does imply that he had something to do with the MA healthcare plan when campaigning elsewhere. But, as any MA resident can tell you, Romney had little or nothing to do with its enactment, except at the very end when he reduced the fee businesses would have to pay if they did not offer insurance. All the other aspects, and over all the many months the legislature worked (with two very different approaches: Senate and House), Romney was off somewhere running for President. Check the Globe. During that time, he was gone from MA more days than he was at work as Governor. In the healthcare debate, neither he nor his administration were in any way "players" or part of the creation of the MA plan.

Posted by: lenstewart | November 15, 2007 8:02 AM | Report abuse

2008 Presidential Election Weekly Poll
Results Posted Every Tuesday Evening.

Posted by: votenic | November 14, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

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