Why Romney Probably Won’t Harp on Health Care

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BROOKS KRAFT / CORBIS FOR TIME

A supporter and opponent of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the July 4th parade in Wolfeboro, NH on July 4, 2012.

After much bluster from Republicans last week about how the Supreme Court‘s Obamacare decision would be a 2012 election game-changer, it’s starting to look as though the Romney campaign won’t, in fact, make Obamacare a central part of its message. This should not be a big surprise. Yes, viewed from certain angles, health care looks like a winning issue for Romney. The law is unpopular, especially among all-important independent voters. It certainly motivates the GOP base. But in the few days since John Roberts’ jurisprudential razzle-dazzle, the law has already grown more popular, and given that many voters aren’t even aware yet that the court has upheld the law, its standing may have still more room to grow.

Meanwhile, some conservatives have called for a frontal political assault on the law based on some faulty political history. Outrage over Obamacare, they argue, was a prime reason why Republicans blew out Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections. Dick Morris, the Former Clinton White House adviser turned Fox News demagogue/huckster, argues that “The Supreme Court decision makes Obamacare the central issue in the 2012 election, just like it was in the 2010 election. And we know how that turned out.” Not quite. In truth, precious few voters considered health care the “central issue” of the 2010 midterms. The exit polls showed that 62 percent of voters named the economy as the issue they cared about most. Health care was a distant second, at 19 percent.

Today, polls show that voters’ priorities haven’t changed–people care a whole lot more about jobs and the economy then they do about health care. And while they may not be crazy about Obamacare, the subject of health care in general is not a clear winner for the GOP. A June 21 Pew poll found the public actually prefers Obama over Romney on health care by a slight 45-44 margin. And that was before the Supreme Court’s pro-Obama ruling.

Until now, Romney has been focused relentlessly on the economy. And that’s a different story. Pew shows Romney with an eight-point advantage on that front, 49-41. And while pundits  obsess about Roberts’ decision, most Americans probably care more about an ominous manufacturing slump and a Friday jobs report that is “universally expected to be weak.”

To recap: Voters care far more about the economy than they do about health care. Their perceptions of Obamacare are improving, while their perceptions of the economy are worsening. Romney ties Obama on the health care debate but clobbers him on economic issues. Bearing in mind that a winning White House campaign probably has to be about more than the economy, it’s not clear that diverting from jobs to health care is a smart thing for Romney to do.

32 comments
Firozali A.Mulla
Firozali A.Mulla

I agree with the ratios but how does that help us in creating employment the one huge problem we have . Without employments what is the point in having oil . May be even the coal could help but we need machinery for that and that too I have said are obsolete . We have one chance to keep oil at the level it is and the employment as is. Let the bank look at the cash flows again and then tell us the truth where they have the cash. We are then able to think, I said able to there is no guarantee than bank have done the good home work as I see the Barclays having the header never seen before. Is that really the bank we have, surprises all. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA . To be very honest the HUGE 5 we had (I include the auditors as well as they are the ones who use the green,blue, blue, red, black tick to say , "We have obtained all the necessary information that was availed to us and we are satisfied subject to.... There you have it, the subject phrase stops me here, as I was in the audit firm and I despised this one I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

Marconi Darwin
Marconi Darwin

"

It certainly motivates theGOP base."

This is silly.

Let's see.  There were a bunch of people in the "base" who were on the fence about ObamaCare.

A SCOTUS headed by conservative CJ rules it constitutional.

[Magic]

People on the fence before are against ObamaCare because...

OldAndoverGuy
OldAndoverGuy

It is troubling that Romney seems to be running on any issue that he thinks might carry the day - he certainly is not running on conviction.  That, more than anything else, will be his legacy.  No interest or conviction - just a desire to win.

the_sons_of_lot
the_sons_of_lot

I thought Norquist said that Romney will do as told?

 http://www.thedailybeast.com/a...

Gammaanya
Gammaanya

 Yes he does, that's why  he flip flops. First time is usually the truth, but after is said, He is called on the carpet and have to change his views. He was told to keep bashing Obama, how bad is economy, no jobs etc etc etc. Now the ACA penalty is a TAX )it's not, but  can say that Americans understand the difference in a law under Commerce Clause or Constitutional law. Only in description and implementation, and that's what Roberts did. People vote against their own benefits. You tell me how we can be loosing jobs when 30 M people will go and buy insurance, more nurses, doctors will be needed, more medical equipment and medicine will be needed. You can't be denied coverage if you already sick etc. Penalty is $95.00 a year or 1% of your adj. income. People spend more on cigarettes or on nails than on healthcare. Penalty for not having auto insurance is 500 bucks. Which Part 55% of Americans do not like it in ACA???? The ones who are lazy, stupid, ignorant and know nothing but listen to Faux News, Rush Limp ugh, Hannity. They  are called Conservatives. There  are 2 kinds of conservatives The English one, 17th Century and  William F. Buckley conservatives. All Bible thumpers, that  pray on Sunday and kill on Monday. Like McConnell said - ACA is not the issue. Getting Obama out of the office is the issue. They will sacrifice their country to take a black man down. Hmmm, seems to me we will be back to 17 century - slavery in the making with more technology. No more whips - we have guns. Welcome to United States of Austerity, Greed and Corporate Power that 2% rules the 98%. I thought the power is in numbers, but not in the good old USA. Power of money  buy stupid people votes. We need term limits for all. If Presidents have only 8 yrs so  it should the others. Congress become a nursing home for the wealthy politicians/judges (not matter what party) and they  are not public servants - they are career politicians on our payola and wholly owned by big Corp. If they tell us when to retire we should do  the same for them.

There is too much money spend on lies, distortion of facts that the whole thuth cn not shine through, no matter what. You can't cure stupid.  You thought right - whatever Norquist and the Conservatives say he will do it. Act of desperation he is selling his soul to be a POTUS and all for the glory and fame.

It's their turn  like Ann Romney said, Hmmm truly???

Darrel K.Ratliff
Darrel K.Ratliff

Again its not apples and oranges its all a variety of the same thing only real varriant is  the size of the Jurisdiction  it covers only citizens  in a small geographic territory or every citizen in the nation..  call the non payment of  insurance fee a tax or a fine its a cost levy to balance the lack of premium payment  for the insurance   same exact fee  regardless of the nickname given to it by the Supreme Court Chief Justice 

Ron Lukas Paintings
Ron Lukas Paintings

Anyone who votes for Romney and the GOP needs healthcare -- to get their head examined! 

allthingsinaname
allthingsinaname

He will not harp on anything; the more he talks the less he says. If he is severely conservative, or moderate depends on the day of the week. His twists and turns reveal that he is more of a worm than a man.

He has no place to go; he is done.

jmac
jmac

He's being  personally hit by Murdock and on the editorial page of Murdock's Wall Street Journal.  By October, he might even lose Drudge, Trump and Hannity AND  he still has to get through the convention.  Maybe Democrats held hands and played nice, but the Tea Party just might not fold the way Hillary supporters did.   

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©
ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

Pew shows Romney with an eight-point advantage on that front, 49-41.

Too bad the Democrats care more about the banks than they do the average American.  Of course, voting for Republicans will provide no help on that front.

~

jmac
jmac

Too bad the average American doesn't have a clue about the banks.  The conservative twist now is to say derivatives had nothing to do with the 2007 crash-and-save  as they fight with every ounce of their being to keep regulations and transparency out of the picture.  

OldAndoverGuy
OldAndoverGuy

I am sorry to say that I think most Americans do not have a clue about most issues.  I was recently told by a conservative friend that bankruptcy laws would work just fine if the government would stop regulating them.  I had to point out that bankruptcy WAS a regulation.  It is astonishing thatso many people just can't figure it out.

Ari Asulin
Ari Asulin

actually, the new twist is to blame 'over-regulation' of the banks for the crash. 

Wrap your head around that one for a second

SiDevilIam
SiDevilIam

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gysgt213
gysgt213

Fareed Zakaria's take on one reason why the law remains unpopular.  

http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

carotexas
carotexas

 I thought there were incentives in the bill to help curve costs. 

cin
cin

 Interestingly, a link in Morning Must Reads shows that costs are rising much more slowly--the curve is being bent, as we watch (though how much is due to recession and how much is due to changes in the system is obviously not clear).

http://online.wsj.com/article/...

cin
cin

 There are, but most haven't kicked in yet. The  mandate is a big one. The exchanges should lower premium prices for some people. Cuts to Medicare (if you listen to Republicans, the Democrats are gutting Medicare but still blowing up the debt and deficit--abracadabra, it must be magic because it sure ain't math!). Preventive care covered, which should reduce costs. That's four off the top of my head, and there are more, but I just haven't had enough caffeine yet.

Paul Dirks
Paul Dirks

Notice how this article, purportedly about why Romney wants to avoid discussing HCR doesn't even mention the IMPORTANT reasons why Romney doesn't want to discuss HCR. 

Can you say Romneycare? 

No?

How about new taxes?

Not a peep. 

How bout the inevitability of contradiction?

Nuff said......

Rebecca Sue S.
Rebecca Sue S.

I don't know one thing Romney has said about the economy except that he wants to focus on the economy. Details aren't his strong suit.

Immir
Immir

That's because he has no plan, except tax cuts for the wealthy and deregulation. In other words, more Bush.

gysgt213
gysgt213

"Romney said he hopes to make America more like America.".

Not sure what this even means but I'm interested in the details.

Namec Nassianer
Namec Nassianer

I agree.

It is ludicrous for Romney to blame Obama for the poor economy (aka lack of jobs) when it is his Republican corporate peers who continue to fire employees and send their jobs overseas.

Paul Scribble Festa
Paul Scribble Festa

How can the article omit the number-one reason Romney can't go after Obamacare, which is that Obamacare and its signature mandate were modeled on Romneycare?

cosmeticdoc
cosmeticdoc

There are differences. 1) It is over stepping a states rights. 2) It amounts to a massive tax increase for the middle class 3) will result in job loss

Immir
Immir

If you believe the GOP propaganda, otherwise thats all false.

cosmeticdoc
cosmeticdoc

Facts are a problem for you I surmise.

cosmeticdoc
cosmeticdoc

You are quite uninformed. What do you think the extra tax is called when the IRS attaches an additional 3.5% on the profits everyone makes when they sell their house? Guess you don't read anything but opinions. I voted for Obama but not this time around.

Cameron Strickland
Cameron Strickland

I was curious about that too. I was hoping there'd be mention of it making him look hypocritical if he went after this new law but there was nada.

jmac
jmac

Watching Romney switch/switchback/switch again on so many issues, who's to doubt that by the time the debates roll around and the health care bill is polling even higher - he'll brag about his Godfather role in health care.  I have no doubt that could happen.  

Ester Anderson
Ester Anderson

I agree, come Nov, he'll just switch back and say Obama Care was his idea