We don't like Massachusetts healthcare plan, and we aren't convinced one way or the other that Mitt Romney is the right choice for the GOP's nomination.
But we can't help but note that Romney seems to have a very powerful adversary — the Wall Street Journal's influential editorial division — who seems to go out of its way to create linkage between Romneycare and Obamacare.
In today's editorial they take new figures about the state of healthcare access and affordability in Massachusetts and use it to warn that Obamacare will reek similar havoc.
Massachusetts health regulators also estimate that emergency room visits jumped 9% between 2004 and 2008, in part due to the lack of routine access to providers. The Romney-Obama theory was that if everyone is insured by the government, costs would fall by squeezing out uncompensated care. Yet emergency medicine accounts for only 2% of all national health spending.
Another notable finding in the Medical Society survey is the provider flight from government health care. Merely 43% of internists and 56% of family physicians accept Commonwealth Care, the heavily subsidized middle-class insurance program. The same respective figures are 53% and 62% for price-controlled Medicaid. Government health insurance may be great, but not if it can't buy actual health care.
There are a few outlets that can be deadly adversaries in a Republican primary, like Fox News or Redstate, and Romney seems to have found a prime obstacle in his path in the form of the WSJ ed board.
That's not to say that this opposition will necessarily derail Romney's candidacy, but he is going to have to find a way to woo the WSJ ed board back to his corner, or at least convince them there are significant enough differences between his plan and Obamacare.
How he handles that could end up defining his candidacy, much as McCain's immigration stance shaped his primary bid.