There is more than symbolism here. Obama’s advisers insist that participation in Obamacare, though slowed by a botched website rollout, will ultimately match the late-breaking arc of Romneycare. And Obama will make the argument that Democrats and Republicans should put politics aside to implement the Affordable Care Act just as they broke party lines on the Massachusetts law.
Obama and his aides have long used Romney’s program in the political arena both as a weapon and a shield. During debate over Obamacare in Congress, and now more recently, it’s been used to show that Obama is open to Republican-backed solutions. On the campaign trail last year, he and his aides used it to bludgeon Romney. David Plouffe, Obama’s former adviser, called Romney “the godfather” of Obamacare on “Meet the Press” in 2012.
But for all the Boston ballyhoo, the two laws simply aren’t the same — a fact acknowledged by some in the White House — and there’s no chance that national Republicans will beat their swords into stethoscopes to help diagnose and solve problems in the implementation of Obamacare. Still, Obama’s needs greater cooperation from Republican governors and state legislatures to make the law work, and his public appeal for bipartisanship could stoke constituents to pressure elected Republicans to get on board…
The argument that the two laws are alike is “ridiculous and intellectually dishonest,” said Kevin Madden, a top adviser on Romney’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. “One’s a state plan that was tailored for a unique healthcare population of about 6.5 million people. Obamacare was a disastrous attempt to rearrange one-sixth of the world’s largest economy, while creating a one-size-fits-all federal standard for what used to be a state-by-state marketplace affecting over 300 million people.”