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Should Romney Run Health Insurance Reform?

Image: Andrew Feinberg under CC 3.0

President Obama has to hire someone to be in charge of the new affordable health insurance reform office in the government. Some have suggested a somewhat surprising choice: Republican Mitt Romney.

Why may he be suited to the position?

  • Romney has experience in both private and public employment, which makes him appropriate for a job that involves the cooperation of both the government and health insurance plan providers.
  • As governor of Massachusetts, he spearheaded healthcare reform in the state. There are many similarities between the legislation he supported and the final bill eventually passed by the Senate: they both involve attempts at cost controls, tax credit subsidies and individual mandates. Of course, the Massachusetts health insurance reforms have had their own issues, but Romney is more likely to have learned from those mistakes.
  • Obama has appointed a handful of other Republicans to cabinet posts in the past, although there may be less appetite for bipartisanship on both sides than there was post-inauguration.

The prospects of Romney taking a job in the Obama administration are relatively unlikely. After all, he’s making another run at the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. In order to gain primary support, he has largely disowned the “Romneycare” that he once touted as a conservative solution that promotes personal responsibility. However, his management and venture capital experience may work against him in a political climate where so-called “establishment” party members are being shunned.

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