July 9 , 2012, by Byron York
It’s always been a challenge for Mitt Romney to explain the differences between Romneycare and Obamacare. The two programs share a lot of the same features — mandate, penalties, subsidies, exchanges and others. Romney has consistently argued that those provisions are acceptable, even good, at the state level, but not acceptable, and in some cases not even constitutional, at the federal level.
The problem isn’t just that Romney frequently finds himself making detailed explanations, which is never a good thing in politics. The problem is that it always sounds a little odd to voters for Romney to say that when he did it in Massachusetts, it was a great thing, but when Barack Obama did it nationwide, it was a terrible thing.
Now, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision, Romney’s job has gotten even harder — so hard that there will likely be growing pressure on him to admit that Romneycare, his signature achievement as Massachusetts governor, was a mistake.
The problem is the court’s ruling that Obamacare’s individual mandate is a tax. Even though most Republicans had wanted to see Obamacare struck down, many embraced the mandate-is-a-tax ruling because it allowed them to accuse the president of raising taxes.