Massachusetts Democrats plan to gather Tuesday in Boston with a giant sheet cake, to stick their tongues in their cheeks and toast the fifth anniversary of the health-care law signed by former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney, a likely 2012 presidential candidate.
Romney would probably rather forget the occasion. The Massachusetts law, which mandates that every state resident purchase health insurance, was a model for President Obama's federal law, repeal of which is now an article of faith for orthodox GOPers. Conservative activists who dominate the Republican nominating contests have been slamming "RomneyCare" - the individual-mandate provision in both laws is considered an unacceptable infringement on personal freedom.
The White House and other Democrats have mischievously heaped praise on Romney, citing how influential he was in their own thinking as they set about reforming health-care. Romney has said that his plan worked for Massachusetts and that the federal government should not impose a "one size fits all" solution on the states. If elected, Romney said, he would grant every state a waiver from the requirements of the federal health law.
Meanwhile, New Hampshire Democratic Chairman Ray Buckley is inviting supporters to tweet their thanks to Romney via Twitter on Monday and Tuesday. Buckley also plans to mark the occasion with an event in Concord.
"Without Romney, it's hard to see how President Obama would have been able to provide quality, affordable health care for every American," Buckley wrote. "Take a moment to...thank Mitt Romney."
The NH Dems' website even includes a handy photograph of Romney at the bill signing, as the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D.,Mass.) looks on, beaming.