A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Health Reform and Gov. Romney's Future

Health Reform and Gov. Romney's Future

July 29, 2005

Got a call from a reporter the other day following Gov. Romney's role reversal on abortion from pro-choice to pro-life. Question: the Gov's insiders say he needs to postpone any announcement that he's not running for re-election so that prospects for health reform will not be jeopardized. Hmmmm...

Nope. These days anyone who believes there's a chance the Gov. might run for re-election has a thing for the tooth fairy. The Gov's lame duck status is already a given and well factored into anyone's political equation, a fact of life. So does that mean prospects for health reform are cooked duck too?

Nope. The Gov's commitment to health reform, whatever style, is helpful in keeping this issue on the public and media radar screen. Alone, it is not enough to convince the Legislature to enact difficult and controversial reforms. Reform will occur if House and Senate leaders become convinced that: a. our health system problems are bad enough they must be addressed; b. the proposed policy solutions make sense; and c. there's sufficient consensus among key system participants that the reforms will work for them.

No disrespect to the Gov. For health reform to happen, it must be bigger and more important than the Governor's personal, political agenda. Bottom line: it's up to all of us, not to him.