Republicans are running hard against Obamacare, but one top GOP primary candidate, Mitt Romney, helped Massachusetts adopt a health system change program that served as a model for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).

Paul Starr writes about Romney’s health system change record in an article in the Washington Post.

“Both overcame long odds to pass legislation, Romney in Massachusetts, Obama at the national level,” Starr writes. “Even the specifics of their reform laws are similar — both include subsidies for private insurance, the establishment of insurance exchanges and a mandate for individuals to maintain a minimum level of coverage. Each man expected to reap credit for his effort. But neither has gotten any political mileage out of it — in fact, both may have lost more ground than they picked up.”

Many American voters say they want moderate, constructive leadership from whoever they elect to be president, but “these days, moderate policies don’t necessarily make good politics,” Starr says.

Obama agreed to support a PPACA provision requiring individuals to own health coverage partly because Romney had agreed to put an individual mandate in the Massachusetts health system change program, but, even though Obama backed that provision in an effort to be bipartisan, that has turned out to be one of the most unpopular provisions in the program, Starr says.

Read the story.

-alb