BOSTON — Update at 5 p.m.: WBUR’s Fred Thys attended the ceremony, and reports that Patrick praised Romney for the use of the individual mandate in the 2006 law:
“It’s a classic insurance concept, which is that you spread the risk as broadly as possible but keep costs down for everybody,” Patrick said. “It’s working here. I know, or at least I sense [Romney’s] personally proud of it because there’s a facsimile of it that appears in his official portrait, which is hanging in the governor’s office. And why not be proud of something that has helped so many people?”
A spokeswoman for Romney told the AP that Patrick was misrepresenting Romney’s record.
Gov. Deval Patrick is celebrating the sixth anniversary of the state’s health overhaul in the same place his predecessor signed the law.
Today’s Faneuil Hall ceremony recalls former Gov. Mitt Romney’s own signing ceremony in the historic hall in 2006.
Patrick has lauded Romney for his role in passing the universal coverage legislation, which then became the model for President Obama’s 2010 national health care overhaul.
It’s not hard to see some political calculus involved in today’s ceremony. Patrick, the AP notes, is a co-chair of Obama’s re-election campaign. Romney, who is increasingly likely to be Obama’s challenger in the general election, has faced some GOP criticism for his support of the Massachusetts law, while also pledging to repeal the national law if elected president.
Prior to the event, State House News reports, Patrick appeared on MSNBC and “defended the law as an affordable plan that has had a measurable impact on the health of Bay State residents.”
In other health news today, CommonHealth reports that Commonwealth Care, a insurance program for qualifying residents, plans to reduce state costs by 5 percent.