WASHINGTON – Mitt Romney is planning a major address on Thursday to discuss health care, in what could become a defining moment of his emerging presidential bid as he gives a prominent answer to one of his biggest perceived shortcomings.
Romney is planning to outline his plan to repeal President Obama’s health care plan and replace it with something else. The address will be given in Ann Arbor, Mich., at the University of Michigan’s Cardiovascular Center.
It will be Romney’s first major policy speech, and comes amid increasing activity in his campaign. Over the next few weeks, he is also planning to travel to Las Vegas to raise money, as well as to two early primary states, Iowa and South Carolina.
Health care has been the primary problem for Romney’s early campaign, and even his supporters have said they wanted him to address it in a prominent way. His speech on Thursday will be aimed at both winning over his critics and bolstering his supporters.
The health care plan that Romney signed as governor of Massachusetts has provided a template for the national plan signed by President Obama last year. With Republicans focused on attacking Obama’s plan, many have raised questions over whether Romney would be the right advocate for their party.
Romney has defended the Bay State plan, while saying he would repeal Obama’s national overhaul, saying it unfairly mandates a one-size-fits-all system on each state.
His campaign today provided a brief outline of his health care approach, including:
• Restore to the states the responsibility and resources to care for their poor, uninsured, and chronically ill.
• Give a tax deduction to those who buy their own health insurance, just like those who buy it through their employers.
• Streamline the federal regulation of healthcare.
• Reduce the influence of lawsuits on medical practice and costs.
• Make healthcare more like a consumer market and less like a government program.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.