With Mitt Romney’s recent victory here in the Illinois primary, it increasingly looks like the inventor of “RomneyCare” will square off against the creator of “ObamaCare” in the fall presidential election. And there’s little doubt that health care will be among the top issues discussed—given the ongoing rising costs faced by consumers and the GOP’s collective aversion to Obama’s health reform law. As I noted in my last blog, the debate over healthcare tends to slide into hyperbole and offer little in the way of insight (let alone appreciation of the underlying economic issues driving the debate in the first place).

During the HIMSS show, I spent one evening watching the Republican debate in Arizona—just a few weeks ago, the outcome of the Republican contest seemed uncertain. I recall Mitt Romney’s terse response to a question about containing health care costs. I’m paraphrasing now, but the former Massachusetts Governor said, essentially, we need to abandon Obama’s reform effort right away, a move which will save millions. The audience cheered wildly. Now I am not totally sold on the reform law’s ability to lower costs and drive quality—as I think the jury will be out a long time on it. Nor do I believe you can legislate your way out of the health care economic dilemma slowly engulfing our nation. But I don’t see how you can dismiss a law which has barely begun to take effect (and may be ultimately tossed out).

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