Tim Murphy

In April 2006, Massachusetts passed historic legislation aiming to increase dramatically the number of people covered by health insurance. While only in effect since July 2007, the early signs are encouraging. More people are signing up for affordable private insurance plans. Massachusetts is leading the way in the effort to provide all citizens the opportunity to purchase affordable health insurance. This landmark achievement is due in no small part to Governor Mitt Romney and his strong leadership, working in cooperation with the legislature.

Fewer Republican presidential candidates are better prepared to meet our nation's health care challenge than Governor Romney. Health care is a complex issue and tackling it is no easy task, as politicians from across the country have discovered. Yet, Governor Romney brought together all sides to find a solution that at its heart advances individual choice and responsibility, and free-market principles.

Under Governor Romney's plan in Massachusetts, state citizens are empowered to enter the private market and obtain their own health insurance. Personal responsibility is the defining principle of his plan. To facilitate movement towards a free-market, Governor Romney's reforms created a new insurance marketplace and provide subsidies to lower-income state citizens to obtain their own private plan. While some have painted these as government intrusions into the market, they are actually government's way of facilitating individual empowerment.

To help people obtain their own private coverage, Governor Romney's plan created the "Connector." Designed in concert with the Heritage Foundation, the Connector allows people to purchase the insurance of their choice with pre-tax dollars. As the Club for Growth recently stated, the Connector "does dramatically facilitate individually-owned health insurance plans by enabling individuals to purchase health insurance with pre-tax dollars and choose from a number of competing private plans." In this case, government has used its power not to create a "Hillary-care" type government-run system, but instead promote a free-market that connects individuals to the coverage of their choice.

Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy is the former Massachusetts Health And Human Services Secretary.

Be the first to read Tim Murphy's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.