In almost presidential election cycle, partisans on both sides claim that the public is about to vote “in the most important election of their lifetime.”
This time around, it may actually be true.
Our own Justin Katz has pieced together some documentation from the Urban Institute and The Center for Law and Social Policy that demonstrate how Rhode Island’s health benefit exchange will transition into a “dependency portal.” This is all part of larger effort to unravel welfare reform legislation that was signature achievement of the Republican Congress in the 1990s.
President Bill Clinton, who vetoed welfare reform multiple times before signing into law, recognized that the concept was wildly popular with the public and was eventually cowed into supporting it. But unlike Clinton, Obama has been unwilling to pivot in the direction of public opinion. This presents Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign with a huge opportunity. If the Republican presidential candidate were to seize upon Rhode Island’s “Dependency Portal” as an example of what is to come in a second Obama term, he would be sure to score points with independents who will ulimately decide the election.