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The Daily Need

Romney pushed for individual mandate in Mass., emails show

A bound copy of the 2006 Mass. health care law sits next to Mitt Romney in his official governor's portrait.

An interesting article appeared in the Wall Street Journal today on Mitt Romney’s work to push through the 2006 Massachusetts health reform law. Through a public-records request, the Journal staff unearthed a trove of emails in which Romney defends the individual mandate and expresses strong support for the law.

It’s all very interesting because of the stance Romney has taken on health reform since declaring his candidacy for president. But if you talk to people in Massachusetts, as we did for our report last week, none of this is surprising at all. “Massachusetts, once again, is taking a giant leap forward,” then-governor Romney said during the bill’s signing ceremony in April 2006. The law was supported by a broad coalition of groups on all sides of the aisle, and hailed as one of Romney’s most significant achievements.

In fact, evidence of its significance is prominently on display in the State House in Boston. In his official portrait hanging in the entrance area of the governor’s office, Romney is perched on a desk with just two items next to him: a picture of his wife and a bound copy of the health care bill.

Watch our special report:

Watch The Massachusetts mandate on PBS. See more from Need To Know.