The plight of Lauren and Nick Destito, a Massachusetts couple facing bankruptcy, rated a mention in last night’s GOP debate:

Lauren and Nick Destito had a wonderful life in Plainville. They paid their bills and raised two sons in a lovely four-bedroom colonial that they were just eight years away from owning outright.

But the economy collapsed in 2008 and soon crushed the small tree and landscaping business the couple had run since 1984.

Now, the state of Massachusetts is grinding the Destitos into the dirt. The reason: the health insurance the Destitos bought, paid $750 monthly premiums on and repeatedly used at doctor visits apparently does not pass muster with the state’s mandatory universal health insurance law. Now the Destitos, both 50 and already on the brink of financial ruin, are facing a $3,000 state fine.

The story points out that this is what happens when the state, not you, gets to decide what kind of health insurance you can afford.

I take Mitt Romney at his word when he says he would grant all states Obamacare waivers his first day as president and then work to repeal it.

 But since it was his own system, so-called Romneycare, that contributed to the downfall of the Destito family, I want to make sure he understands just what went wrong.

That is why ace health analyst Grace-Marie Turner is right that it was “refreshing” that the Republican candidates spoke extensively about health care last night in Vegas. Does Romney know why his system was wrong?

Ms. Turner isn’t sure he gets it:

 But Romney still seems to believe a mandate is important: “If people have the capacity to pay their own way, they should,” he again repeated tonight. Unless the Supreme Court declares the federal mandate unconstitutional, GOP voters will need better assurances than they have received so far from Romney that he will protect the rest of the country from his Massachusetts-style mandate.

I’m inclined to believe Romney learned his lesson and that, at any rate, he wouldn’t shove something through Congress way President Obama did.

Still, it would be nice if he would talk more explicitly about the mandate—and also, about the Destito family. Are they casualties of Romneycare?

Inquiring minds want to know.