After months of distancing himself from the state health reforms he oversaw while governor of Massachusetts, GOP presidential pick Mitt Romney said that overhaul illustrates his ability to work with Democrats. President Barack Obama, however, countered that the Massachusetts plan was one of the models for the 2010 health law that has been a target of conservatives.
Los Angeles Times: Romney Shines Rare Spotlight On His Massachusetts Record
Romney has barely mentioned his stint as governor in his campaign advertising and rarely talks about it in public remarks. He has fought especially hard to avoid the subject of the landmark healthcare law that he signed as governor, lest he remind conservatives of its close resemblance to Obama's healthcare overhaul. So it was all the more noteworthy that Romney used the high-profile forum of a nationally televised presidential debate to contrast his work with Democrats on the Massachusetts healthcare law to Obama's party-line passage of the Affordable Care Act (Finnegan, 10/3).
The Washington Post: Romney Embraces His Health Care Plan
Mitt Romney embraced his role as the architect of Massachusetts's universal health care plan, an issue that has vexed him since he entered the race for president. During a segment of the debate devoted to health care, President Obama reminded the audience that the 2010 national health care overhaul that has made him a target among conservatives was inspired by a similar plan pioneered by Romney while he was serving as governor of Massachusetts (Somashekhar, 10/3).
Politico Pro: Romney Contrasts Romneycare, ACA
When Obama compared "Obamacare" … with Romney's Massachusetts health care plan, Romney drew distinctions between the two, arguing that Obama pursued a far different process to develop his law. "I like the way we did it in Massachusetts," Romney said, adding that his legislature was 87 percent Democratic and that the Massachusetts bill required bipartisan support. ... Romney also ticked through a list of differences between the plans. Obama's, he said, raised taxes, required some people to lose their coverage, cut Medicare and put together an "unelected board" to deny health care treatment. Obama defended his 2½ year old plan, which he said borrowed heavily from Romney's plan and Republican ideas. "The fact of the matter is we used the same advisers and they say its the same plan," he said, referring to public comments from MIT economist Jonathan Gruber and others, who worked on both plans. ... But Obama compared the two plans to knock down the Republican argument that the president's health plan is a "government takeover" of the health industry. He also questioned whether Romney is truly interested in providing health coverage to everyone (Haberkorn, 10/3).
The Washington Post: Romney's Federal Health Care Funding
Romney said he did not raise taxes to pay for the health care law that he implemented while serving as governor of Massachusetts. This claim deserves some context, because the federal government has provided substantial help in paying for the program (Hicks, 10/3).