03 Oct 2012 — 07:37 PM
During tonight's debate, Mitt Romney will likely call for the repeal of Obamacare. When he makes that claim and promises to repeal it, it's important to remember that he is the father of Obamacare, passing its predecessor in Massachusetts and going on the record multiple times supporting key components of the law. Below are four facts to keep in mind during tonight's debate.
Mitt Romney authored Massachusetts’s health care reform law, signed into law in 2006, which included health insurance exchange as well as an individual and employer mandate. Romney’s relationship with the individual mandate has been a source of contention, earning accusations that he flip-flopped on the issue. During much of his career, Romney fully supported the concept of an individual mandate; in 2007, he called it a “terrific idea.” But Romney has assailed the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, pledging to effectively kill the law on his first day in office while defending the mandate in his own law as the “ultimate conservative plan.”
The distinction, Romney argues, is that his plan was right for Massachusetts and that the federal law enforces a single model on all the states. Romney says he opposes any form of “national” plan, calling the Affordable Care Act a “one-size-fits-all” government takeover of health care. He has vociferously rejected accusations that his plan is the basis of the Affordable Care Act and has proposed a new, five-point plan to replace the law if elected President. Romney’s plan, which he compares favorably to Representative Paul Ryan’s budget plan, focuses on tort reform and state-level flexibility to determine health care solutions. But it would also result in Americans once again being denied coverage for preexisting conditions.
1994: Romney Supported A National Individual Mandate. During his 1994 bid for the U.S. Senate, Romney supported legislation that would have included a national individual health insurance mandate. “It turns out that [Romney]gave interviews during his 1994 Senate campaign in which he said that he supported the Health Equity and Access Reform Today Act, which included a national individual mandate.” [The Washington Post, 5/12/11]
Romney’s Healthcare Reform In Massachusetts Included An Insurance Individual Mandate. The Healthcare reform that Romney is credited with in Massachusetts included an individual mandate. According to the Los Angeles Times, at a campaign event where he was speaking “Romney did not bring up his own greatest vulnerability –his Massachusetts healthcare plan that included a mandate to purchase insurance.” [Los Angeles Times, 6/4/11]
Romney Said He Thought It Would Be “A Terrific Idea” For States To Adopt An Individual Insurance Mandate. Asked by then-moderator of Meet the Press, Tim Russert, ‘So if a state chose a mandate, it wouldn’t bother you?’, Romney said, ‘I think it’s a terrific idea,’ Romney said. ‘I think you’re going to find when it’s all said and done, after all these states that are the laboratories of democracy, get their chance to try their own plans, but those who follow the path that we pursued will find it’s the best path, and we’ll end up with a nation that’s taken a mandate approach.’”
Romney Defended The Individual Mandate In The Massachusetts Healthcare Reform. Romney not only included an individual insurance mandate in the Massachusetts healthcare reform, he defended it. “We have Mitt Romney defending the individual mandate to buy insurance that was part of the health plan he championed in Massachusetts.” [Sacramento Bee (California), 5/16/11]
Sacramento Bee: Romney Criticized President Barack Obama For Including An Individual Mandate In The Affordable Health Care Act. Romney criticized President Obama for the inclusion of an individual insurance mandate in the Affordable Health Care Act. According to the Sacramento Bee, “We have Mitt Romney defending the individual mandate to buy insurance that was part of the health plan he championed in Massachusetts, but then denouncing President Barack Obama for imposing a similar mandate at the national level.” [Editorial, Sacramento Bee (California), 5/16/11]
Romney Described His Health Care As The “Ultimate Conservative Plan” By Including An Individual Mandate. In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Romney defended the individual mandate in his health care reform plan as the “ultimate conservative plan.” Romney said, “What we did, I think, is the ultimate conservative plan: we said, people have to take responsibility for getting insurance, if they can afford it, or paying their own way. No more free riders. And we solved this at the state level -- not a federal plan, but a state plan.” [Fox News Sunday, 3/7/10]
Romney Touted His State As The First To Find “A Way To Get Everybody Insured Without Having To Raise Taxes.” In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Romney said, “And again, I like the idea of letting states solve their problems one by one, and find the best alternative. I think we’re the first state in the nation that found a way to get everybody insured without having to raise taxes. We do insist that people buy insurance or pay their own way, and if they don’t buy insurance, they’ll find that their taxes are higher.” [Fox News Sunday, 3/7/10]
Romney’s Health Care Reforms In Massachusetts Said To Have Served As The Basis For The Affordable Care Act. Romney faces scrutiny from the Republican Party because of the resemblance between health care reforms in Massachusetts, and the Affordable Care Act. Romney’s health care reform is described as “Massachusetts health-care reform—a model for President Obama’s reform.” [The Christian Science Monitor, 6/14/11]
Gov. Tim Pawlenty Said President Barack Obama Based The Affordable Care Act On Romney’s Health Care Bill - And Dubbed It “Obamneycare.” In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Tim Pawlenty, Republican Presidential hopeful said “‘President Obama said that he designed Obamacare after Romneycare and basically made it Obamneycare.’ ” [ Chicago Tribune, 6/13/11]
Glenn Beck Said That Romney’s Health Care Is Bankrupting Massachusetts.Conservative pundit Glenn Beck said that Romney’s health care reforms in Massachusetts are bankrupting the state. The St. Petersberg Times reports that Glenn Beck said in a webcast that “‘Mitt Romney…gave you government health care that is now bankrupting the state’ of Massachusetts.” [St. Petersburg Times (Florida), 11/10/09]
Romney Said That If Massachusetts Succeeded In Implementing Health Care Reform They Would Be A Model For The Nation. In 2007, after Massachusetts Healthcare reform had been passed by the Massachusetts state legislature and signed into law, Romney said “I’m proud of what we’ve done. If Massachusetts succeeds in implementing it, then that will be a model for the nation.” [USA TODAY, 5/13/11]
Romney Described His National Health Care Plan As ”Sharing The Objectives” Of Representative Paul Ryan’s Budget Proposal. According to USA Today, Romney described his goal for the federal government reform of health care as being similar to the Paul Ryan plan. Romney said “my plan…is not going to be identical to the Ryan plan, but it’s going to share (his) objectives” of keeping both Medicare and the country “fiscally solvent.” [USA TODAY, 5/13/11]