President Barack Obama’s trip to Boston on Wednesday, former Republican presidential candidate and 2012 Obama opponent Mitt Romney released a statement blasting the President on the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act.
As governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed into law a health-care overhaul that closely mirrors the Affordable Care Act on a state level, including the “mandate” to purchase health insurance. But he maintained during the 2012 campaign that he never thought the overhaul should be applied nationally.
And in his statement Wednesday, amid Obamacare’s troubled rollout, Romney re-emphasised that position. He also criticised Obama for not “learning the lessons of Massachusetts health care.”
Here’s his full statement:
In the years since the Massachusetts health care law went into effect nothing has changed my view that a plan crafted to fit the unique circumstances of a single state should not be grafted onto the entire country. Beyond that, had President Obama actually learned the lessons of Massachusetts health care, millions of Americans would not lose the insurance they were promised they could keep, millions more would not see their premiums skyrocket, and the installation of the program would not have been a frustrating embarrassment. Health reform is best crafted by states with bipartisan support and input from its employers, as we did, without raising taxes, and by carefully phasing it in to avoid the type of disruptions we are seeing nationally.
When he visits Boston on Wednesday, expect Obama to highlight the successes of “Romneycare” in Massachusetts — and also highlight some of the flaws in its rollout that are similar to the ones the Affordable Care Act are experiencing right now.
The White House held a conference call on Tuesday afternoon to that effect with two former Massachusetts officials who were instrumental in the development and implementation of the Massachusetts health law — Jonathan Gruber, who is considered the law’s “architect,” and Jon Kingsdale, who Romney hired to implement the law.
“We have to recognise that relevant mandate deadline for the national law is next March. So the fact that people aren’t signed up now for a policy they can’t get until January — and which they’re not mandated to have until March — is not at all interesting or important,” Gruber said. “What matters is that it will ramp up over time.
“And really, the bottom line is that the success of health care reform needs to be measured in months and years, not days and weeks.”
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