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Romney’s Selfish Defense Of Massachusetts’ Reform: ‘They Don’t Want Obamacare, Rather Have What We’ve Got’

By Igor Volsky  

"Romney’s Selfish Defense Of Massachusetts’ Reform: ‘They Don’t Want Obamacare, Rather Have What We’ve Got’"

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This morning, Fox & Friends host Gretchen Carlson asked former Governor Mitt Romney if voters in Massachusetts were turning against Martha Coakley because “people in Massachusetts have a already experienced universal health care, so to speak?” Romney responded by defending the Massachusetts reforms. “Massachusetts has shown that you can solve the problem without cutting Medicare, without the so-called public option, without the government stepping in and doing special deals with unions or senators from other states,” Romney said:

ROMNEY: Oh, I think health care has a lot to do with this and Massachusetts showed and Scott Brown by the way supported the health care system here in Massachusetts still does, as I do…Let me tell you, Obamacare would be a very raw deal for people with Massachusetts because we already have a system that’s working here. Ninety-eight percent of our people are insured and if we had a federal, government one-size-fits all plan, Obamacare if you will, people here in Massachusetts would have to pay more taxes, see their Medicare cut. They don’t want Obamacare. They’d rather have what we’ve got here.

Watch it:

Romney “has shown that you can solve the problem without cutting Medicare” because states don’t have the ability to cut into the federally-funded Medicare program or make “special deals” with senators from other states. In fact, Romney’s effort may have been less ambitious than Obama’s reforms — unlike the national bills, the Massachusetts law did not try to contain health care costs — but it’s not very different from “Obamacare.”

Both bills require Americans to purchase coverage and provide affordability credits to Americans who can’t afford insurance, create insurance exchanges, establish minimum creditable coverage standards for insurers (what Romney refers to as “one-size-fits all plan”) and require employers to contribute towards reform. Like the Massachusetts plan, the final health care bill will also lack a public health insurance option.

While Massachusetts residents may “rather have what we’ve got here,” they didn’t always support the state’s health care reforms — suggesting that support for national reform may follow the same trajectory. In September of 2006, five months after Romney signed reform into law, a majority of Massachusetts residents were discouraged by the sausage making process of reform and only 48% of residents supported the bill. By June 2008, support jumped to 69% and today 79% want the law to continue (although a majority are also pushing the government to adopt cost containment policies).

Transcript:

CARLSON: Could a big chunk of it be that the people in Massachusetts have already experienced universal health care, so to speak? I mean, I know you were behind this when you were governor but there were many changes to your plan, and maybe this is the one state that really knows what health care reform, according to Obama would really be about. What do you think about that?

ROMNEY: Oh, I think health care has a lot to do with this and Massachusetts showed and Scott Brown by the way supported the health care system here in Massachusetts still does, as I do. Massachusetts has shown that you can solve the problem without cutting Medicare, without the so-called public option, without the government stepping in and doing special deals with unions or senators from other states. Let me tell you, Obamacare would be a very raw deal for people with Massachusetts because we already have a system that’s working here. Nighty-eight percent of our people are insured and if we had a federal, government one-size-fits all plan, Obamacare if you will, people here in Massachusetts would have to pay more taxes, see their Medicare cut. They don’t want Obamacare. They’d rather have what we’ve got here.

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