Mitt Romney continued to praise Massachusetts’ health care reforms this Sunday, telling Fox News Sundays’ Chris Wallace, “I think our plan is working well. And perhaps the best thing I can say about it, it’s saving lives. It is the ultimate pro-life effort,” Romney said, “people who otherwise could have lost their lives are now able to get the kind of care they deserve”:
ROMNEY: One of the members of my administration told me two days ago, after she left our administration, she was diagnosed with brain cancer. And that had she not been in Massachusetts, she would not have been able to receive the insurance that she needed and the specialist care that has now saved her life. That is the biggest reason for helping people get insurance.
Romney also highlighted his support for the individual health insurance mandate and described the Massachusetts reform as “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.” Watch it:
Indeed, Massachusetts enjoys the lowest uninsurance rate in the country and requires insurance issuers to offer comprehensive benefits to their beneficiaries. Uninsured residents below 300% of the federal poverty level can participate in the state-subsidized Commonwealth Care program where members get health services by enrolling in health plans which cover a comprehensive package of benefits like “doctor’s visits, surgery, radiology and lab” and abortion services — a procedure Romney says he now opposes.
Moreover, when Wallace hinted that Romney’s support for the Massachusetts plan could also apply to the very similar Senate health care bill, Romney explained that unlike the Senate bill, his plan did little to control costs or cut Medicare spending. “A big difference. state plan versus a federal plan. No new taxes, unlike his plan. No cut in medicare, unlike his plan and no controls over insurance premiums, price controls, cost controls like his plan,” he said.
For a chart comparing the similarities between the Senate and Massachusetts health care reform plans, click here.