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Santorum Fundraising Letter: There Is No Difference Between RomneyCare And ObamaCare

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"Santorum Fundraising Letter: There Is No Difference Between RomneyCare And ObamaCare"

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That graphic to the right is part of Rick Santorum’s latest fund-raising email and marks the second time in less than a week that the former senator from Pennsylvania has directly attacked Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care law. Santorum was the first presidential contender to condemn Romney’s attempt to whitewash his ongoing support for the individual mandate last Thursday and this latest statement doesn’t pull any punches. Santorum quotes the Wall Street Journal’s strong condemnation of Romney’s refusal to back away from his signature accomplishment and adds:

Mitt Romney has been spending the last week defending his failed “experiment” in government-run health care — and based on news reports it hasn’t been working. The same way that President Obama has been defending ObamaCare since its passage through Congress.

Thursday’s Wall Street Journal discusses how RomneyCare was the first in the nation to introduce “individual mandates” (i.e. the government forcing you to buy insurance) and how health care in Massachusetts has gotten more expensive — even more than the national average.

President Obama & former Governor Mitt Romney’s policies both put government squarely at the center of your health decisions. But I believe more government is not the answer. And I’d be willing to bet you agree.

Look:

I’ve noted the similarities between the two plans before (check out this table here), but it’s also worth pointing out that the differences between the two plans are also not insubstantial. Unlike Massachusetts’ reform, the federal law reduces health care spending by establishing a payment control commission, levying an excise tax on very generous health care plans and financing demonstration projects that, if successful, could transform the way health care is financed in the United States.

Romneycare did not try to tackle health care costs — even though Democrats are now working on an effort to reform the way the state pays for health care services — but is in some ways even more progressive than the federal law. For instance, 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. Romney’s law also includes a requirement that employers provide health care coverage, while the national law only requires employers to provide insurance or pay a fee if an employee is receiving government subsidies. Romney did veto the employer mandate and was overridden by the state legislature. He later minimized the significance of the provision in national interviews.

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