PolitiFact gives Mitt Romney its “Pants on Fire” certification for his new argument contrasting Massachusetts’ 2006 health care law with the Affordable Care Act. During a presidential forum on Monday — and then again during yesterday’s GOP debate in California — Romney claimed that while he signed a law dealing with just 8 percent of the uninsured population, President Obama “dealt with 100 percent of American people. He said I’m going to change health care for all of you.”
If Romney believes that his law only impacted the state’s uninsured — 8.9 percent in 2006 — then, given the structural similarities of RomneyCare and ObamaCare, he should be comparing Massachusetts’ uninsured population to the national rate of 17 percent — not 100 all percent. But even that is not entirely correct. Both reform laws go beyond just offering coverage — they set minimum standards and benefits for all new policies and ask more of businesses. The Affordable Care Act does even more by implementing a series of payment rand delivery system changes that will hopefully lower the rate of growth in health care spending and encourage doctors and hospitals to prescribe less unnecessary tests and procedures.
But in this new line of attack Romney is pretending that he only enacted the mandate when in reality both his law and Obama’s are a significant downpayment towards improving the health care system — and that’s a good thing.