The Affordable Care Act’s core framework — a requirement that all Americans can obtain insurance even if they have preexisting conditions, subsidies for Americans who cannot afford insurance, and a requirement that everyone buy into the insurance system rather than simply taking money out of it — was also the backbone of the health reform GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney signed as governor of Massachusetts. Yet Romney long-abandoned his own health plan as a federal model in order to win votes in the GOP primary. He now says he will repeal the core Obamacare framework that he once supported.
Nevertheless, on Meet the Press this morning, Romney claimed that he would not eliminate some of the most popular aspects of the Affordable Care Act, such as protections for patients with pre-existing conditions and allowing young adults to stay on parents’ insurance plans:
“Of course there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I’m going to put in place,” he said in an interview broadcast Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage.” . . . .
“I say we’re going to replace Obamacare. And I’m replacing it with my own plan,” Romney said. “And even in Massachusetts when I was governor, our plan there deals with pre-existing conditions and with young people.”
Congressional Republicans have offered no plan forward aside from repeated votes to repeal Obamacare in its entirety. And Romney’s claim that he can retain Obamacare’s guarantee that all Americans have access to insurance while repealing its other parts is pure fantasy. The reason why both Romneycare and Obamacare contain a requirement that nearly everyone must buy health insurance is because “if patients can wait until they get sick to buy insurance, they will drain all the money out of an insurance plan that they have not previously paid into, leaving nothing left for the rest of the plan’s consumers.” Indeed, “seven states enacted a pre-existing conditions law without also passing an insurance coverage requirement, and all seven states saw health insurance premiums spiral out of control.”