Former Sen. George Allen (R-VA), who gained national notoriety after hurling a racial slur at an Indian-American man working for his opponent’s campaign in 2006, has a new book about sports and politics called What Washington Can Learn from the World of Sports, which he publicized at an event today at the Heritage Foundation. During his remarks, Allen continually attacked the health reform plan passed this year as a “monstrosity” and claimed that it was based on the Massachusetts health care system, which Allen ridiculed as “costly and foolish.”
ThinkProgress asked Allen if his attacks on the Massachusetts health system were in any way a critique of former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA), the creator of the Massachusetts system. Allen quickly laughed and said he would not get “into personalities.” But ThinkProgress followed up, asking if his attacks were a critique of the Heritage Foundation, which helped to draft Romney’s plan. Allen became clearly confused, repeating that he doesn’t “like the law” before asking a nearby Heritage staffer if they had indeed assisted with the crafting of Romney’s health plan:
TP: I heard during your speech you said no other states had emulated what they did in Massachusetts, the “costly foolish” plan they have there. Only the Federal government had emulated that plan.
TP: Is that a critique of Mitt Romney —
ALLEN: It’s a critique of the law, I’m not getting into personalities.
TP: What about the Heritage Foundation, which helped write that law?
ALLEN: Well, I don’t know who wrote the law. I don’t like the law. […] You wouldn’t write a law such as this. [turning to a Heritage staffer] Alright, here’s someone from the Heritage Foundation. Did the Heritage Foundation write the Massachusetts law?
The Heritage staffer, Becky Norton Dunlop, replied that Heritage simply submitted ideas for Romney’s health plan — which were promptly rejected by the “Democratic legislature.” However, as ThinkProgress reported earlier this year, Heritage touted its role in crafting Romney’s health plan for years after its passage, taking credit for the most substantive parts of the plan, including the individual mandate, the Medicaid expansion, and even the insurance exchange. In fact, in the video above, Romney himself bragged that Heritage officials “worked with us and was at the celebration” for his health plan, which he termed “ultimate conservatism.”