In a town hall this week, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) conceded that his party’s presumptive presidential nominee’s state health care law is “very similar” to the one enacted by President Obama in 2010.
Cassidy was asked by a constituent in Thibodaux on April 10 whether there was any difference between Mitt Romney’s health care law in Massachusetts and Obamacare. Though Cassidy claimed Romney’s had evolved differently, he conceded that the two were “very similar.” “The fact is that the president plan depends upon that Massachusetts plan as a model,” said the Louisiana Republican:
CONSTITUENT: Is there any difference between the Massachusetts medical care program and Obamacare?
CASSIDY: One of the differences between the Massachusetts medical program and the president’s health care program, the president’s health care program closed its heart and soul to how the Massachusetts program has evolved. Its heart and soul is based on that. In fairness to Governor Romney, he points out that it’s evolved differently than he originally planned. That’s a fair statement. But the fact is that the president plan depends upon that Massachusetts plan as a model. And they’re having all the problems that we can imagine we’re going to have as a country.
CONSTITUENT: Were they very similar?
CASSIDY: Very similar. Very similar.
Indeed, Cassidy is correct that they are quite similar. As ThinkProgress’ Igor Volsky has shown, the two plans are similar in nearly every respect. The White House even consulted Romneycare advisers when they were designing the outlines of Obamacare.
However, Cassidy is mistaken in implying that the Massachusetts plan is riddled with problems. Since it was enacted six years ago, health care costs have gone down as health care access has gone up. Now, nearly all nonelderly adults in Massachusetts have health insurance and access to care when they are sick.