Your morning jolt: Romney notes ‘a number of similarities’ between his health care plan and Obama’s

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney spoke Tuesday to a packed chapel at Emory University. John Bazemore/AP

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney spoke Tuesday to a packed chapel at Emory University. John Bazemore/AP

Former and future Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addressed a packed chapel at Emory University on Tuesday evening.

Introduced by Gov. Sonny Perdue, who was not on his train in ‘08, Romney was the portrait of a man working at a post-candidacy pace – in slacks and a sport shirt.

Officially, this was one stop in a book tour – Romney was in Iowa on Monday. And in a 40 minute speech, the former Massachusetts governor declined to address the largest question dangling over him.

Which is, given the similarities between the health care system that he designed for his state, and the national system that President Barack Obama has embarked on, how will that shape a ‘12 bid for the White House.

But the topic was raised at once in a question-and-answer session by a medical student. “There are a number of similarities,” conceded Romney, who continued at length:

“We passed in Massachusetts a health care bill that makes sure, that if you lose a job or change a job, you won’t lose your insurance. Everybody in Massachusetts is able to keep insurance throughout their life. It’s not taken away from them. So it’s portable.

“No. 2, you can’t be cancelled if you have a pre-existing condition or if you become ill once your insured. So everybody’s insured. Ninety-eight percent of the citizens in our state are insured. So in that respect, it’s very similar.

“And we also have an individual responsibility. We have an incentive – a mandate, if you will, to say we need everybody insured. The reason we did that was pretty simple. We had a lot of people showing up at the hospital without insurance – people who had the money or funds to buy insurance, who said, ‘I got no insurance. I’m real sick. Take care of me.’

“And the government was paying for those people. That’s what’s happening here, and in the other states in the country. There are people who — we call them free-riders — who say ‘I’m not going to be insured. I can’t pay my own way. If I have an accident or have a heart-attack, the government will pay for me.’ We say no more. You’ve got [the] responsibility, a personal responsibility, to get insured.

“But there are some aspects of the president’s plans I don’t like. One thing, I like states being able to do what we did – not the federal government. I’m a big believer of the federalist system….

“He’s raising taxes by half a trillion. We didn’t raise taxes to get our job done. No. 2, he’s cutting Medicare. We didn’t cut the benefits for senior citizens to get our job done.

“And No. 3, he’s putting in price controls. Markets don’t work if government starts setting prices. That just does not work. So for those reasons, among others, I’m an opponent of Obamacare.

“But [I] like what we’ve done pretty well, despite its weaknesses and flaws – and it has weaknesses and flaws. And those are worth studying. But what I don’t understand is, given the fact that some people think our system is a lot like what the president did, why didn’t he call me to ask for my advice? I would have given him some good advice.”

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110 comments Add your comment

Republican turned Democrat

March 31st, 2010
8:58 am

At least he admits it. Things is, this will catch fire and soon the whole country will realize that the world isn’t going to be destroyed by the new law.

AH

March 31st, 2010
9:04 am

No the world won’t be destroyed, just the United States of America that we all grew up in. In Obama’s defense though he didn’t do this all by himself he just took the golden opportunity that was made for him by the last 20 years of politicians.

deegee

March 31st, 2010
9:06 am

I love it when the talking heads on CNBC report the good news on the economy, i.e., stronger dollar, 4.0% growth in the stock market this year, decreasing jobless claims, small uptick in hiring. Then in the next breath ask, “And when do you think that the disastrous economic policies of the Obama administration will start having an effect?”

Republican turned Democrat

March 31st, 2010
9:18 am

All I can say is that if Romney had won the election, we’d have a very similar health care law and the some people arguing against it would be for it and vice-versa. Obama is probably the best president many of you out there will ever have known, yet you won’t realize it until 20 yrs from now. Then you’ll look back and thank your lucky stars for the benefits you and your kids/grandkids have but didn’t fight for.

Rule .303

March 31st, 2010
9:18 am

I like Romney, but for him to say taxes weren’t raised is disingenuous. How do you think it was funded then, by trimming the budget? He basically left the tax raising to a future administration. On top of that, Mass’s budget is around $29 billion..Ga’s is around $17 billion, but at least they get a lot for their taxes….check out their subway/light rail/and commuter rail next time you’re in New England.

In any event Jim, you could have kept this close to home and just compared Judson Hill’s SB28 from 3 years ago to Obama’s plan. Even now, the legislature is passing around parts of the national plan at the state level.

Daedalus

March 31st, 2010
9:24 am

Sounds like Romney was for health care reform before, but now he opposes it.

Or as they say in the South: “He was fer it, before he was agin’ it.”

CJae From East Lake

March 31st, 2010
9:26 am

The report of Romney’s responce is what has been missing from this debate from the beginning, honest dialogue! One could certainly argue the position taken on some aspects of how the bill was crafted (as Romney articulately summarized) but it’s far from a situation where the entire proposal needs to be scrapped.

I say come the start of the next session, let those lawmakers present put their money where their mouth is (assuming Republican control of the Congress is returned) and let them tweek the aspects they feel are out of wack. The fact that all provisions of the bill don’t take affect at once gives Congress the runway to make additional corrections.

i'm in love with sara palin

March 31st, 2010
9:27 am

if he is for given obama and the blacks more money for docters i will not vote for him. palin in 2012. obama is a rasist and hates us white people.

CJae From East Lake

March 31st, 2010
9:31 am

You can’t with good reason seriously believe that Sara Palin is best candidate available to serve as President? The must of have increased the doseage in the Kool-Aid.

i'm in love with sara palin

March 31st, 2010
9:35 am

she is way better then obama and she is not a muslim. she will not give a billion dollar to the blacks and illegal people for doctors. she will get our county back to us. he wont even show us his birth paper. he was not even born in us they said he was born in hawawi.

Intown

March 31st, 2010
9:47 am

I wonder if Mitt was invited by the university or by the little nazis, oops, I mean Young Republicans, that run around in a small pack on Emory’s campus.

i'm in love with sara palin

March 31st, 2010
9:51 am

you all need to wake up and take your county back before that muslim and the blacks take all our money and kill all our babies. palin is per-life.

lmno

March 31st, 2010
9:59 am

The health care reform act is also very much like the one proposed by Richard Nixon before Watergate brought him down.

Ira in East Lake

March 31st, 2010
10:02 am

palin lover: Your fear is comforting, what else scares you? I really really really hope you get your wish.

Palin-Huckabee in 2012!!!

Republican turned Democrat

March 31st, 2010
10:03 am

@i’m in love with sara: dude get a life. you are as ignorant as your tea party cohorts. you obviously been listening to the Fox propaganda and buying in to all the lies and rumors. Ironically, it’s for ignorant people like you that Obama is helping the most, despite your hatred.

i'm in love with sara palin

March 31st, 2010
10:07 am

ira we will take back our county my brother i am with you. these blacks and liars corrup everything even our govermint and they take the money away and give it out to the blacks so they can buy drugs and have kids with no daddies. palin will stop that. now obama wants to drill in vergina and there is not no oil there. he is a fool. he is no cristian but us cristians need to vote him out in november

Winkasdad29

March 31st, 2010
10:11 am

Even though Sarah Palin is a very attractive woman, she is not fit to be President. Maybe Mitt Romney might be a better choice for the Republican side.

Just my two cents, I think we need to stop all of this polarization, and get back to fixing what’s broke with this country. In Washington, there’s too much bickering and name calling instead of compromise and/or consensus. Repubs, Dems and Indies need to start working together as best they can to fix this mess. We will not all be satisfied because everybody can’t get what they want, but if our major problems get solved, then that’s what counts.

i'm in love with sara palin

March 31st, 2010
10:13 am

winsasdad29 you are crazy like the other blacks. get your facts strate and stop spending all our money on det

lmno

March 31st, 2010
10:16 am

How can anyone be so stupid to think that the sara palin poster is serious?

Its not subtle at all and lacks creativity. However, some of you still believe it.

lmno

March 31st, 2010
10:19 am

i'm in love with sara palin

March 31st, 2010
10:22 am

imno you mark my words you think you are so smart you an your muslims will be voted out you are so stupid yourself. you ruin this county and i am sick of people like you who think they are better then every one else. mark my words sara palin will win and you and your baby killer muslim blacks will have to find another president maybe that revrand write

Georgia Conservative

March 31st, 2010
10:23 am

Romeney’s stance on Health Care Reform is a major problem for his candidacy. Given the unpopularity of that type of “reform” at the national level and even in his own state (see Scott Brown’s election), this issue can erode is support with the Republican base and with independents who might consider his candidacy. I’m sure he’s hoping that Obamacare will take the issue off the table so he won’t have to deal with it, but I don’t think it’ll be that easy.

I’d be willing to bet that I’m in love with Sara is a liberal masquerading as what he or she perceived tea partiers and conservatives to be. His/her ramblings smack of stereotypes.

Republican turned Democrat

March 31st, 2010
10:24 am

Serious or not the dude is a whackjob.

Winkasdad29

March 31st, 2010
10:24 am

Hey Sara Palin’s love slave:

Sarah can fix your “county”. We need our country fixed!

I think we’re dealing with a blog troll, and trolls are ugly and they smell.

i'm in love with sara palin

March 31st, 2010
10:30 am

i got better things to do then take this abuse from you black muslim lovers. i dont care what you say we will take this county back from you. you are all just librals who give all my money to the blacks and illigal people and i am sick of it. i have better things to do insted of reading your black libral stuff.

Ira in East Lake

March 31st, 2010
11:04 am

palin lover: I’m guessing you’re still working on that GED, right? Good luck with that! Oh, and just so you know – your great great grandma was a black woman.

Don

March 31st, 2010
11:10 am

ask the people of wasilla about the $2.3 million cost overrun on the ice rink ( and it was all on the $126,000 purchase of the land ). Seem the Palin administration neglected to sign an offer. They assumed that they had a deal without a signed document. She surrounded herself with people who were as smart as she is. That worked out well, didn’t it?

Sandy Spring For Roy Barnes

March 31st, 2010
11:15 am

All these racist people on here. I dont care for sara palin or romney.

Alphar

March 31st, 2010
11:17 am

Oh my god, oh my god, Massachusetts will be dead next year. The rich will be poor because they have to pay more tax, the poor will be homeless because the rich cannot support the poor any more.

The sky is falling in Massachusetts. The earth is collapsing in Massachusetts. Oh my god!

All the disasters the southern “conservatives” predicted are already happening in Massachusetts.

JET

March 31st, 2010
11:18 am

I was thought not to argue with fools. I’m in ove with sara palin is obviously a fool and if you continue to trade words with IT people reading will take you for a fool also. ANSWERETH THE FOOL NOT ACCORDING TO THE MULTITUDE OF HIS FOLLIES LEAST YOU BE LIKEN UNTO THEM.

Been Around-Done That

March 31st, 2010
11:18 am

Gosh! What a bunch of nasty, foul mouthed, dummies posting on both sides! Its no wonder our country is in trouble when this is the best you idiots have to offer. The IQ level must have dropped 50- points in the last 40 years. Give some of you morons a computer and all you can spray with it is BS! Get a life!

get off your high horse

March 31st, 2010
11:20 am

I have to give it to Obama, he is two steps ahead of the republicans. I disagree with his politics but he is making them look like suckers. The end game and misdirection this guys does has their minds spinning. Bam, I got you on healthcare, now to make you not feel so bad; here is some drilling you can do. Want more nuke plants? you got’em. Republicans better get their new contract with America out quick or Obama is going to own that also. If he gets our Energy sector rolling, gas prices drop, and creates jobs in the new drilling; republicans will be hard pressed to win in November. Republicans need to shift policy just a bit, and attack the liberals in Congress and not Obamacare.

Bring balance to the congress. Talk about republican fixes to the healthcare law; tort reform, more tax cuts for small business, HSA cover elective surgeries, HSA rollover from year to year but still only allow a contribution of 2500 per year max and maybe some amendment that renders the new law null and void if expenses/cost overruns occur above the projected budget. However, with the amendment keep the sweet spots of 26year olds on family plan, etc….

Republicans (we) need to get off our butts and get in this conversation or be left walking around in a dazed look like the last time.

GAmom

March 31st, 2010
11:20 am

It was inevitable and will continue to happen if he tries to run.

Obama is about to propose offshore drilling in areas that have been banned for decades. I can’t wait to see the “drill baby drill” crowd try to spin that one.

Alphar

March 31st, 2010
11:22 am

Wait a minute. I just found out Massachusetts has a higher average income than the southern “conservative” states. Wait again, they are even better than southern “conservatives”. Wait a minute, how come even most of the un-inusured are in the southern “conservative” states?

Alphar

March 31st, 2010
11:32 am

Since most of the Rush and Sean’s admirers are southern conservative, I don’t understand why the southern states have the worst education, lowest income, highest un-insured…

How can that be?

songbird

March 31st, 2010
11:36 am

get off your high horse – I agree with most of what you said. The only thing I think will not work is tort reform. The Georgia Supreme Court has already struck that down as unconstitutional. Other states have also struck it down. It goes against the right to a jury trial.

Bill

March 31st, 2010
11:42 am

And to think…not a SINGLE repub voted for healthcare reform. How sad.

Little Mary Sunshine

March 31st, 2010
11:42 am

Anyone else think that “i’m in love with sara palin” is a liberal operative? Come on, the racism, the ridiulous misspellings, the blind faith. Seriously, this guy has to be a Democrat troll.

get off your high horse

March 31st, 2010
11:43 am

cool, pull it off the table and run with something. Now if only the Republicans would listen to the people

Jon Lester

March 31st, 2010
11:43 am

@ “i’m in love with sarah palin” – I thought about reporting your comment but maybe it’ll do more good to leave it up for everyone to see. You are the very embodiment of the ignorance and racism driving the whole “Tea Party” movement and the larger Fox Nation crowd. The rest of us are challenged to persuade thinking people to vote this November because, for all your other faults, everyone as stupid as you will surely be voting. You must be countered. The future of humanity depends on it.

Jon Lester

March 31st, 2010
11:46 am

@little mary sunshine – I don’t think it’s a good idea to make such broad assumptions. Didn’t you see that recent Harris poll?

Dee

March 31st, 2010
11:47 am

To ‘i’m in love with sara palin’…where the hell do you think “Hawaii” is…Japan? What an idiot…and learn how to spell for heaven sake…Sarah, not sara…country, not county, Hawaii, not hawawi…

Bill

March 31st, 2010
11:53 am

Dee, don’t waste your time. He doesn’t deserve it!

Mrs. White

March 31st, 2010
11:58 am

i love sarah palin makes us respectable, conservative Republicans look bad…YOU THINK BLACKS AND MUSLIMS HATE YOU, WELL, WE DON’T WANT YOU EITHER!
Sincerely, your friendly neighborhood white, right-winger, pro-lifer, sometimes gay-bashing, REPUBLICAN.

Cherokee

March 31st, 2010
12:01 pm

As a proud Democrat, this pains me, but I agree with Georgia Conservative – the guy can’t be for real….

yawn

March 31st, 2010
12:01 pm

I hope Palin runs in 2012. That almost guarantees Obama a second term.

My taxes are lower this year, healthcare has passed, the rest of the world has begun to respect us again, alternative energy is getting a serious boost…everything Obama said he would do? Done or working on it. I couldn’t be more pleased with him.

BCDawg97

March 31st, 2010
12:12 pm

My guess is that “Sara” is a far leftist just trying to stir the pot. Trying to making the Repubs look bad, but just makes the Dems look worse. No way someone that illiterate and mis-informed is posting online.

Jay

March 31st, 2010
12:16 pm

The gloom and doom predicted for Massachusetts because of their health care bill still has not happened. There has been no mass (excuse the pun) exodus of people. Why didn’t he have the courage to stand up and say this stuff while the debate was happening.

BCDawg97

March 31st, 2010
12:17 pm

Or that I should’ve just read all the posts and said, “I agree with Sunshine”

catlady

March 31st, 2010
12:20 pm

He didn’t have to do many of these things BECAUSE he had the federal government/taxpayers picking up the slack. So how he can say some of these things is pretty silly. But it fools the 40% nonthinkers, I would daresay.