WASHINGTON - Republican Mitt Romney is set to outline a plan Thursday to repeal President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul law in a move that seems aimed at blunting criticism by conservatives of a healthcare plan Romney developed for Massachusetts.
Romney, expected to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, is to present a plan to "repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that lower costs and empower states to craft their own healthcare solutions," an announcement from his office said.
"Obamacare" is a term critics use to label the healthcare law that Obama, a Democrat, signed last year.
As governor of Massachusetts, Romney developed a healthcare plan that conservatives complain is little different from the measure signed by Obama that they want Congress to repeal.
Romney and his team believe he can satisfy the concerns among conservatives, turn healthcare into a net positive and win the right to face Obama in 2012 with an emphasis on his handling of the U.S. economy. Obama is seeking re-election next year.
Romney is set to present his plan at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
His office said his principles for healthcare include: restoring to the states the responsibility and resources to care for their poor, uninsured and chronically ill and give a tax deduction to those who buy their own health insurance.
He would also streamline federal regulation of healthcare, reduce the influence of lawsuits on medical practice and costs and "make healthcare more like a consumer market and less like a government program," his office said.
Obama already is facing a legal battle over the healthcare law. On Tuesday, a U.S. appeals court sharply questioned whether the state of Virginia could challenge the law, which requires Americans to buy medical insurance.
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