Mitt Romney: Obamacare Should Have Learned From Mass. Law

Image: Mitt Romney: Obamacare Should Have Learned From Mass. Law

Wednesday, 30 Oct 2013 10:46 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Mitt Romney has sharply rejected President Barack Obama's comparisons between the Affordable Care Act and the 2006 Massachusetts law that was its blueprint.

"In the years since the Massachusetts healthcare law went into effect nothing has changed my view that a plan crafted to fit the unique circumstances of a single state should not be grafted onto the entire country," the 2012 Republican presidential candidate wrote on Facebook Wednesday.

"Beyond that, had President Obama actually learned the lessons of Massachusetts healthcare, millions of Americans would not lose the insurance they were promised they could keep, millions more would not see their premiums skyrocket, and the installation of the program would not have been a frustrating embarrassment."

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The bitter critique came as Obama was in Boston to deliver a speech about the flawed rollout of the healthcare exchanges where people can buy insurance under the new law — saying challenges facing the launch of the Massachusetts law didn't stop it from moving forward.

"We are just going to keep on working at it," Obama said. "We’re going to ride it out, just like you did here in Massachusetts."

Romney said the president had missed the point.

"Health reform is best crafted by states with bipartisan support and input from its employers, as we did, without raising taxes, and by carefully phasing it in to avoid the type of disruptions we are seeing nationally," he wrote in the Facebook post.

There are other differences between Obamacare and the Massachusetts law as well — including politics.

Unlike the deep partisan divide that marked passage of the federal law, Massachusetts’ law -- which was signed by Romney, who was then governor -- had sweeping bipartisan support.

Former Romney adviser Cindy Gillespie, who played a lead role in developing the Massachusetts law, told Fox News she saw no parallels between the two rollouts, saying the sign-up process went relatively smoothly and was implemented in phases.

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But Jonathan Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economics professor who advised both Romney and Obama on their healthcare laws, said only 123 paying consumers signed up the first month of the Massachusetts law, with 36,000 coming on by the time penalties kicked in for failing to have insurance.

"That same kind of outcome will happen at the national level, but it will take time," Gruber told Fox News. "We need to be patient and measure the outcomes in months and years, not days and weeks."

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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Obama: 'Not Happy' With Obamacare Woes
Ben Carson: Obama Wrong to Imply ACA Foes Don't Care

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