Romney: States Should Be Allowed to Tailor Healthcare Laws

Sunday, 03 Nov 2013 12:25 PM

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While Mitt Romney believes states should be required to ensure all of their residents have health insurance, he said he doesn't believe in a one-size-fits all mandate from the federal government.

Romney, appearing Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," said that while he did help institute universal healthcare coverage for all the residents of Massachusetts when he was governor, states should be allowed to choose what works best for them.

"There are aspects of the Massachusetts plan I think other states would be wise to adopt," Romney said. "There are probably aspects where states will say, 'I don't want that; I've got a better idea.'"

Though Romney was behind what has been dubbed "Romneycare" in Massachusetts, he opposed the federal program, nicknamed "Obamacare." That didn't stop President Barack Obama from touting "Romneycare" during the election.

Obama even visited Boston last week in an attempt to rally support for "Obamacare" following a month of technical problems on the program's website and complaints that middle-class insurance plans are going up in cost and down in coverage.

Obama failed to learn the lessons from Massachusetts, Romney said. "Romneycare" had a slow rollout which allowed for systems to be tested rather than a rushed website that contractors had warned wasn't ready.

Romney joined other Republicans who have suggested that Obama's legacy may be harmed if he doesn't quickly turn things around.

“I think that fundamental dishonesty has really put in peril the whole foundation of his second term,” Romney said.

'Double Down'

Romney also disputed claims in the new book, "Double Down: Game Change 2012," which say he didn't consider New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as a running mate for fear he was too overweight and wasn't healthy enough.

Rather, he settled on Rep. Paul Ryan because Ryan had a complement of skills that would be helpful if he became vice president, Romney said.

"I'd been a governor. I hadn't worked in Washington," Romney said. "He'd been in Washington. He was a budget pro. And I figured his relationships in Washington, his knowledge of the budget, would be a good complement to me."

He had praise for Christie, a likely favorite for the GOP nomination in 2016.

"Chris could easily become our nominee and save our party and help get this nation on the right track again," Romney said. "They don't come any better than Chris Christie."

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