Mitt Romney often runs away from the comparisons drawn between ObamaCare and RomneyCare. Romney routinely deflects the similarities by saying that the plan he put in place was a “federalist” approach, and constitutional issues conservatives raise about the individual mandate aren’t viable when enacted at a state level.
But Romney wasn’t always as critical of the President’s plan as he is today. In a March 2010 interview with the Emory University student run newspaper The Emory Wheel, following a stop at the university on his book tour Romney praised President Obama for the similarities between ObamaCare and RomneyCare. Romney commented the “best features” of the President’s plan were those similar to RomneyCare, including the “individual responsibility for getting insurance,” commonly referred to as the individual mandate.
Smith: Earlier today, President Obama remarked to NBC on the degree of similarity between his health-care reform policies and those that you passed in Massachusetts under your term as governor. How is the health-care reform legislation signed by Obama last week significantly different from the policies that you passed in Massachusetts?
Romney: Well, there are similarities. And some of the best features of his health-care plan are like ours — such as, we do not allow insurance companies to drop people who develop illnesses, our insurance is entirely portable, virtually all of our citizens are insured and there is an individual responsibility for getting insurance.
The big differences are that he raised taxes; we did not. He cut Medicare; we did not. He put in place price controls; we did not. And his is a federal program — a one-size-fits-all solution — and in our view — in my view, the best approach is a state-by-state creation of programs designed to fit the needs of citizens of each state.
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