ROMNEY: Let's step back and make sure I make something very clear from the very outset. I understand health care pretty darn well, having been through what I went through as a governor. And one thing I'd do on day one if I'm elected president is direct my secretary of health and human services to put out an executive order granting a waiver from Obamacare to all 50 states. It is bad law, it will not work, and I'll get that done in day one.... One thing I know, and that is that what President Obama put in place is not going to work. It's massively expensive. In our state, our plan covered 8 percent of the people, the uninsured. His plan is taking over 100 percent of the people, and the American people don't like it and should vote it down.
Mitt Romney Reacts To Supreme Court Ruling: "I Will Repeal ObamaCare"
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In my view, instead, the right way for us to go is to bring in place the kind of market dynamics that make the rest of the economy so successful.
So my plan gets everybody in America insured, takes the burden of free riders off of our auto companies and everybody else, and says let's get everybody in the system.
And to do that, we say, look, we're going to have states create their own plans. We did it in our state, and it's working. We're not going to have the federal government tell them how to do it.
Number two, we're not going to spend more money. Hillary Clinton's plan costs $110 billion. Mine says, let's use the money we're already spending a little more wisely.
And number three, instead of having the federal government give you government insurance, Medicare and federal employee insurance, let's have private insurance. Our solutions as Republicans have to be able to deal with the big issue of our time economically for the American family, and that's health care. Get the cost of health care down. Get everybody insured, but not in a government takeover, but by using the dynamics that have always made our other markets so successful.
ROMNEY: We took as many mandates out as we could in our policies. And the legislature kept some there. I tried to take them all out; they put some back in. It was a compromise. They put some mandates there.
But, let me tell you how many we got out. The price of the premium for an individual, 42 years old, in Boston, used to $350 a month. Now, it's $180. We basically cut it in half by deregulating.
ROMNEY: Congressman, you're absolutely right that taking regulation out of insurance brings the price down, and that's why my plan would go state by state, deregulate them so we can get the cost of premiums down. But it is unacceptable to keep talking about this and still have 47 million people without health insurance. We got the job done. This is the first state in America that is on track to have everybody insured. Half of my uninsured are now insured, and I am proud of what we've done.
But, look, the best kind of prevention you can have in health care is to have a doctor. And if someone doesn't have a doctor, doesn't have a clinic they can go to, doesn't have health insurance to be able to provide the prescription drugs they need, you can't be healthy. And you need to have health insurance for all of our
And I found a way to do that without requiring raising taxes, without a government mandate, without a government takeover. Instead, I didn't want to have a -- when I said government mandate, I meant employer mandate. Instead, we have personal responsibility. We allowed individuals to buy their own policies.
ROMNEY: Those that couldn't afford them, we helped them buy their policies. And you know what? It cost us Lno more money to help people buy insurance policies that they could afford than it was costing us before, handing out free care.
In this country, you have today about 47 million people that don't have health insurance. We went out and tried to find out why they don't. We found out that about half of them could afford to buy insurance if it were reasonably priced. They could afford to buy it, but they weren't buying it. it? If we get sick, we can go to the hospital and get care for free."
And we said: You know what? If somebody could afford insurance, they should either buy the insurance or pay their own way. They don't have to buy insurance if they don't want to, but pay their own way. But they shouldn't be allowed to just show up at the hospital and say, somebody else should pay for me.
And so we said: No more free riders. It was like bringing "workfare" to welfare. We said: If you can afford insurance, then either have the insurance or get a health savings account. Pay your own way, but no more free ride.
I would begin by changing the tax code, which currently offers a subsidy for employers who purchase health insurance for their employees. This discriminates against individuals who want to buy insurance on their own. We should let individuals continue with the current arrangement if it suits their needs. But I would also offer a tax benefit for those who wish to purchase insurance outside their workplace.
A key question is how to provide care for the poor, the uninsured and the chronically ill. My program begins by taking seriously the words of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." In line with the intentions of our Founding Fathers, I favor giving each of the 50 states the resources and the responsibility to craft the health care solutions that suit their citizens best.
Romney in an interview with Bret Baier on Fox News
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In 2008, for Romney's official portrait, he had been clear about the image he wanted to convey for posterity. He would be sitting on his desk in front of an American flag, next to symbols of two things he held dear. The first was a photo of his wife, the center of his personal universe. The second was the Massachusetts health care law, represented by an official-looking document with a caduceus--often used as a symbol of the medical profession--embossed in gold on the cover. Romney was deeply proud of the law and felt strongly that it should figure prominently in the portrait, which would hang alongside others dating back to the Colonial era. He wanted to be remember for that.