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Press Release - "Mitt Romney's health care albatross"

October 27, 2011


Mitt '06: Romneycare "takes bold steps to contain health care costs"

Mitt '11: Romneycare "didn't get the job done" in containing health care costs

Mitt Romney's signature achievement, the "health care albatross" known as Romneycare, instituted a government mandate on the people of Massachusetts, cost $8 billion - including almost $4 billion in federal funding, a cost spread across American taxpayers in all 50 states - and killed 18,000 Massachusetts jobs last year.

After promising in 2006 that Romneycare would "contain health care costs," Romney now admits, "I didn't get the job done in Massachusetts in getting the health care costs down in this country."

From today's Politico:

Mitt Romney's health care albatross isn't just the similarity between his Massachusetts health care overhaul and President Barack Obama's health reform law. It's also the fact that Massachusetts still has the highest health costs in the country - even after the reforms Romney signed into law as governor. ...

But on the day he signed the reform plan into law in 2006, Romney did claim that cost containment was one of the goals. "Lastly, but perhaps most critically, this bill takes bold steps to contain health care costs," Romney wrote in a letter to the state Legislature. "By putting an end to cost-shifting from the uninsured and from the Medicaid program, businesses and individuals will no longer bear the cost of others' health care." "This bill places critical health care cost and quality information in the hands of businesses and consumers. By creating cost and quality transparency, individuals will make more informed decisions about where and how to seek care," Romney wrote. [1]

Five years later, during last week's CNN debate, Romney admitted:

"I didn't get the job done in Massachusetts in getting the health care costs down in this country. It's something I think we have got to do at the national level." [2]

"Romneycare is the blueprint for Obamacare and proof positive that government-mandated health care will break the bank for families, increase costs, and overwhelm our federal budget," said Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan. "Romneycare/Obamacare kills jobs, costs consumers more and busts the budget."

Boston's Beacon Hill Institute has reported that Romneycare [3, 4]:

  • Cost taxpayers $8 billion - including almost $4 billion in federal funding, a cost spread across American taxpayers in all 50 states.
  • Killed more than 18,000 jobs in Massachusetts in 2010.
  • Resulted in higher insurance premiums for everyone in Massachusetts.
  • Penalizes taxpayers and employers if they don't comply with Romneycare's individual mandate, as individuals making as little as $33,000 a year must pay the government a $1,212 fine if they don't purchase health insurance.
  • Depressed income, wage growth and disposable income in Massachusetts:
    • Disposable income in Massachusetts is $2-3 billion lower than it would be without Romneycare.
    • Corporate investment in the state dropped by as much as $30 million a year.
    • Single-coverage employer-sponsored insurance premiums increased by 6%, or $262 a person, in just two years.

Sources:

[1] "Mitt Romney may be haunted by Massachusetts health care costs," Politico, 10/26/11, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/66957.html

[2] Transcript, CNN Debate, 10/18/11, http://archives.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1110/18/se.05.html

[3] "The High Price of Massachusetts Health Care Reform," The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, June 2011, http://www.beaconhill.org/BHIStudies/HCR-2011/BHIMassHealthCareReform201...

[4] "The Economic Effects of Massachusetts Health Care Reform," The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, Sept. 2011, http://www.beaconhill.org/BHIStudies/HCR-2011/BHIMassHealthCareEcon2011-...

Rick Perry, Press Release - "Mitt Romney's health care albatross" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/298117

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