September 18th, 2009
02:11 PM ET
5 years ago

Huckabee takes aim at 'Romneycare'

Mike Huckabee took aim at the health care system in Massachusetts that was implemented in 2006 by then-governor Mitt Romney.
Mike Huckabee took aim at the health care system in Massachusetts that was implemented in 2006 by then-governor Mitt Romney.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – An old rivalry flared up again at the annual Values Voter Summit on Friday, when Mike Huckabee took aim at the health care system in Massachusetts that was implemented in 2006 by then-Gov. Mitt Romney.

Huckabee - who did serious damage to Romney's presidential hopes last January by winning the Iowa caucuses and has made clear his disdain for the former Massachusetts governor - told the crowd at the conservative conference that the Bay State health care system is a model for the kind of government-run health care President Obama wants to implement.

"It's going to bankrupt their entire budget," Huckabee said of the Massachusetts system, which requires residents to purchase health care or risk tax penalties. "In fact, the only thing inexpensive about Massachusetts health care bill is that there you can get a $50 abortion."

"Frankly if that's where we're headed with the public option and government run health care, thank you but no thank you, our wallets and our babies will be better off without it," Huckabee said.

Romney's spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom quickly shot back, calling the claims "not true."

"The cost of our health reforms is roughly 1.5 percent of $27 billion state budget, hardly a budget buster," Fehrnstrom said. He said the health care law doesn't mention abortion, "but court precedents in Massachusetts require government-subsidized plans to offer it."

Ferhnstrom also argued that the Massachusetts law proves that health care can be fixed without a government intrusion.

"The lesson from the Massachusetts experience is that you don't need to create a new government insurance option to get more people covered," he said. "What Governor Romney did was to strengthen our private market system."

Both Huckabee and Romney are considering repeat presidential bids in 2012.

But Huckabee isn't the only potential GOP contender to criticize "Romneycare" - in July, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty made a series of critical statements about the system, saying that costs turned out to be higher than expected, resulting in higher taxes and fees.


Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. j

    Talk about a WOW !!! A Republican health care system that provides for a cheap abortion !!!??

    September 18, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  2. Dennis

    The trouble with all government "estimates" is that they always fail to meet their mark. In the same way, the candidates we elect continue to fail us, fail to meet our mark of decency, honor, and truthfulness. Personally, having lived in Massachussetts for a brief time, I wouldn't trust anything coming out of that state as it is controlled by Big Labor, Big Pharma, Big Insurance, and other lesser Special Interests who put their needs above the needs of our country.
    The trouble with American Politics is corruption. There are two factors to corruption–the corrputors, and those capable of being corrupted. It's time to fix these enemies of the state. And, if they won't go away willingly, it's time for voters to act with a real mandate for change–vote them all out of office.

    September 18, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. bess

    Huckabee won the Iowa caucus by taking a cheap shot (and also untrue) at Romney's religion. In a fair fight, Romney would have won.

    As for Massachusetts healthcare, we can all use it as a lesson and learning ground for what works and what doesn't.

    September 18, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. Jane/Seattle

    Just 2 equally wrong guys starting early to duke it out for the next onslaught upon us poor suffering taxpayers! One raving self-fulfilling Armageddonista against the King of Aquire/Liquidate/Layoff for Profits in the continuing saga of one-ups-manship that has become American politics! Give it a Rest boys! We have seen the enemy and it is folks like you who put capitalism before those you are supposed to serve. All we see is the self-serving. Craig Unger told many of the tales in these wonderful books: "House of Bush, House of Saud" and "The Fall Of The House Of Bush". Even Bandar Bush knew the Real Deal! Check it out peeps! Peace

    September 18, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. Reformed Republican

    "In fact, the only thing inexpensive about Massachusetts health care bill is that there you can get a $50 abortion."

    "YOU LIE!". And this one is a whopper there Pastor Huck...

    September 18, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. Who put the twit in twitter? Sarah!

    Mike Huckabee, president of " The Flat Earth Society ". Shazam Aunt Bea !

    September 18, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. T Mckinley

    Last year, during the campaign, I went to Mike Huckabee's website to check out his positions on the issues.

    Mike Huckabee wants to do away with government involvement in healthcare and let the private sector total and complete control of the healthcare industry. He also wants to do away with all employer-based healthcare and move to a 100% consumer-based healthcare system.

    If I understand his positions correctly, Mike Hukabee wants to do away with Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, etc.. He wants everyone, including seniors, to have to pay for their healthcare insurance out of their own pockets.

    We have 47 million uninsured people in this country right now in spite of the fact that we do have Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and employer-based health care plans.

    One can only imagine how much this number would SKYROCKET if Mike Huckabee were ever elected President and was able to push through his completely privatized consumer-based healthcare philosophy.

    The only people who would have healthcare insurance would be the people who could actually afford it. The rest of us would be SCREWED.

    September 18, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. Texas Doc

    He's (Romney) not even a real Christian. Vote for me becuase I believe in God and compassion, unless of course you happen to be uninsured, or poor, or a liberal, or a minority. Jesus saves...the one's that pass our rigid critieria.

    September 18, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  9. tony

    Obama's plan is essentially Romney's plan, with one important caveat- Obama's plan has a cost-control mechanism, i.e., the public option. If insurance companies think they will be driven out of business by the public option, this must mean that insurance companies think they will have to reduce premiums when there is a public option.

    September 18, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. Roger

    Huckabee, he put a beat down on Miit in the primaries.......Mitt comes back wanting more......so Huck is putting another beat down on the poor sap.......what Mitt lacks in brains, he makes up for in persistence.

    September 18, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  11. diridi

    I told you, these republican idiots do not care about USA, nor health care...they are fighting for position...thats it...truth...

    September 18, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  12. S Callahan

    Health Care IS needed in America...the dialogue going on is what makes the friction.....is it reforming health care that exisit now, making it inclusive? Or is it risking for a plan that will care for all the population? The arguments have been so deep in muck and mud slinging that nothing is getting done while the poor, the marginal are being led to the slaughter. It does make one ponder if this is just political posturing from both sides....imaging to the public: that one is seeking health care, yet reality /perception is there is no way there is going to be health care. It lea ves one scratching their head saying ..Come Lord Jesus Come!

    September 18, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. NC

    It has started, they are attacking each other. Wait until they bring up Romney's religion.

    September 18, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. T'SAH from Virginia

    Wow – RomneyCARE – HUCK-A-CARE – PA-LENTY-CARE..... All of a sudden THEY-ALL-CARE about nothing!! What they should be focusing on is the current HEALTH-CARE in America and what needs to be done to improve it.

    Anyway, about time they even attempt to run for President we would already have a HEALTH-CARE Reform bill in place and operating without the But REPUBLI-CAN'Ts. So, WHO-CARES what they think!!

    September 18, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. wwf

    Now they are blasting one another, yet I have not read one health care plan put out by the GOP. At least Romneycare has a plan. What does Huck have? Unless praying to God counts as a health care plan.

    September 18, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  16. Hugo

    I use to agree with Huckabee regarding abortion, but now that our Nation is apparently being controlled by uneducated liberal idiots that favor killing their own offspring I am beginning to warm up to the idea. The Federal Government should fund Free Abortion clinics, they will be located immediately adjacent to all ACORN offices.....

    September 18, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  17. zap01

    The HC system Mass. WILL NOT work until the insurance reforms are in place.

    September 18, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    Any time government undertakes to protect people from the consequences of their own actions, it's going to be expensive.

    And, ultimately, it's not going to work either.

    September 18, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  19. notfooledbydistractions

    Oh goodie, more from the Hypocrits Summit.

    Isn't there a nice theocracy that old Gomer Huckabee could rule somewhere? Sorry bud, we don't want to regress, we want to move this country forward.

    September 18, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. MK in Arizona

    Huckabee is just jealous that Mitt has the intelligence to come up with a plan to improve our health care system and make everyone accountable for their own costs instead of passing it on to all the other tax payers! If you can afford to pay for your own health insurance then you should pay! I am tired of everyone wanting a hand out! Also why doesn't Huckabee mention that the Dems changed a lot of what Mitt wanted and those changes are what made the costs higher and how the abortions were covered. Those were not in Romney's original plan. Get your facts straight Mike!
    Romney 2012!!!!

    September 18, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. Walter

    You go, Huck!

    Real Americans don't need none of them know-it-all, elitist doctors anyway. The rest of America ought to be just as patriotic, independent, and backward as your home state of Arkansas.

    But I wonder what you would find if you compared health outcomes in Arkansas to those of Massachusetts?

    September 18, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. Jim

    All this name calling does not promote rational discussion of health care reform. I imagine some in the past said things like "Roosevelt socialism, "Truman care, "Johnson Medicare," "Hillarycare" and the like.

    Romney, probably an decent man, should announce his bipartisan support of Pres. Obama's goals for health care reform. That way we'd know there are at least some Republicans who put the country's needs ahead of their partisan agenda..

    September 18, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. peter

    I have nothing to say about Huckabee, except fat!

    September 18, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. Mississippi Mike

    Government run health care is lousy. Romney is a brilliant executive and even he couldn't put together a plan that would be as good as the private market. Obama isn't anywhere near the same level of business genius as Romney so whatever he comes up with will be much, much worse.

    September 18, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. Gilcher

    It looks like the Huckster could use a little Romneycare these days.

    September 18, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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