October 28th, 2009
04:30 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney: Massachusetts plan did not cut health care costs


WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is acknowleding that the health care plan he famously implemented as governor did nothing to address costs.

"We were unable to deal with - and didn't have any pretense we would somehow be able to change - health care costs in Massachusetts," Romney said in an interview with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta. "We still have a fee for service, a re-imbursement system here like every other state in America. That's the way Medicare and Medicaid are structured, that's the way the insurance industry is structured."

Romney said "Massachusetts is not the model" for reducing health care costs.

"We didn't deal with that here in Massachusetts, and frankly dealt with much more narrow issue - getting people insured that weren't insured and, and this is just as important, perhaps even more important, for those who are insured, making them understand that they will never lose their coverage," he said. "If you're in Massachusetts and you've got coverage and you lose your job youre always going to be covered.

Despite Romney's claim that he and his advisers never tried to change costs, The American Spectator pointed out Wednesday that he did boast about the plan's ability to lower costs when the legislation was being implented. In an April 2006 Wall Street Journal op-ed, Romney wrote: "Every uninsured citizen in Massachusetts will soon have affordable health insurance and the costs of health care will be reduced."


Filed under: Health care • Massachusetts • Mitt Romney
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Thank you for admitting Romney, that it is not as easy as it looks to get this Healthcare Reform right with all of the items that need to be addressed in the reform, ie cost.

    A comment on the signing of the Hate Crime Bill into law:

    Yes I would agree that it is a terrible shame that a law has to be put in place to keep people from doing what their HUMANITY should tell them is wrong. But there you have it, it is necessary because some people truly feel that beating up and/or killing a person of color, or someone who's gay simply because they are gay or of color is alright. People, we talk about Nazi Germany and their atrocities, our atrocities in this country were STILL OCCURRING in the same time period and thereafter vis-a-vis Blacks in the US. Evidently, that mentality HAS NOT died off as evidenced by the heinous, unprovoked killing of both of these young men and so many others.

    So while it is shameful that these laws have to be put into place, it is even more shameful that these types of hate crimes are still going on in the 21st century in the most advanced, industrialized, and CIVILIZED nation in the world. Where is our humanity?

    October 28, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    Wow, Flip Romney talking out of both sides of his mouth......now that's news.

    How can anyone take this pol seriously?

    October 28, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. Four and The Door

    And anyone that thinks ObamaCare will ever cut costs is on expensive drugs. Know for sure that what is being proposed is spending $900 billion for an increase in health care costs and no increase in quality. It compromises everything for full access. Oh yeah, and the administration's ability to point to at least one thing it accomplished.

    October 28, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  4. ran

    what the President and the real Democrats need to do is: pass by 51 vote a single payer non-profit universal health care plan now.

    Let the so call "blue dogs", Republicans and Lieberman explain their obstructionism when we all get affordable health care.

    single payer universal is the way to go. More money would go toward our health instead of the multimillion$ salaries/bonuses for executives or dividends for shareholders or for insurance companies' private jets.

    Our health should not be for profit.

    October 28, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  5. mark

    And obama says his bill will reign in costs...obama lies!

    October 28, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. Matthew

    He is correct that Massachusetts is a not the model unless you are looking for corrupt politicians and out of control government. If we know anything a new healthcare entitlement is going to double the costs. Unless you are a complete idiot government intervention never saves of money or increases quality of service.

    October 28, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  7. An Independent

    The MA plan did not have a public option that had the Government competing with the private insurers. If that plan was in place it could address the cost issue. The MA plan required people to buy health insurance, just like the version Sen. Snowe said she could support. The problem with the scenario is that nothing will be done to support competition and address cost.

    October 28, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. D. Tree

    Costs were not controlled, because Romney's plan did not include a competitive non-profit public option.

    The public insurance option is saves the most money, AND beings down the deficit.

    October 28, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  9. malclave

    Costs were not controlled because Massachusetts can't just print money to cover them.

    With the federal government able to print money without anything to back it, I'm sure Obamacare will be different.

    October 28, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  10. Kendall

    On the campaign trail Romney proudly boasted about universal healthcare in Mass. Now for obvious political posturing reasons he says it didn't cut health care cost. No one to blame but Mitt Romney. So will he admit he designed a flawed system?

    October 28, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  11. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Sounds like Romney is caught up in only telling half truths and is still twisting his story to his advantage which is wrong to play with American peoples lives.

    October 28, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. mjm

    Nobody in their right mind believes that a public option will lower health care costs.

    Two government options, Medicare and Medicaid, never lowered costs. In fact they increase the cost of health care for everyone else.

    Quit wasting our time with this public option fantasy and produce some real reform.

    October 28, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. Operation Replacement

    This state healthcare system was designed for only 200,000
    people. Now it serves three times as many! This only goes to prove
    that when something is free, everybody will want it and climb on board.

    October 28, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  14. Rocky

    Another case and reason why Romney is a nut case!

    October 28, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    He just wanted to make a fast buck on the sick and dying.

    October 28, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  16. LacrosseMom

    Healthcare is NOT easy, NOT CHEAP.......... IT IS THE MORAL THING TO DO!

    45, 000 Americans die every year because they lack healthcare and the Republicans....... do not care!

    THANK YOU CONGRESS for passing the HATE CRIME BILL! Atrocities are happening too often in what the GOP calls "a Christian Nation"..... its a shame that HATE is alive and well in our Nation!

    October 28, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  17. chenna_benna

    So...Romney was for his state health care reform before he was against it. Can we call in another flip flop?

    October 28, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  18. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    I don't like Romney but you have to give him props as of gov. He worked with Dems to get a plan that covered almost all residents in that state. Too bad 'national' Romney isn't so easy to work with.

    October 28, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  19. They call me "tater salad"

    It didn't cut Healthcare costs because it was a Republican plan!!!!...There....That was easy.

    October 28, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  20. m smith

    Romney is like a Ken doll. He will go which ever way the wind blows.

    October 28, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  21. DJ

    Slick Mitt always trying to have it both ways...first he brags in the primary how he such a genius with the MA health plan and now he says is it no good? Yeah this guy is a clown with no credibility. It costs money to insure people , it's not rocket scientists. Just because the GOP wants to tax your benefits as income or give you coupons won't make it any cheaper.

    October 28, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  22. Dick

    Spoken like a true politician. Since his health care plan failed to reduce medical costs, he now claims that it was never meant to reduce costs. Next he is going to claim that the Bush administration never intended to win the war in Iraq. They were just creating jobs to help the economy.

    October 28, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  23. Pragmatic

    Mitt gets a point for being honest and admitting he failed. He gets another point for being the first republican ever to admit that fixing the health care system is very difficult.

    OK – so what's his plan now? What's the solution? Stay the course? If health care reform fails, the GOP will own the problem – lock, stock & barrel!

    October 28, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  24. charlie in Maine

    That is beacause you did not include a public option. Live and learn and then vote Democrat.

    October 28, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  25. Otto

    The government must do one thing that will keep healthcare within a cost effective manner; they must get rid of those who found ways to cheat.

    How many people are there on Medicare and Medicare who are healthy, working and can afford to pay their fair way? I bet there are millions!

    Why are those people who are rich but sign over their wealth to family then jump unto to government programs? I stood in line for over half hour waiting on a woman who had several medicate prescriptions; while she chat and gave the pharmacist a hard time, only to find out she gets everything for free. I hard to pay $60 for mine and she were free while at the same time; I pay taxes, insurance and was late for work.

    We need to stamp out the corruption, weed out the thieves and have everyone pay the fair share. That's called honesty.

    October 28, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
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