Obama 'thanks' Romney (again) for his role in passing health care reform
May 19th, 2011
11:27 AM ET
3 years ago

Obama 'thanks' Romney (again) for his role in passing health care reform

(CNN) - President Obama again praised a potential 2012 presidential rival Wednesday night, though his kind words likely went unappreciated by their intended target.

"Yes, we passed health care with an assist from a former Massachusetts governor," Obama said at a Democratic National Committee fundraising event in Boston.

"Great idea," he added to applause and laughter from the room full of supporters.

Obama was of course referring to his health care reform law, passed and signed last year, that he has repeatedly - and probably at time facetiously - said was modeled on the landmark 2006 health care reform law signed into law in Massachusetts by then-Governor Mitch Romney.

The similarities between the Massachusetts law and the federal law have become a major sticking point for the probable 2012 contender. As he tests the waters for a presidential run, Romney continues to face questions from conservatives who deride a provision in the both the Massachusetts and federal health care laws that requires people to buy medical insurance or pay a tax penalty.

Opponents say such an individual mandate is overreaching and even unconstitutional.

But during a speech in Ann Arbor, Michigan last week, Romney said that denouncing the provision "wouldn't be honest," and that he did what was "was right for the people of our state."

In February, Obama offered similar praise for the former governor:

"I agree with Mitt Romney, who recently said he's proud of what he accomplished on health care in Massachusetts and supports giving states the power to determine their own health care solutions. He's right," Obama said.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. JEBUW

    Oh, I just love it. The problem for Romney is that his base is uneducated and generally uninformed. Even though this is pure politics from Obama, the right wing base won't be able to see through it, and with Romney being what I think the most forminable opponent for Obama right now, this is just a solid political play. Go job Mr. President.

    May 19, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. Bob R

    If Romney is not smart enough to untangel himselft from RomneyCare and use it to his advantage, he is not smart enough to be President. Hint: RomneyCare was a great experiment 15 years ago. Today we understand reasons why it is failing. Unfortunately, Obama and Dems do not understand that it is failing and copied it like your fifth grade homework. It is time to scrap ObamaCare and start again which ideas that have a better change of success.

    May 19, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. Frank

    End Obamacare NOW!

    May 19, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. Roscoe

    Maybe Mitt can run as Obama's VP in 2012.

    May 19, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. lucerot

    Hilarious! If the GOP can't come up with an electable Presidential candidate soon, this election season is going to be a circus.

    May 19, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  6. Four and The Door

    Personally I don't mind a provision mandating health care insurance. That's not the problem with ObamaCare. The problem with ObamaCare is that it was so poorly crafted it will do nothing to lower the cost of health care in America and nothing to improve the quality. In fact, it increases the cost and decreases the quality of health care, everything compromised with a single focus on access. It was a shoot-from-the-hip approach with more effort in throwing favors around to get support from special interest groups and hold-out Democratic Senators. We can do much better.

    May 19, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "I agree with Mitt Romney, who recently said he's proud of what he accomplished on health care in Massachusetts and supports giving states the power to determine their own health care solutions. He's right," Obama said.
    -------------------------------------------------–
    President Obama proving once again that you don't have to lie when confronting a possible opponent.
    Kill them with kindness or kill them with the TRUTH; the latter being the most effective pesticide against Rethugs.

    May 19, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Once you pull Gov. Romney's weed out of the GOTP field, who or what is left?
    Pawlenty, nah.
    Daniels, nah.
    Paul, argh.
    Bachman, whoa.
    Palin, double whoa.
    Jindal, he's busy.
    Perry, he's crazy.
    Christe, he's busy ____ing ( I'll let you fill in the blank-ing, thank-you.)
    Who's left? "Isn't there anyone out there who can challenge me?"

    May 19, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Bob R:
    Unfortunately, Obama and Dems do not understand that it is failing and copied it like your fifth grade homework.
    -------------------------------------------------–
    Really? You think they copied it WITH the wrong answers, or maybe they've been looking into this for quite sometime and took the best elements and incorporated others to make it their own and go NATIONAL?
    I'm asking here.

    May 19, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. Bill

    The hapless Romney continues to provide fodder for the 2012 relection campaign. He will never be able to get this monkey off his back and Obama will win in the general. Not to mention that the entire GOP field makes the Keystone Kops look like an organized and disciplined group.

    May 19, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. ConservaFASCISTS

    You can't run away from your main accomplishment Mitt. You're such a coward and that's the last thing we need in the White House is a COWARD.

    May 19, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. thomas

    Thanks Mitt !
    I'm sorry your own party doesn't recognize your contribution towards constructive CHANGE !
    It's so sad that peer pressure to obstruct good ideas has taken over the GOP .

    It will take a very strong GOP candidate to herd DINOSAURS , unfortunately thats not you !

    May 19, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. OpenEyes

    Obamacare and Romneycare are practacly Identical!! It's simply hilarious to see Romney run away screaming like a sissy from his own Idea and policy. What a fraud!

    May 19, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    @Bob R

    If Romney is not smart enough to untangel himselft from RomneyCare and use it to his advantage, he is not smart enough to be President. Hint: RomneyCare was a great experiment 15 years ago. Today we understand reasons why it is failing. Unfortunately, Obama and Dems do not understand that it is failing and copied it like your fifth grade homework. It is time to scrap ObamaCare and start again which ideas that have a better change of success.
    ----------------
    You need a fact check. It was passed far less than 15 years ago, try 2006. It covers all children under age 18, and 99% of all residents. It is over budget by 1% this year because of increased costs of care. It works because of the mandate.

    The law was copied becauseo of its' success and the fact that it was a Republican policy that had been pushed since the mid-1990s (your 15 years that you cited.) which is why Newt tried to distance himself and embrace it at the same time.

    May 19, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Bob R: It is time to scrap ObamaCare and start again which ideas that have a better change of success.

    Feel free to share any ideals you might have which will stand a better chance of success ... preferably with out the right wing talking points rhetoric. BTW, is RomneyCare actually failing? To the contrary, Romney himself has yet to state that RomneyCare is failing. Which seems to be his biggest dilemma ... it actually IS working.

    May 19, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. Ohio man

    @Four and The Door
    .. Once again you say things that dont make any sence without any proff.. how can you say what it will increase if it does take affect until i believe 2014... only thing that really has kicked in was that you can leave your child / children on ur plan.. i think you just make stuff up that sounds good to u and then run to the top of the hill screaming Fire Fire .. you sure you not a Palin... oh thats right she was Two and The Door ..lol

    May 19, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  17. NJfinest2009

    Mittens Romney distances himself from Mittnens Romney, Man up! did you pass Romney care or what? what is he so scared of this Mit Guy? is he ashamed of his accomplishments.

    May 19, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  18. fayse

    @Bob R, you sir, do not know what you are talking about. My niece lives in Mass. and as a self employed business person, she was finally able to purchase Health care at an affordable price. Prior to the "Romney care" when she was sick or even had to have emergency surgery, she had to pay for her care out of her own pocket. She is very happy with the Health care reform.

    May 19, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. New report

    A new report by PwC's Health Research Institute shows that healthcare costs are going to go up 8 and 8.5% over the next 2 years respectively. According to the report, one of the driving factors of this increase is the new healthcare law. We need reform that controls costs and unfortunately this was not in Obama's plan. Health insurance providers run very low profit margins. This means that costs are high for them so they are high for us. There were some good points about the health reform, but the failure to address the issues that drive up costs and the creation of a system adds to the higher costs can be seen as a failure. Even groups like the Mayo Clinic who originally supported the reform have recently come out and said it is unworkable. There is no reason why ideas from this bill cannot be used in the future, but it does need to be replaced because overall it is taking us down a path that cannot be sustained.

    May 19, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    @ Four and the Door...
    at the rate things are going you might have to change your handle to Four MORE and the Door. But look at it this way just like FoxNews they'll get 4 more years to bash a Democrat.

    May 19, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. ClosetIguana

    Obama is in campaign mode and why not, the Republican candidates are too.

    May 19, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. Johnathan

    The GOP litmus test now is: Your either want to abolish Medicare as we know it (vouchers – what a joke!) or you will be trashed by the GOP

    I'd consider Romney if he said he was proud of his plan rather than run away from it just to sell out to the ignorant GOP masses who just can't get enough of voting against their own self interest. Outside of the 1%'ers (richest in the land) who literally write the laws that benefit them and no one else, through their "purchase" of GOP politicians, what working stiff would continuously vote against their own self interest? An ignorant one!

    May 19, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  23. annie s

    Bob R, it may been an experiment 15 years ago somewhere, but surely not in Massachusetts – where it was passed in 2006. And its quite successful – only 1% over budget this year due to rising costs.

    May 19, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. Republican Robber Baron

    Obama's Healthcare plan indeed is modeled after the Republican mandate model used by Romney. Other Republicans when they are being honest (NEWT) will admit this is the plan that makes the most sense. Basically it is like auto insurance where we all need it...but we need regulation to make it as fair as possible.

    Obama's plan is not even remotely close to radical, leftist or other slogans used by the righties. In fact it is too moderate and not liberal enough. The facts matter, unlike what Fox and Friends tries to blather 24/7.

    May 19, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. HAD ENOUGH? 9% unemployment, $4-5/gal gas, $1.7 TRILLION deficits, $14 TRILLION debt, Obamacare

    It doesn't matter that Romney messed up Massachusetts (along with the help of all the Democrats that control the state). At this point, he realizes his screw up and promises to repeal the Obamacare disaster (already thousands of companies and unions getting waivers for nearly 3 million people to be excluded).

    Romney just needs to keep hammering home the statement that he will repeal Obamacare and replace it with TRUE Healthcare reform, not some massive new government healthcare entitlement program we can't afford.

    May 19, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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