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. LacrosseMom(real one)

    LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!! Go tell them, President Obama!! And don't worry...... Romney will never....... ever....... get the Conservative Christian vote, they will sit out the elections of 2012 rather than vote for a Mormon!

    May 19, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. jeb

    Back to the showers again for Mitt. gotta scrub the fingerprints off again.

    May 19, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    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.
    ----––
    GREAT. Costs have risen 20 to 30% EACH YEAR over the last 4 years of Dubya's reign of error.

    May 19, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. LacrosseMom(real one)

    @ Four and the Door: First off...... you wish! President Obama will be easily reelected! Why? Because the GOP/Teas have LOST the Senior vote! Yeah..... with the Paul Ryan Plan to end Medicare as we know it, NO Senior Citizen in their right minds will vote for a Republican! Secondly, "Obamacare" is fine, the majority of Americans want it. Why? Because we all know what has happened to millions of Americans who either have no insurance or whose private insurance has denied them of needed medical care!

    May 19, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. Four and The Door

    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...
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    The rates have already increased:
    September 7, 2010:
    Aetna Inc., some BlueCross BlueShield plans and other smaller carriers have asked for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits required under the law, according to filings with state regulators.

    These and other insurers say Congress's landmark refashioning of U.S. health coverage, which passed in March after a brutal fight, is causing them to pass on more costs to consumers than Democrats predicted.

    May 19, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    @New report who wrote:
    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.
    -----------------------------–
    There is a difference between the cost of health care and the cost of health insurance. The two terms and concepts tend to get blurred and the phrases are used interchangeably. The health insurance industry predicted rising rates and tried fulfill the self-sefing prophecy by trying raise rates by 30-40-50% in some states. The actual cost of health care has remained fairly steady over the past year, but yet the cost of insurance has risen as the insurance industry promised.

    May 19, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. The Dude

    Mitt Romney was for the individual mandate before he was against being for anyone who takes a position being against being for it.

    May 19, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. New report

    @GI Joe
    Completely false. The last year under Bush (2008) it grew at 4.4%. Now that was on the low side (usually 5-6%) but still outpaced inflation so it also was not sustainable. Changes need to happen there is no doubt, but unfortunately the change that they passed is not what is needed and are accelerating the problem.

    May 19, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. Jake

    love it! yes, thank you Romney! done like a good ol' Democrat!

    May 19, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I guess that Romney didn't see the positive parts of the health care bill - no denial of coverage, letting young people hang onto their parents' plans until they are 26 (given the umeployment rate that is good) and no lifetime caps just to name a few. These are important steps.

    May 19, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. American

    Mitt can try to flip flop again all he wants, but the truth remains that he promoted his almost identical healthcare plan for the national level (including the mandate) as recently as the 2008 GOP presidential debates.

    Ahem, roll the tape please...

    May 19, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. Nicholas

    Are we not already on a "path that cannot be sustained?" I wish the American people would stop seeing the Government as the enemy. It is not an "us vs. them" situation. The government, whether you believe it or not, is not intentionally driving itself into the gutter. Have some faith. Health care reform is just one of the many steps required to bring about a system(society) that is sustainable. You cannot focus on one aspect of a system and argue that it will not work. You are essentially focusing at a cars tires and saying "but it cannot possibly move, we must make the tires self propelled!" That is not how a car moves, nor is health care how a community works. Health care reform is merely a starting point in a long series of neccessary reform. The intent of this healthcare reform is to make responsible adults out of common citizens, and in turn provide funds for the goverment to continue to operate and evolve. It is an expensive uphill battle, but the money has to come from somewhere, if not from our citizens, then where?

    May 19, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    @Four and The Door who wrote:
    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.
    -------------–
    You have seen the light of reason! The poor craftsmanship was by design. The major design flaw was going far enough with the individual mandate. LIke you say, I would like a mandate because I am tired of paying for those who freeload off the system when they don't pay their fair share, which raises rates for those of us who do pay.

    We can also spend a couple of billion on an agency to recoup some of the tens of billions in health care fraud. This applies to both public programs like Medicare/Medicad and providing meaningful legislation to punish those who rip off private insurance. There is a lot of insurance fraud out there. A WHOLE lot.

    May 19, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. New report

    @ Rudy NYC
    They are different. But the health care costs are what the insurance companies have to pay. The more they have to pay, the more they have to charge us to make those payments. It is basic economics. If they are arbitrarily raising their rates, then why are their profit margins not higher? You can easily see their profit margins on CNN Money. On the high end we see 7% for insurers and the low around 3%.

    May 19, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  15. Luke

    This is the reason why I will never vote for Mitt. He's nothing but a backstabbing RINO. We'll be practically conceding if he wins the nomination. Romney needs to quit now and admit he's a democRAT. If he wins the nomination I will be voting independent.

    May 19, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  16. john

    I had thought the problem would be that Romney would be trying to hog all the credit for the Mass health care law. Little did I know, and little did Romney himself know, how this issue would play out.

    May 19, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. Trading tax for jobs creating 9% unemployment gas price $4 and deficit $1.7 trillion

    Good job president

    Actually republicans health care reform similar to Obama’s health care reform but they won’t accept

    May 19, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    @Four and the Door wrote:
    These and other insurers say Congress's landmark refashioning of U.S. health coverage, which passed in March after a brutal fight, is causing them to pass on more costs to consumers than Democrats predicted.
    ----------------------–
    The cost is higher because the coverage is broader. There is less stuff the insurance companies can point to and claim, Oh, we do not cover that." Yes, cost is higher because the coverage is broader and they are not allowed to drop people. I do not mind paying an extra few percent if it means the comfort of knowing I will not be dropped should I fall gravely ill.

    May 19, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. Bill

    Romney was for health care reform before he was against it. Now he's against it before he was for it. Duh ... any here confused? Only Romney. So much for Teapublican logic and politics.

    May 19, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    American taxpayers spend $92 billion in medical research and to deny all Americans healthcare is stealing their money while denying them while those who can afford health care receive the benefits.

    May 19, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. Dave

    On the surface the plans look similar: try to get more people covered by insurance. However, when you look at the plans they are very different. Romney's plan was bipartisan, Obama's was not. Romney sought a private sector solution to the problem, Obama wanted the government to oversee insurance. Watch Romney's speech at the university of Michigan and you will see a number of other differences. Go Romney in 2012!

    May 19, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  22. Dave

    If Obamacare is so great, why do 57% of the people in the nation oppose it.

    May 19, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. LacrosseMom(real one)

    @ New report: You better do some research, no way did the U.S. economy grow 4.4% in 2008! Nope! Google it! Reuters reported that the U.S. economy grew a mere.......... 2,6%

    May 19, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. Captain Awesome

    How petty. I thought POTUS was above snide remarks like that. Obama keeps 'thanking' Mitt Romney to make himself feel good about, well, himself. Spare us the phony praise, Mr. President and focus on your less than exemplary record:
    Health Insurance – still high
    Gas Prices – higher
    Food Prices – higher
    Unemployment – 1 percentage point drop in 2.5 years
    Guantanamo Bay – Still open for business
    Afghanistan – sent additional 30,000 troops
    Iraq – we're still there
    deficit and national debt – still there and growing

    Where's the change?

    May 19, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. GI Joe

    New report

    @GI Joe
    Completely false. The last year under Bush (2008) it grew at 4.4%. Now that was on the low side (usually 5-6%) but still outpaced inflation so it also was not sustainable. Changes need to happen there is no doubt, but unfortunately the change that they passed is not what is needed and are accelerating the problem.

    -----------–
    LIE - my Aetna went up 20% in 2008. Not sick, no claims, just increases. Don't make things up. You must be watching/attending the Beck University of Propaganda.

    May 19, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
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