Romney clarifies Medicaid comments
December 16th, 2011
03:09 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney clarifies Medicaid comments

Greenville, South Carolina (CNN) - Mitt Romney quickly clarified comments he made regarding Medicaid Friday, saying he had in fact been familiar with the entitlement program in the early 1990s.

At a town hall in Sioux City, Romney told an audience he had once been unclear about the particulars of the program.

"You wonder what Medicaid is, those that are not in all this government stuff," he said. "I have to admit I didn't know all the differences between these things before I got into government. And then I got into it and understood that Medicaid is the health care program for the poor, by and large."

Romney first ran for Senate in 1994.

Later, on a campaign charter to South Carolina, Romney clarified to the press he had been exaggerating. He said even before he ran in 1994 he had worked with health care companies and was familiar with the industry.

"He didn't know the particulars and the ins and outs," said spokeswoman Andrea Saul. He knew the difference [between Medicare and Medicaid]."

Medicare is the health care assistance program for the elderly, while Medicaid is designed to help people with low incomes.

The Democratic National Committee sent around Romney's original comments and said the former governor was out of touch.

During his Iowa remarks, Romney told the audience he was concerned about the poor.

"I want to make sure we have safety net," he said, adding: "I'm not terribly concerned about the rich. The rich are doing fine."


Filed under: 2012 • Medicaid • Mitt Romney • South Carolina
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Clueless flip flopping arrogant little rich elitist brat, and Rove and the Kochs made him the chosen one.

    December 16, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    He knew all that he needed to know. He knew enough that it was something liberals were for and that conservatives should be against it.

    December 16, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. Maxx

    So Romney was lying once again.

    December 16, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I want to make sure we have safety net," he said, adding: "I'm not terribly concerned about the rich. The rich are doing fine."

    Well, la di da. Mitt CAN speak the truth occasionally. My "gut" tells me Mitt isn't terribly concerned about the poor, either, but that's just me ... no doubt others have their own opinions.

    What really caught me eye, though, is Romney's new "do". It kinda has a "windswept" look to it. Must be what impressed Mrs. Romney so in the previous Mitt Romney article (I know, I know, there have been so many of them today). I'm refering to the Hair Force One article specifically.

    December 16, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    What does it mean when a 40 year old man in the US does not know what Medicaid and Medicare are? Many people who reach that age have had at least one personal experience with one program or the other, most especially Medicare. Only those who have lived the elite lifestyles of the rich and famous their entire lives would be ignorant of such things.

    December 16, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. Woman In California

    The DNC will have to do a much better job of putting out Romney's lies. This guy is so unbelievable. I can't understand why anyone would want a president who doesn't know from day-to-day where he stands on ANY issue.

    Barack Obama (D) v. Mitt Romney ( ? )

    Welcome President Barack Obama to your second term.

    December 16, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Really? Not even when he was at Bain and they bought a $300M+ hospital system tha derived half of its revenue from gov't programs like Medicaid? Even then he had no clue about it?

    Mittens didn't "clarify" his Medicaid comments...he tried to fix them and smooth them over by muddying things up and blowing smoke. He doesn't deserve a free pass in your headlines.

    December 16, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    His words say he cares about the poor; his actions, not so much. I have yet to hear him identify any sacrifices for the wealthy to share along with the rest. I wonder why that is? Could it be that Flipper is a just a puppet for Karl Rove and the hidden elite that have corrupted our government and eoncomy?

    December 16, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. Rickster

    "The Associated Press-GfK poll found unpopularity for last year's health care reform bill, one of Obama's major accomplishments......support for it dipped to 29 percent from 36 percent in June. Just 15 percent said the federal government should have the power to require all Americans to buy health insurance."
    -------------------–
    Heckuva job, Barry.......your major accomplishment is supported by 29% of the people.

    December 16, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. state helicopter pilot

    One would think a businessman would know what taxes his company is paying. When he was gov we called it TAXACHUSSETTS

    December 16, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    Medicaid is a welfare program.........it has grown to a huge size.........and it is NOT paid for, by payroll taxes, like Medicare!

    December 16, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    >Many people who reach that age have had at least one personal experience with one program or the other, most especially Medicare

    Most working people have no idea what either one is about because 1) they work for a living and pay for their healthcare and 2) probably associate with other hard working people that also pay for their healthcare. Most people know Medicare is for the elderly and Medicaid is for somebody else, but not sure who. All too often the two are used interchangeably by people mistakenly.

    I suppose you think all Ameircans know about the hundreds of social welfare programs they pay for with their hard earned tax dollars but they don't. Just too many to keep track of. Always more being created, none ever disappear, just grow and grow.

    December 16, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Rickster, where did you get the poll? In one of the last polls, 50% want to keep or improve affordable health care, and 39% wanted it repealed. In its first 5 months, seniors have saved over $400 million. Heckuva job, Mr. President!

    December 16, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Medicaid is a welfare program.........it has grown to a huge size.........and it is NOT paid for, by payroll taxes, like Medicare!
    ================================================================================================
    States pay most of this I believe. Isn't this where the Dems want to drive most of the uninsured with Obamacare? The states will end up footing the bill which should do wonders for state tax rates and those states teetering on the verge of bankruptcy now, even without Obamacare.

    December 16, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Tax cuts for the wealthy, under Bush represent a huge welfare program. Those welfare for the rich cuts, like the tax breaks for big oil, only add to our national debt

    December 16, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Rick McDaniel

    Medicaid is a welfare program.........it has grown to a huge size.........and it is NOT paid for, by payroll taxes, like Medicare!
    ----------
    That's correct. It grown in cost because the cost of health care has far outpaced inflation. Health care costs have risen for a variety of reasons, including health care facilities having to pay for the care of people who have no insurance coverage.

    December 16, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Yeah, yeah. Say whatever to whomever and however to get elected, eh, Romney? At least all the other politicians on the planet inchoate as Romney when it comes to pandering for votes. Good luck with him, GOP.

    December 16, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit wrote:

    Really? Not even when he was at Bain and they bought a $300M+ hospital system tha derived half of its revenue from gov't programs like Medicaid? Even then he had no clue about it?
    ------------
    Good call. I guess that what happens when you do not look at anything but the bottom line.

    December 16, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    "Heckuva job, Barry.......your major accomplishment is supported by 29% of the people."

    Nice how you ignore the reasons behind those results. Many Americans don't like ACA because it didn't go far enough into things like single payer and the public option.

    December 16, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. 2EEs

    At least he's honest about it. I'd rather have a leader admit he has something to learn than one who thinks he knows it all.

    December 16, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  21. NVa Native

    The problem with the healthcare reform is that the GOP does a real good job spreading lies about what's in it. When you break it out and ask about what is actually in it people over whelming support it.
    As always is the case – the lies of the GOP are focused on destroying our President/country.

    December 16, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    >Nice how you ignore the reasons behind those results. Many Americans don't like ACA because it didn't go far enough into things like single payer and the public option

    Yes, that was about 10% of the people I believe. Which leaves 61% that don't like or want it. Those people will be voting next November, inspired one way or another by the Supreme Court rullng. Obama is going to take a real beating either way. It's going to be great.

    December 16, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. NVa Native

    These Repubs are always living off family money’s interest or doled out trust fund spending only enough to get by so they don't have to go out and get a job. Paying taxes at 15% is not paying your fair share, especially if you’re living like a leech. Repubs need to get a job and start paying their own way. These lazy red-necks are living off the hard work of all the hard working Democratic/Progressive people.

    December 16, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Health care costs have risen for a variety of reasons,
    ==========================================
    And the primary driving force is that there are huge pots of government money to pay for it. College too expensive? Big pots of government loans to be had there as well. Laws of supply and demand. If there is a supply of money, a demand for it will be created!

    December 16, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Health care costs have risen for a variety of reasons,
    ==========================================
    Oh, and don't forget the 50-100 BILLION in waste, fraud and abuse that is part of this wonderful government system.

    December 16, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
1 2