(CNN) – Republican and Democratic opponents alike have sought to align the health care reform laws of Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, but on the federal law’s two year anniversary, Romney penned an op-ed to argue he has nothing to do with “Obamacare.”
On the presidential campaign trail this year, Romney has repeatedly argued for repealing the Affordable Care Act, signed by Obama on March 23, 2010, and in the USA Today op-ed, wrote, “What we need is a free market, federalist approach to making quality, affordable health insurance available to every American.”
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The op-ed came as the president tied Romney and the health care law he signed as governor of Massachusetts to the national law.
“Well, I would have loved to have gotten it done quicker,” Obama said on the radio program “Marketplace,” “which is part of the reason why we designed a program that actually previously had support of Republicans - including the person who may end up being the Republican standard bearer and is now pretending like he came up with something different.”
Romney has this cycle described the Massachusetts as a state-appropriate and imperfect “experiment,” though in a 2009 CNN interview, he said “there are a number of features in the Massachusetts plan that could inform Washington on ways to improve health care for all Americans." He did explain that the Massachusetts plan insured people “without a government option,” though it did include a health insurance mandate, which some tea party Republicans find unappealing.
Romney argued for state-level reform in his op-ed, and outlined his limit for federal government intervention.
“President Obama's program is an unfolding disaster for the American economy, a budget-busting entitlement, and a dramatic new federal intrusion into our lives,” Romney wrote. “To the extent that we have any federal regulation, it should focus on helping markets work.”
The candidate did not address criticism of his state’s law, though he explained his plan for federal reform is very different from the current law. He favors a tax credit for individuals purchasing their own insurance, allowing insurance sales across state lines, limits to medical malpractice suits, coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions, and individual states determining how to tend to the uninsured.
Romney wrote his reforms “entail no new taxes, no massive diversions of funds away from Medicare, no tax discrimination, and no new bureaucracies.”
The United States Supreme Court is set to review the federal health care law in a series of oral arguments next week.