Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney said Sunday he believes President Barack Obama obscured the truth when he pledged citizens could keep their insurance plans if they liked it under his new health care law.
"He told people, 'You can keep the insurance you have, if you like it,'” Romney told Fox News' Chris Wallace. "That was not honest. That was deceptive."
The former Republican presidential nominee lacerated his 2012 rival for misleading the American public throughout the campaign and laying those unfulfilled promises at "the heart of the president's deception and dishonesty."
Since the rollout of the federal health exchange began on October 1, at least 4.7 million Americans have had their insurance policies canceled because they do not meet the minimum coverage requirements under the new law.
Romney, the architect of Massachusetts' health care plan, which the administration called the basis for the federal law, said the government should not be in the business of dictating what kind of coverage people need.
"I don't like the idea that the government tells people they have to have a gold plated healthcare policy," Romney said.
While Romney's health overhaul does also impose similarly rigorous minimum coverage requirements on the policies available to its consumers, the former governor vetoed the provision before being overridden by a heavily Democratic legislature.
Under intense pressure from Republicans and his own party, President Obama granted insurance companies a one-year exception that would allow the older policies - considered inadequate under the Affordable Care Act - to continue, leaving states to decide whether they would allow these plans to be sold to individuals and small businesses.
Asked by Wallace whether he thinks had Obama not repeatedly made this promise on the campaign trail, the 2012 presidential race would have ended with a Romney inauguration, the Bay State Republican kept the conversation firmly focused on the present.
"History is in the past, and I'm not going to worry about what could have happened," he said.