On The View, Romney confronts health care issue
February 1st, 2011
12:22 PM ET
12 years ago

On The View, Romney confronts health care issue

Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney made clear Tuesday he has an answer to critics who say the health care plan he enacted as governor of Massachusetts inspired the national law so fiercely opposed by Republicans.

In an interview on The View, Romney said his plan for Massachusetts – which like the national one mandates coverage – was never designed to be applied to other states.

"We addressed a problem in Massachusetts that was designed to solve problems for the people of Massachusetts," Romney during his appearance on the daytime talk show Tuesday. "But it is wrong and unconstitutional to take what is designed for one state and say we are going to apply that in every state."

"What we did will not work in Texas, will not work in California," the likely presidential candidate continued. "It is designed for the people of one state."

It's not the first time Romney has confronted the question of how he can square his fervent opposition to President Obama's health care plan when it bears striking similarities to the one he helped enact, but it is one the former presidential candidate will likely face again and again if he launches a presidential bid.

The comments come a day after top Obama aide David Axelrod needled Romney over the Massachusetts measure, saying, "We got some good ideas from him."

Meanwhile, Romney refused to say whether he had made a final decision about running for president but said his wife Ann is "full steam ahead" when it comes to the issue.

Filed under: 2012 • Healthcare • Mitt Romney
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Patchw3rk

    So is his point that the individual mandate is Consitutional in Massachusetts, but somehow becomes unconstitutional when applied to other states?

    February 1, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "But it is wrong and unconstitutional to take what is designed for one state and say we are going to apply that in every state."

    Apparently logic isn't high on the list of Romney accomplishments . . .

    February 1, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. Nick , California

    Funny he was for it before he was against it! "This only works for us" crap is just another SNL skit in the making! Why is the model good enough for MA but not for any other state? This guy is a piece of work.. he's been gearing up for 2012 stockpiling all his money and political ammunition.. just a game!

    February 1, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. Bessy

    What a jerk ! He is just trying to appease the Republicans and the lobbies.

    February 1, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. James

    So it is okay to mandate coverage in just his state and not the others? I thought part of the argument was it is unconstitutional to mandate any U.S. citizen to buy insurance?

    February 1, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The laws in all States mandate you must have auto insurance and Romney feels the same way about people. There are probably millions of people driving who have auto insurance but no health insurance and there is always the risk of having an accident.

    February 1, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. wsome001

    He is making a point that I WISH the rest of government could understand.

    There is NO policy on earth that can be successfully applied to 350 million people. There is too much diverse need, to much variation in circumstance, too much differing wants.

    The answer is obvious. Most programs need to stay limited to a local region. State sovereignty is HUGELY important, because it allows people to live the way they feel is best for their area and demographics. Romney is saying that his health bill is appropriate and fine for his state, according to the voters, but not necessarily fine for other states.

    That's why it should not be a FED program – it should be state-to-state.

    February 1, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. Palin: Like Coulter ... Minus the Manparts

    Nice try, Mittens, but you have thoroughly convinced me you know nothing more than how to switch your position in the moment to suit the question at hand, you master, flip-floppin' fraud.

    February 1, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Observer

    "It is designed for the people of one state."

    Sounds just like a Palin statement.

    February 1, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Lauren

    A state can makes mandates upon its citizens. States mandate schooling for children, auto insurance, etc. It is unconstitutional for the federal government to make a similar mandate on the entire country.

    February 1, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. ThatOne

    Just can't fathom how it's constitutional to mandate US citizens to protect their vehicle with Liability insurance coverage but UNconstitutional to do the same to protect their health (in turn their livelihood and the survival of their family) by aquiring HEALTH coverage.

    February 1, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. Republicans = Fascists

    Mitt The Hypocrite is a suiting title. So what's constitutional for Massachusetts is not constitutional for the country. Is that what you're saying Hypocrite?

    February 1, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. al in memphis

    Nice Mitty– So emergency room is good in one state and not in another. How about license doctors? Or indoor hospitals? Here's one - Real medicine versus pacebos?

    Here is the shame of our political system. Politician are more concern about appealing to the every special interest and popular opinion than doing what is best for the long term stability of the people. Voters please make this about something other than how well a person can be critical of the current government - demand solutions and someone who will stand up to special interest and sometime even us.

    February 1, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. Dave T

    Sounds like Romney is doing some backpeddling and thinking about his future in the GOP. For him to say what applies to MA isn't appropriate for the rest of the country makes no sense. The truth is while the health care debates were going on, Romney and the rest of the republicans were only interesting in seeing Obama fail and had no interest in doing anything constructive to fix our healthcare system. I've worked in the healthcare field for almost 30 years and Romney is one of the only republicans who has ever attempted to do anything positive to address problems.

    February 1, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    What we did will not work in Texas, will not work in California,"
    Really, Mittens? Why won't it work in another state? Are there not sick people in other states? Are there not children under the age of 26 that can stay under their parent's coverage in another state? Are there no people with pre-existing conditions being turned down by insurance companies in another state?

    Explain why it won't work in another state.....if you can.

    Additionally, I always thought that Mormoms were all-embracing, peaceful, loving people that abhorred lying and the public unfair lynching of their fellow man. The Mormoms I've met in my lifetime were not duplicitous twerps like you with delusions of grandeur and mysticall connections to their underwear.

    February 1, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. CaliforniaBC

    ""But it is wrong and unconstitutional to take what is designed for one state and say we are going to apply that in every state.""

    WHAT?!?!? So now Romney thinks states' constitutions supersede the US Constitution?? It's okay for the states to pass "unconstitutional" laws BUT not the national government??

    This comment makes NO sense whatsoever.

    February 1, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. Sgt Schultz

    What does he care? With all his mansions using illegal aliens called "contractors" of course to cover his tracks to work on the landscaping and chateau cleansing...the elitists like Slick Mitt could care less about affordable healthcare.

    February 1, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. al in memphis

    wsome001 did you forget about air, water, and food.
    Really, 50 states with 50 different health care programs. I can see companies and job moving all over the place. How about a state with 30% unemployment next to one with 5% because of a better health care system.
    Maybe the current healthcare rule is not the best answer, but we got to have better excuses when it comes to opposing it.

    February 1, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Furthermore....if it is unconstitutional anywhere in the country, it holds true that it is also unconstitutional in Massachussetts.
    How did you manage to "violate" the Constitution and not be hauled into court like they are trying to do with our President?
    Oh I forgot, just like Bush and his Patriot Act (totally unconstitutional), if it's done by a White it must be Right.
    My bad.

    February 1, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  20. Pretzel Logic

    Don't know what is going to be more fun. Watching Sarah Palin fumble her way through the election campaign or watching Mitt's ideological yoga as he tries to bend and stretch and try to get away from every thing he is ("I'm just like you except with millions and millions of dollars") or has done ("My healthcare plan worked great but the same one won't work at all"). He's an empty suit.

    February 1, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. Ross

    I really thought he might be a god candidate when I first saw him years ago. But he has flip-flopped so many times just to placate whoever he is talking to at the moment – he now disgusts me.

    Truly he is a man that will stop at nothing to get elected. he has no morals or dignity.

    February 1, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. patNY

    Mitt's explanaion makes as much sense as his wacko religioun.

    February 1, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. MPeters

    This is a silly and stupid 10th Amendment argument. The Supreme Court has stated in SEVERAL Decisions that the States are to be labratories of innovation. The government took one of those experiments (because it worked best, imagine that) and modelled a Government Program on it.

    If its not Constitutional for the Federal Government to mandate insurance, then it would necessarily, by logic, violate the Federal Constitution for any state, which the Federal Constitution is made applicable to by the 14th Amendment, to require any citizen to buy insurance.

    IN FACT, it is not unconstitutional at all, because the Constitution gives A) the Power to Regulate Commerce between the States–which PPACA does–and B) the Power to Tax, which is where the Mandate is grounded. If you don't buy insurance, you pay a tax to make up for your usage of public services that benefit society (read: Hospitals). Because god knows, the first place someone is going if they get in a car accident without insurance is to a public hospital....where they will get life-saving care, with or without insurance or the wherewithal to pay for such services.

    That is where the fundamental argument against the PPACA falls apart. Nobody is forcing you to buy something you don't want. We are forcing you to pay–upfront–for those costs that you will inevitably use in case of an emergency.

    Take this as an analogy. You have insurance, and you have 20,000 in savings, and 50,000 in a private health savings account. You lose your job due to a recession and are pink slipped. You lose your insurance, and are unable to afford the monthly premium for health insurance on the open market. You get into a terrible car accident, and are rendered unconscious. Paramedics show up, take you to the hospital where your life is eventually saved. You are in the hospital for 13 days, at a cost of $100,000 a day. You now owe $1.3M dollars in health care costs. Your savings accounts cover $70,000 of the cost, leaving $1.23M in unpaid medical expenses. Who pays for that $1.23M in cost? Either the tax-payers eat it in the overhead cost of running the hospital, or the hospital charges the insurance companies more money for other services in order to make up the lost costs of your unfortunate accident. The Insurance Companies pass on those costs in higher premiums to their costumers–those responsible and who have health insurance. Unfortujnately that happens far too often in this country.

    Having a Mandate protects against those circumstances. It's not forcing someone to buy anything, its forcing someone to pay for a public service that benefits society as a whole. You pay taxes to use our country's roads, you pay to have this country's military protect you, and you should pay when this country's doctors and medical professionals at publicly-run hospitals takes care of you. The other option you have is to have every hospital either get every cent of cost upfront (hard to do from an unconscious person), or to only treat those people with insurance (currently against federal law, AND pretty much an immoral practice our entire society has agreed is immoral). Your choice. But, if you chose the latter, I SINCERELY hope that you will always have insurance...otherwise you are gonna be left on the side of that road, unconscious and left to die.

    February 1, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  24. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    OOOOOH, I get it! He could enact it for Massachusetts and it is fine, there, to force people to have health insurance. Just not in the other 49 states! I get it! Hypocrisy must be given its due!

    February 1, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. patNY

    I believe this is what he is saying:
    Congressional Power is limited to the enumerated powers granted it in the US Constitution, which does not include authority to force individuals to purchase a particular item.
    However, the State Legislatures are not limited in the same manner, and thus, have the authority to pass State Mandated Health Insurance laws.
    BUT...Romney is also on record for calling this kind of Obamacare as Socialized Medicine and the beginning of Government Run Health Care...as if that's a bad thing...so, how he can criticize the general policy of Obamacare while justifying RomneyCare?

    February 1, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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