Romney and Pawlenty both slam health care reform
March 23rd, 2011
09:09 AM ET
11 years ago

Romney and Pawlenty both slam health care reform

Washington (CNN)-Two probable GOP presidential contenders are blasting President Obama on the one-year anniversary of health care reform being signed into law. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are both out with new statements criticizing the president and offering up "if-I-were-president" solutions.

But for Romney, who pioneered statewide health care reform during his gubernatorial term in Massachusetts, the issue of health care has proved politically troublesome.

Pawlenty, who announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee in a Facebook note Monday, said Wednesday in a statement, "Obamacare takes our health care system in the wrong direction, failing to reduce costs and improve quality."

He slams the law, stating that he joined a lawsuit challenging it on the grounds that it is unconstitutional because it "infringes on individuals' and states' rights."

"If courts do not do so first, as President, I would support the immediate repeal of Obamacare and replace it with market-based health care reforms," Pawlenty declared.

Romney, who sought the GOP nomination for president in 2008, wouldn't wait for courts to act. In the National Review's multi-author conservative blog, The Corner, Romney said Tuesday, "If I were president, on Day One I would issue an executive order paving the way for Obamacare waivers to all 50 states."

Stating that the "ultimate goal" is to repeal the health care reform law, Romney continues, "But since an outright repeal would take time, an executive order is the first step in returning power to the states."

Romney has come under fire recently for shared similarities between the Massachusetts plan that he implemented and the year-old national health care law including an individual mandate that requires all residents, with some exceptions, to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. His critics include some fellow conservatives, including his peers in the 2012 presidential hopeful pack. President Obama also praised the plan, in a not-so-obvious political dig.

And Romney himself seemed to stage a pre-emptive rebuttal to likely criticism in the blog post by saying "Under our federalist system, the states are "laboratories of democracy." They should be free to experiment. By the way, what works in one state may not be the answer for another."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, also mulling a bid for the presidency, weighed in on the first anniversary of health care reform with a policy-focused explanation of where Democrats went wrong. In an e-mail sent to supporters Gingrich accused Democrats of passing the bill in a "sneaky underhanded way." Though he didn't offer his own if-I-were-president solution, he called on House Republicans to "attach the full repeal of Obamacare to the debt ceiling increase bill and pass it immediately" because "making Obamacare a central issue in the budget fight is the best way to force President Obama to confront our debt crisis head-on."

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll released Wednesday indicates that attitudes toward the national health care plan have remained unchanged over the past year. A little over one-third of Americans–37 percent–support the measure and almost six in ten oppose it. That's basically unchanged from last March, when 39 percent supported the law and 59 percent opposed the measure.

But CNN Polling Director Keating Holland says, "In 2010, about a quarter of the health care bill's opponents disliked the bill because it was not liberal enough - the same as today. That works out to 13 percent of all Americans who oppose the bill because it did not go far enough. Forty-three percent oppose it because it was too liberal."

Filed under: Health care • Mitt Romney • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Name Jeremy from Dallas

    Interesting. It is one year of these guys making noise without any substitute. They have majority in the house,let them show us the superior plan they talk about. Show us what you got,republicans.

    March 23, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. Emerson

    Tomorrows headline: "Pawlenty and Romney both slam President's decision to wear brown shoes with a blue suit."

    March 23, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  3. rusty155

    All you Republican want to do Is help the Big Insurance Company, you don't care about the American People. You have proven that In Wisconsin and the Republican budget cut, all you are doing Is hurting the poor and the middle class.

    March 23, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. trashcup

    Pawlenty and Romney don't care if you are insured or not – under their plans the uninsurable won't have health care – but as George Bush said, they have health care, they go to the emergency room. Pawlenty and Romney don't have to worry about health insurance because they have enough money to pay for it and are healthy enough to pass the underwriting.

    March 23, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  5. craig

    Before its over we will have no pension,social security,health care,jobs etc. The interesting thing is that we will still be paying for them. The way they do it is to raise the age until you die before you collect. Its all our fault they have told us so. They steal social security to pay for pork ,lower interest rates to sell packaged mortgages in a Ponzi scam , offshore jobs to get bonuses
    and make stockholders happy but they are faultless.

    March 23, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  6. Jon

    So Romney would repeal Obamacare... even though it's just a national version of *his own plan.*

    You guys are bloody stupid sometimes, you know that?

    March 23, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  7. Larry L

    Interesting that conservatives continue to trust the markets to provide health services without screwing the consumer. Surely they know of the situation in the financial markets, the housing industry, and the oil business.

    How well would free enterprise have worked if in 2008 the poor had invested their Social Security money in the financial market? Would we have bailed them out and returned their lost funds?

    The parallel with Social Security and health care is seen in funding. Could Social Security ever work if only the elderly in need of the pension contributed to the fund? Ant equation for health care insurance requires healthy people to pay premiums before they reach an age to require extensive levels of care.

    The very nature of business drives some people to exploit the consumer. Health care is far too complicated for consumers to drive the price and quality without government intervention. This isn't like buying a car – . What we should really hear when they talk of free enterprise is "huge lobby money is funding the Republican Party". Should anybody trust the insurance, pharmaceutical, and managed health care industries to do the right thing out of the goodness of their hearts?

    March 23, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. The Dude

    Romney is a raging hypocrite

    March 23, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. Not All Docs Play Golf

    Is there anything they don't slam?

    March 23, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. Enough!

    First of all, I am sick and tired of the health care reform being called "Obamacare". Enough with the slams. Grow-up! Second of all, for our family personally, the new law has been good. My husband and I both work, we have our health care through our employer and our rates actually went down and our coverage improved. I don't know who is being polled out there, but I for one believe that the new law is a great start to solving the health care crisis in the Country. There is room for improvement, but to scratch it and let it fall through the cracks and not be addressed by the greedy right would be a disservice to the American People.

    I do think the Dems should be more proactive and articulate in actually explaining to the average working American exactly what the benefits are. The only folks I hear complaining are the wealthy and those on the far right. Oh yea, that would one in the same.

    March 23, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. james Miller

    When it comes to slamming Obamacare, Romney is like the evangelical preacher caught in a raid on a house of prostitution with his pants down !!!!!!!! ---– Are you going to believe what I tell you, or your lying eyes ?!?!?!?!?

    March 23, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  12. Not All Docs Play Golf

    It's not "Obamacare." It's the Health Care and Education Affordability Act of 2010. And it's a good thing. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has done the nation a disservice in their attack on it, funded by the insurance industry. They could not care less about access to care of those with pre-existing illnesses. But I have to care, I see these people as patients every day, and I often have to write off charges because they lost insurance and have no options whatsoever. Anthem and Humana can turn them away, but I can't. Reform is badly needed.

    March 23, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  13. F

    These two hopeful contenders are nothing but only a laughing stock. At this age of new communication, you just only lay down what you will do differently, not bashing your opponent. These two seem to be old fashion contenders, and if they continue on this path, they will not reach anywhere. Time/things have changed and we all change with it!

    March 23, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  14. Rick McDaniel

    Romney has no room to talk, when the ObamaCare is tailored after his own state program.

    March 23, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. guest

    "and replace it with market-based health care reforms,"

    Market-based reforms is EXACTLY how we got into this mess.
    It must be nice to campaign on the "do more of nothing" platform. With I could apply for a job with that attitude...

    March 23, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. rs

    Mr. Romney, uh, sir?
    Say, I don't mean to tell you your business, but that state you ran back east?
    Yeah, Massachusetts?
    Yes, that one.
    You, ah like, created a universal health care law- Yes, pretty much like Obama's.
    It included the "all citizens must buy health insurance clause" that riles Republicans.
    Yeah, I know THAT was a Republican idea.
    Well, yeah, just wanted to remind you.
    By the way WE LIKE THAT LAW!
    We won't vote for you if you get rid of it.

    March 23, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  17. Richard

    Two losers who have a snowballs chance in hell to win the POTUS job. If Romney gets the nod, Mormon cult will be scrutinized for all its crazy ideas. One is, you can convert any dead relative or person you know to the Mormon religion, if that dead person want s to be converted or not. Don't take my word for it, read about it. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Just becausse the have a few million followers does not mean that they are not a cult. People should read the book of Mormon, its a good laugh!

    March 23, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. ConservaFascists/F.U.B.A.R.

    "Obamacare takes our health care system in the wrong direction, failing to reduce costs and improve quality." T-Paw

    And you want to replace it with market based healthcare reforms? If it were that simple stupid, that would be the law! I hear no substance coming from you T-Paw. That sounds like the same lame empty talking point all you fascists bring up. And I don't even want to hear Hypocrite Mitt's position on the matter.

    March 23, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. Martha in CF

    Romney is so full of himself. Both him and Pawlenty don't know what they stand for. They just say what they think will get them noticed.
    The new health care law was the likes of Governor Romney's-–he is slamming his own creation. How funny is that.....
    Pawlenty slashed health care to the needy when he was Governor of Minnesota.

    Politics.....and they wonder why more people don't pay attention to what is going on in the country.

    March 23, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
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