Obama says Romney's 'pretending'
March 22nd, 2012
11:28 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama says Romney's 'pretending'

(CNN) - Mitt Romney is "pretending" the health care plan he instituted in Massachusetts is different than the national plan, President Barack Obama said.

In an interview with Public Radio International that aired Thursday, Obama pointed to the similarities between the two plans, without mentioning the Republican frontrunner by name.

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"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," the president said.

The Massachusetts plan served as a model for the Affordable Care Act, signed two years ago Friday. Romney, the state's former governor, has since said the legislation was the correct course for his state but not meant as a model for a national overhaul. But the plan has proved a focal point of criticism aimed at the GOP frontrunner.

In Thursday's interview, Obama said Republican opposition to the plan, including the Supreme Court challenge, is politically motivated.

He said state governors will have a difficult time explaining resistance to the law to their constituents.

"When people see that in fact it works, it makes sense – as it's, by the way, working in Massachusetts – then I think a whole bunch of folks will say 'Why aren't we trying it as well?'" Obama said.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments next week over the individual mandate provision in the law. In their opposition to the legislation, some Republican governors have refused to implement the terms until the Supreme Court rules.

Responding to the president's comments, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul reaffirmed her candidate's plan to repeal "Obamacare ... on day one."

"Mitt Romney has always believed each state should be able to fashion their own health care reforms and, as president, he would replace Obamacare with free-market reforms that promote competition and lower health care costs," Saul said in an email.

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Filed under: 2012 • Health care • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (265 Responses)
  1. Logic N LA

    Thanks but No Thanks- you hit the nail on the head about conservatives. I laugh at my conservative friends that complain about the plan because the louder the critic, the better government healthcare policy they have.
    Are ther flws in the law as it exists? Yes. So fix them and move on. Who can honestly say it is wrong to offer affordable healthcare to everyone in the country?

    March 22, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  2. Pete

    Romney won't repeal Pres.Obamas ACA on day one,because for that egotistical republican there won't be a republican president.He likes to take credit for a lot of things,knowing NASCAR owners,knowing NFL pro team owners,knows a lot of 1% ers,wow I'm impressed.Nice stuff for a resume,but not on capital hill..Unless your Bush,the idol of all republicans,a person that can destroy a country with his stupidity.Republican hypocrites forget the carnage left behind after that MORON left office.So don't cry about something Pres.Obamas doing for everyone,not the 1% ers Romney would accomedate.Presidents ACA is for the people who actually need good health coverage much like the Senators and House Reps recieve for FREE.So all you republicans out there,if ya don't like the ACA, call your republican Senator and Rep and tell them to try buying their own insurance like we do.I doubt they'll try it,they like their coverage,it works and its proven....

    March 22, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  3. Kenny

    Yeah, because Obama's doing such a great job as president. Maybe he should worry less about his upcoming rival and more about actually being President of the USA. How's the economy doing again? How's unemployment? How's your approval rating? Ohh, that's right. They're all in the dumps.

    March 22, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  4. chris

    quite simply it is different. one was for a state. and the other for a whole country. what is good for one state isn't necessarily good for another. look at bankrupt california for a good template on how not to run a state.

    March 22, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  5. usualone

    Not everyone gets their paycheck garnished. Some who seek health care at the hospital do not have any jobs. That is why they seek regular care at the hospitals. Then there are people who don't pay their individual doctors for expenses they incurred. Those costs are passed on to paying customers which certainly adds to our expenditures. And one has to ask why we pay 1/10th what Canadians pay for the same medications.

    March 22, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  6. Just Too Funny

    What is just so funny, in fact, hysterically funny, is the fact that once Mitt Romney clinches the Republican nomination all of those far right Republicans who would not have supported Mormomism or stood behind a Mormon will now more than gladly Support and stand BEHIND him! Isn't that just too funny or what! Not that they HAVE to support him but they will, Mormomism and all. In their staunch support for him as the nominee they will literally Have to stand for Romney's Mormon ideals as he espouses them and all they stand for even though they may be evangelical Christians, and seeing that these conservatives are just about to do that, having swallowed it hook, line, and sinker is what just cracks me up to no end!!

    March 22, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  7. Whome

    Does this guy ever do anything but blame and criticize what happen to civility he is always talking about?

    March 22, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  8. Debby

    Well it is totally different as the people of Mass. voted the insurance plan in vs. Obama just dictating his.

    March 22, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  9. foolindeed1

    Democrats should use the flip-flopping compain ad that Repubs used agains John Kerry while showing him surfing:
    BOSTON, April 4, 2006
    "We insist that everybody who drives a car has insurance," Gov. Romney said in an interview. "And cars are a lot less expensive than people."

    New Hampshire, 2012
    "I would repeal Obamacare, if I were ever in a position to do so," Mitt Romney said.

    March 22, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  10. John Tarver

    This is the best plan for Obama, just claim "Romney is just like me."

    March 22, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  11. Ralph N

    This is unbelieveable…For Obama to suggest even slightly that Romney's health care plan is hardly different from Obamacare is in itself a subtle admission by Obama himself that his own health care reform is not only unpopular but seriously flawed and hardly a standard to be proud of. I mean this guy isn’t very bright.

    March 22, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  12. Tyler Durden

    Health care, like food (food stamps) clothing (goodwill) and shelter (homeless shelter) should be part of the social safety net and I will gladly pay a larger proportion in taxes so that my fellow human beings and fellow Americans can have access to it. If you disagree, please look closely and see if you have a heart and a soul.
    Funny that Romney stated he was not concerned about the poor and yet Mass has universal health care. WHo IS this guy? He doesn't know himself, does he?

    March 22, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  13. Gary Goodwin

    Romney is simply a LIAR !!!

    March 22, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  14. strangerq

    By the way: Romney is also a flip flopper on high gas prices – which he was for, until it became useful to start blaming them on the President.

    Here is more on Willard's latest hypocrisy:

    , Governor Romney responded to price spikes by describing them as the natural result of global market pressures and by calling for increases in fuel efficiency - the same approach that he now derides Obama for taking as president.

    At moments, Romney went so far as to make high gas prices out to be a welcome reality for the foreseeable future, one that people needed to learn to live with. When lieutenant governor Kerry Healey, a fellow Republican, called for suspending the state's 23.5 cent gas tax during a price spike in May 2006, Romney rejected the idea, saying it would only further drive up gasoline consumption.

    * "I don't think that now is the time, and I'm not sure there will be the right time, for us to encourage the use of more gasoline," Romney said, according to the Quincy Patriot Ledger's report at the time. "I'm very much in favor of people recognizing that these high gasoline prices are probably here to stay."*

    I'm not exaggerating in saying the Romney may be the biggest hypocrite i've ever seen in politics.

    March 22, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  15. fernace

    Romneycare is the prototype for Obamacare & Mitt needs to own up! Also, I don't understand why he would not want the population of the nation to benefit from this plan! Why shouldn't ALL of us, including those who have never had medical insurance, be able to have Affordable Universal Coverage! I have recently been able to get insurance, for the 1st time, through a program aimed at low/no income persons & I can't begin to explain the difference it has made! Access to affordable healthcare is a necess ity, not a luxury! Furthermore, I don't believe the people who serve the country & it's people should have high end insurance coverage on our dime, while the people are being gouged or living w/out! Isn't there a way to be concerned for the citizens & free enterprise w/out either getting the short end!?More teamwork & less obstruction could've accomplished that last year!! Obama 2012!

    March 22, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  16. joel

    @doublestandards: So your uninsured daughter ended up with a $2K hospital bill and didn't pay it. Then they garnished her wages. Fine. We aren't so concerned about people who actually have jobs that can cover their medical bills. You should be aware of a couple things:

    1: a 2K hospital bill is peanuts. It probably means they saw her, evaluated her, decided there was nothing significant and sent her home. In my experience, even an MRI costs significantly over 2K. If she had a real problem requiring significant medical intervention that bill can quickly be 40K.

    2: If your daughter had gotten a 40K medical bill, do you think they would have garnished her wages? No. She would have instead declared bankruptcy. It's when the bills aren't small that they get passed on to the rest of us.

    That's when it's our business. When it causes her to declare bankruptcy. In the process of declaring bankruptcy, she loses her house. Likely has trouble getting an apartment in the future. Difficulty when future job requires a background check, etc. So not only do we have to pay her medical bill, but she starts down the slope towards needing taxpayer money to pay her unemployment benefits.

    March 22, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  17. judith

    Mittens just can't escape the fact that he strongly favored mandated healthcare no matter how much he tries to run away from it. Actually, the whole country needs universal single payer for all. We are extremely backward compared to every other major industrialized country on this issue. But Mittens just wants to forget he used to be a moderate and wants us to forget it as well. The human Etch-a-Sketch will bend in any direction dependent on what voters he's trying to buy.

    March 22, 2012 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  18. cg

    Yeah not exactly a slam, but all right, sensationalize it if you must. As for Romney's characterization of national health care reform in it's current state as a terrible thing that we should immediately repeal, that old saying comes directly to mind that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

    March 22, 2012 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  19. cg

    Oh and while we're on the subject of reversing oneself on the issues, what else would you expect from someone with all the political convictions of an etch-a-sketch? Romney's only true political conviction as far as I can tell is this: 'Mitt Romney wants to win elections'.

    March 22, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  20. Roy

    Agree flip-flop Romney is the great pretender.

    March 22, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  21. royboy

    What's the difference of state mandates and National mandates their still forcing people to buy it? Get a clue!

    March 22, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  22. Randy, San Francisco

    If GOP/Tea Party conservatives don't believe Romney is the Great Pretender, they should listen closely to Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul. They all made the same point about Romney.

    March 22, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  23. DENNA

    The Republicans are amazing. They have actually convinced a segment of our society to vote against their own best interest. Obama (or Romneycare) are good for the country. The party of personal responsibility is anything but. Conservative voters are so far off the grid thehy seem to be from outer space.

    March 22, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  24. Nobodies Pon

    Republicans are talking out both sides of their mouth. They are against abortion and contraception but contraception prevents abortion but republicans will cut their own throat come november. Protecting the few at the exspence of the many. Why because they are souless humans that think if kill off the old and the poor we will be stronger but the are wrong. The poor create sucess stories the old provide wisdom and knowledge that only life experience provides,but our country doesnt need wisdom our sucess.

    March 22, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  25. Lillith Goby

    Obama can fool aomw of the people all of the time and some of the people a lot of the time but me none of the time with his dog whistling praise of Romney and Massachusets Healthcare. mass health care works because of Fed dollars and state control.

    How come everybody but me seems to have forgotten Hillarycare, the goal of Saul Ainsky and Marx humanism, the BJ Clintons. Is it safer for the GOP to let this Romneycare lie continue than to admit they could not stop Reid and Pelosi pushing through the dems socialist dream that Hillary couldn't thanks to Newt's new GOP freshmen?

    Romney didn't push obamacare through the House with unprecedented use of reconciliation. Pelosi did that along with Reid and all dems who voted for it.

    To defeat the enemy, you need to know who he/she is. And the name is obama created obama care. I think this was his major under the radar platform promise to the dems for backing him since it is about all he has done. No budget for 1,000 days etc.

    Romney is for states rights and that means smaller government and that means that obama isn't putting windmills in my backyard to supply Calif liberals with energy as they enjoy theier untrammeled view.

    March 22, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
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