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. george of the jungle

    CNN is using dramatic head lines because they have trouble spelling half of them. The president didnt slam anyone and only pointed out what is fact. But that is something the repos have trouble understanding. Fact. It is easier for them to just lie and make things up. Or continually bash the president and show their own stupidity.

    March 22, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. thanks, but no thanks

    Let me get this straight. Prior to Affordable Act, all my Republican friends pointed out how unfair it is to pay for uninsured. Now, when new law says everyone should pay, it is infringement of freedom? Am l alone, or we can not give to a black president credit when credit is due. Republican party has shifted so much to the right, Regan will be voted out of the party for being too moderate. As an independent, l would very much like to have choices, but today Republicans are not giving me one.

    March 22, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. Valerie in Raleigh

    We must have a federal insurance program that covers all. Now, I purchase my own healthcare coverage as I am a responsible citizen. My neighbor does not, uses his money for a bigger car and a nice vacation, and, when he goes to the hospital, he is cared for. It is the law. And how is his care paid for? Not by him, but, by me. He tells me I am a fool to spend my money on healthcare when I could use the money for other things knowing the hospital has to take care of me. Interesting – how do all the Republicans beating-up the president' effort to require each person be contribute to his own care, respond to this situation? I would like to know.

    March 22, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. T For TN

    @normajean It's foolish to think that a wealthy person "knows nothing of the struggles of the middle class". They may not have the same struggles but it certainly doesn't make them oblivious. I'm proud to say I VOTE, and prouder to say that I too am one of those voters that "puts us in trouble administration after admisitration for years and years". I'm just grateful to live in the good ole USA where the right to choose still exists.

    March 22, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. WDinDallas

    So, we have learned that Obama spends his time copying Romney's policies...he still isn't near as rich or successful.

    March 22, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. doublestandardssuck

    I'm seeing some idiotic comments here. Are you guys somehow under the impression that if you don't have insurance and go to the hospital you somehow do not have to pay? I'd really like to know what makes you think that. I think my daughter could argue with you about that. She didn't have insurance, went to the hospital and ended up with a $2000 bill. She ignored it and guess what – they garnished her paycheck. Not yours, not her neighbors, not mine, not the guy down the street, not some woman in New York. And if she had been jobless, she would have been eligible for medicaid same as she will under Obamacare. So tell me again – how is it anyone's business if someone doesn't have health insurance?

    March 22, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. Charlie from the North

    The whole GOP is pretending that Obamacare is socialism when it is not very far from things that the GOP suggested before they were hijacked by the stupid patrol.

    March 22, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  8. American

    Romney's disingenuous "complaint" is sadly just another lie from Mitt, considering Romney called for the exact same federal mandate not long ago. Please look it up.

    In fact, the healthcare law was based on the GOP/Heritage Foundation ideas from 1993 & early 2000's. That is a fact, not the constant lies from Romney.

    March 22, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. Alina1

    The Health Care in Romney's Massachusetts working so well, they actually stooped the premiums growth. If Romney would be Independent, he could win election running only on his implemented Health Care.

    March 22, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  10. Chotiwala

    Mitt Romney is going to OWN Obama. Romney 2012

    March 22, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  11. Joshua Gonzalez

    The affordable care act is a step in the right direction, but does not bring down the cost of health care.

    March 22, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |

    Willard Romney is a liar. You cannot believe a single statement he makes, because he has repeatedly been caught changing his story. I am sick of hearing that loud mouth arrogant pile of trash, and I am really anxious to watch his loser speech after Obama crushes him on election night. Then maybe he can spend the rest of his life spending his $250 million on himself and his elitist family that he earned by bankrupting companies and laying off hard working people.

    March 22, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  13. albert

    The book of Mormon apparently condones lying. Makes sense considering that the book was founded on lies.

    March 22, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  14. BunnyBunny

    Romney reminds me a lot of McCain. Both seemed to be honest decent men. Until they ran for president. Then the lies come out, the flips start flopping, they become for, what they were against. They become their sinister doppelganger.

    March 22, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  15. Dylan

    I feel bad for republicans because come November they are going to be dumbfounded as to why they got their butts kicked again. Maybe there are actually people who LIKE the idea of having health insurance that they can afford.....Just keep living in your dream world where your 20% tax bill pays for Everyones everything. Give me a break all the things we get in return for the ammount of taxes we pay are freaking great dont kid yourself.

    March 22, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  16. SPQR

    Mitt Romney cares only about Mitt Romney.

    Don't fool yourself, or do.

    March 22, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  17. lib

    Going to ER IS NOT FREE. When I moved to another state and my insurance did not cover me there, I was BILLED BOTH Times! Doublestandardsuck, YOU ARE RIGHT! I ended up with the bills on my credit until I paid for them out of pocket.

    March 22, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. JohnRJohnson

    Mr. Romney, what kind of a health care plan do you think Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana could shape for themselves? How long do you think Medicaid would last if those states had to fund them? What the people who live in those states? What about the people who live in any state with a small population and very little capital? Do we just let them die off, as Ron Paul suggested? Mr. Romney, your plan for the states to fund their own health care plans sounds just fine until you look at any of the details and see what would actually happen. You are counting on the stupidity of voters not to understand. Shame on you.

    March 22, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  19. Tina

    Pretending? I like that word. It fits so many people they should be careful using it. This is a replay of the Bush issue. I voted against Bush, I will now be voting against this guy becasue he really has not been much better. He certainly 'pretended' to be the one who could and would change Washington. Is it hard- sure. Is it easy to do- of course. He pretended he could do it and then he divided us as a nation for his own end. Enough is enough.

    March 22, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  20. annieLD

    Individuals with no insurance are the ones getting ripped off by the medical providers now. They must pay cash or charge their credit card at high interest rates for doctor's office visit and pay MORE than the doc receives from the insurance company and covered patient combined. You would think there would be a "cash discount" for patients who pay at the time of service instead of making the doc wait for the insurance claim to be paid, disputed, paperworked, etc. But No, there is nothing logical or fair about the present system. That's why I am a big Obamacare supporter.

    March 22, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  21. Jonh

    Don't they understand cherry picking. Healthcare will never work in the free market.

    March 22, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  22. bkgrandma

    The rich Republicans who want to repeal the Health Care Law can afford insurance and they do NOT care that the poor in this country are dying because they haven't got the money to go to doctors. They never have cared about anyone but themselves and they continue to prove that they never will.

    March 22, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  23. Bootstomper

    This group of republican candidates are a complete joke period.

    March 22, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  24. Pat

    Jeb Bush just announced his plans for running in 2016. He knows the GOP will loose in 2012. So what is his plan, he endorsed Romney for GOP nominee in 2012 and Marc Rubio for a VP candiadate. This way Rubio's career will have the looser tag in his resume. Smart move Jeb

    March 22, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  25. bird

    If I were Romney, I would use this as another point to show that Obama has never had an original idea of his own. If he (Obama), is gonna use Republican ideas, may as well put a Repub in the Whitehouse, maybe save the US a few trillion along the way.

    March 22, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
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