Romney: Against Federal Government-Run Medicine Before He Was For It?

Earlier today the Mitt Romney campaign released a video of the 1994 debate he had with Ted Kennedy where a younger Mitt Romney argues against a government takeover of health care.

But in April 12, 2006 at a Faneuil Hall singing ceremony, Mitt Romney actually saluted Ted Kennedy, the very man he debated at Faneuil Hall in 1994 as a “parent” of healthcare. Then Romney celebrated Kennedy’s ability to get a federal monies for their signature health care bill. Now Romney makes a states’ rights appeal and says that the Massachusetts plan was for Massachusetts and didn’t involve the other states.

According to NBC News’ Michael Isikoff, White House visitors logs reveal that Romney’s health care advisers and experts repeatedly met with senior Obama administration officials in 2009, while Obama’s health care plan was being drafted. Indeed when Mitt Romney argued that Barack Obama ought to have called him and asked him what worked and what didn’t, Romney neglected to mention that three of his own advisers decamped to Washington so Obama had little need to phone him.

Indeed, Obama actually contemplated naming ObamaCare after Ted Kennedy after the late (not great) Senator Robert Byrd suggested they rename it after Kennedy. Kennedy had referred to health care as “the cause of my life,” and Obama, many members of Congress, and White House staff wore blue TedStrong wrist bands in honor of Kennedy at the signing ceremony for Obamacare, according to USA Today. As James Pethokoukis reports today at The American, a peer-reviewed health policy journal acknowledges the similarities in the plans.

At the signing ceremony for RomneyCare in 2006, Ted Kennedy and Romney share a yuck, celebrating the passing of the individual mandate. But today Massachusetts isn’t laughing. A poll by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation found that 78 percent of state residents see health care costs as a crisis or a major problem, according to The Boston Globe. Romney’s successor, the Obama-like Deval Patrick, has actually begun implementing price controls, according to CNN, to help contain costs.

Even Romney admits that the plan failed to control costs. “We had hoped that what we did would bring down the cost of health care, even in a modest way. That didn’t happen,” Romney acknowledged in December 2011. “There’s some who say its come down a little bit, or the rate of growth has come down a little bit. But in terms of getting down the cost of health care, that’s the real objective we ought to be looking at the federal level.”

In 2007, Romney explained the difference between RomneyCare and HillaryCare: “Perhaps the biggest between our two plans was that mine got passed and hers didn’t.” (The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p.114 , Aug 31, 2007)

Here he is celebrating the achievement with Ted Kennedy.

Sometimes laughter isn't the best medicine, especially when government gets involved (Boston Globe photo)

I guess he was for the government remaining out of healthcare decisions before he was against it.


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