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Do you think the country should have a Massachusetts healthcare plan

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 1 month ago
    • George Stephanopoulos: You passed the healthcare law in Massachusetts to try to cover everyone in the state.


Do you think the country should have that kind of a plan?


    • Governor Mitt Romney: I think every American should have good health insurance that's affordable and portable. The last thing I think, however, is that we should have government-sponsored universal coverage.


The prior effort to put such a national plan in place I think was ill conceived.


What we found in Massachusetts, and this is by reaching across the aisle, with Democrats and Republicans, we can get private market insurance that's available and affordable for all of our citizens.


We don't need a government takeover of healthcare. I think you're going to see in this next decade, with a Republican presidency and perhaps, at least for the next two years, a Democratic lead in Congress, you're going to see a real effort to get people health insurance and I support that.


But I do not want more incursion of the government into health insurance or into the healthcare field. We've got to get government out. We've got to allow the private market to work and the best way to do that is to help people buy private policies that they can afford.


The president took a good step in that regard by saying individuals should be able to pay for their insurance policies with pre-tax dollars. Corporations do that.


    • George Stephanopoulos: The point of the Massachusetts plan is that individuals should be required to buy health insurance.


Should that be a national requirement?


    • Governor Mitt Romney: No, it shouldn't be a national requirement, not now, not the way our nation has such a patchwork of laws.


I actually think that we're best to allow individual states to experiment with their own policies for getting their citizens insured.


And I understand that well over a dozen states have gone to Department of Health and Human Services saying they'd like to get an approval, a waiver, employing some of the techniques we've used to expand coverage, free market coverage in their states.


Some are doing it in ways that I'm sure will be better than we came up with. Others are doing it in ways I don't think are as good.


I don't like the employer mandate in California, but it's a valiant attempt to get more people covered.


You're going to see different approaches. Maybe ours will come out best, I don't know. You're going to see different approaches.


But when we've settled it, when the laboratories of democracy, which is what the states are, have had a chance to try different modes, we're going to find that, indeed, the free market does work and that private free market principals are the best way to get our people all insured.

Robert B Bluey: One of the other things you accomplished as governor was a healthcare plan for Massachusetts, which has been both lauded and criticized by some libertarians and conservatives. Is this something you would consider proposing for the federal government as well?


Governor Mitt Romney: My current thinking on that is that the states as laboratories really play a very useful role for the nation. There are some aspects of what we proposed and put in our health plan that actually could be helpful for the entire nation and may well figure into national legislation. But there are others that really are peculiar to the state of Massachusetts, and I’d like to see how they work in Massachusetts, and frankly to see what other states do. Because I wouldn’t be surprised if some other states came up with ideas, borrowing from our own experience, that could be better than ours.


I don’t think we’re ready as a nation to adopt a Massachusetts plan for the entire nation. I’d like to learn more from other states, perhaps take some things that we found and get them under way right away. For instance, all the mandates we put on insurance—that just makes insurance more expensive than it ought to be. There’s a need also to allow people to own their own insurance policy rather than having a company decide which insurance you get. There are features in our plan that I think could be helpful, but time’s going to tell, because we want to hear what other states have to say.



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