Health and Science

Romney: Obamacare grew out of Romneycare

No duh, Mitt!

Mitt Romney, who campaigned for president on a promise to repeal Obamacare in 2012, has finally gotten around to admitting what most of the world already knew: President Obama's signature health law draws heavily on Romney's own health-care reform effort in Massachusetts when he was governor there.

Mitt Romney
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Moreover, Romney seems to be praising Obamacare's effects of dramatically reducing the nation's uninsured rate.

Romney's much-belated concession came in comments he made to the Boston Globe about the death Friday of his friend Thomas Stemberg, the founder of Staples, the office supply giant that was founded with backing from Bain Capital, Romney's former investment firm.

Romney told the Globe that soon after he was elected governor in late 2002, Stemberg asked him why he had run. When Romney said he did so to help people, "Stemberg replied that if he really wanted to help, he should give everyone access to health care, which Romney said he hadn't really considered before," the Globe article said.

"Without Tom pushing it, I don't think we would have had Romneycare," Romney told the Globe. "Without Romneycare, I don't think we would have Obamacare. So, without Tom a lot of people wouldn't have health insurance."

An Obamacare enrollment informational pamphlet sits on display at a Community Clinic Inc. health center in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Window-shopping for Obamacare 2016 starts soon

In 2012, while seeking the Republican nomination for president, Romney often said, "If elected, I will repeal Obamacare on day one."

"Our mission is clear: if we want to get rid of Obamacare, we are going to have to replace President Obama," Romney said at the time. ""That is my mission. That is our work. And I'm asking the American people to join me," said Romney.

Despite that purported mission, and notwithstanding his claims that the two health laws were different, key parts of Romneycare were replicated by Obamacare, including some of the more controversial ones.

Romneycare mandated that everyone have some form of health coverage or be subject to a fine, set up a health exchange to sell insurance to uninsured people, and also provided subsidies to people with lower incomes to help them buy private plans. So does Obamacare.

Romney lost the election to Obama in the fall of 2012. The GOP remains strongly opposed to Obamacare.

Read the Globe article here.