KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Speaking In Massachusetts, Obama Cites Success Of State Health Reforms, Credits Romney

Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and former GOP presidential nominee, rejected President Barack Obama's efforts to draw parallels between the Massachusetts measure that Romney signed into law and Obama's health overhaul.

Los Angeles Times: Obama: GOP Critics Of Obamacare Should Follow Romney Example
President Obama said the buck stops with him on the failures of but accused Republican governors of working against the success of the Affordable Care Act. Speaking to a crowd in Boston, at the historic hall where onetime Republican Gov. Mitt Romney signed that state’s 2006 healthcare reform into law, Obama pointed to his former rival as an example of bipartisan cooperation (Parsons, 10/30).

Politico: Obama Can’t Quit Mitt
President Barack Obama just can’t leave Mitt Romney alone. The former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee serves as a perpetual foil for the White House – and he’s one who can’t effectively fight back, has no base of support among Republicans and just happened to be the only other American politician to sign a universal health care law (Epstein, 10/30).

Fox News: Romney Rejects White House Effort To Compare Mass. Health Law Rollout To ObamaCare
Romney, who as the GOP's 2012 presidential nominee ran in part on repealing ObamaCare, emerged from his post-election private life to counter the White House message. “In the years since the Massachusetts health care law went into effect nothing has changed my view that a plan crafted to fit the unique circumstances of a single state should not be grafted onto the entire country,” he tweeted (10/30).

The Boston Globe: In Boston Speech, Obama Defends National Health Law
Before a boisterous crowd of health care executives, former Massachusetts legislators, and families that had been invited, Obama acted part salesman (“The deal is good, the prices are low”) and part as an angry defender (“We are going to see this through!”). Obama spoke in the same room where Romney signed the state’s groundbreaking law in 2006 with the late senator Edward M. Kennedy, a Democrat, watching on. “Mitt Romney and I ran a long and spirited campaign against one another,” Obama said. “But I always believed that when he was governor here in Massachusetts he did the right thing on health care” (Viser, 10/30).

WBUR: In Defense Of Health Care Law, Obama Cites Mass. Success
The criticism that the president broke a promise will likely continue, and there will be new problems. Health care is complicated, Obama said, and trying to fix a broken system is difficult. “It’s hard but it’s worth it. It is the right thing to do and we’re going to move forward,” Obama said. “We are going to keep working to improve the law just like you did here in Massachusetts.” But Massachusetts had something the Affordable Care Act does not: unified support. That unity is something many states can’t replicate, or at least that’s been the perception. Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO Andrew Dreyfus said that perception isn’t quite right (Bebinger, 10/31).

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