Health Policies In The Fray Of GOP Presidential Primary Debate
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was challenged on the 2006 Massachusetts health law as his rivals pressed its similarities to the 2010 federal law.
The Washington Post: Mitt Romney And Newt Gingrich Square Off In Republican Debate
Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich sparred here Thursday night … Santorum was aggressive again in pressing Romney to defend his Massachusetts health-care plan. When Romney defended the law — which, like President Obama's health-care law, includes a mandate that people buy insurance — Santorum shot back, "What Governor Romney just said is that government-run top-down medicine is working pretty well in Massachusetts and he supports it" (Balz and Gardner, 1/26).
Los Angeles Times: Santorum: Romney, Obama Healthcare Mandates One And The Same
[Santorum said] Romney would be an ineffective opponent against President Obama … Santorum zeroed in like a prosecutor: "So ... everybody is mandated as a condition of breathing in Massachusetts to be able to buy health insurance, and if you don't you have to pay a fine. What's happened in Massachusetts is people are not paying the fine.... Free ridership has gone up five-fold in Massachusetts" (Abcarian, 1/26).
Kaiser Health News: Santorum: Romney Wrong Man For GOP On Health Care (Video and Transcript)
Health care, especially the individual mandate, was the focus of a tense and angry exchange in the last debate before the crucial GOP Florida primary (1/27).
The Hill: Santorum Hit Romney On Health Care
Thursday's debate marked the second time in the past three GOP debates in which Santorum has aggressively attacked Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on healthcare. Both men have supported an individual insurance mandate — a pivotal part of President Obama's healthcare law (Baker, 1/26).
Politico Pro: Santorum: Romney Can't Fight Obama On Health
Santorum's exchange with Romney in Thursday's debate was one of the toughest in all the GOP debates — and suggested a last-ditch effort by Santorum to use the health care issue to stay in the race (Nather, 1/26).
WBUR's CommonHealth blog: Huge Similarities Between ObamaCare And RomneyCare, Group Finds
[T]he similarities between RomneyCare and ObamaCare go far, far beyond [the individual mandate], according to a new side-by-side analysis by the liberal-leaning nonprofit advocacy organization, Families USA (with help from Harvard School of Public Health’s John McDonough and Brian Rosman, Research Director of Health Care For All) (Zimmerman, 1/26).
National Journal: Families USA Tweaks Mitt On 'Obamaneycare'
Families USA has put out a visual comparison of the two laws. Some of its bullet points: Romneycare authorizes “tiers” of insurance coverage, which are called Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Young Adult (Section 101); Obamacare sets the following tiers for policies: Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze,and Young Adult (Fox, 1/26).
Meanwhile, a pro-Gingrich PAC is linking Romney to Medicare fraud -
The Associated Press: Pro-Gingrich Group Hits Romney On Medicare Fraud
Winning Our Future released a clip on Thursday of a seven-minute online documentary they plan to unveil on Friday labeled "blood money." It takes aim at the acquisition by Romney's private equity firm, Bain Capital, of the medical testing company Damon Corp (1/26).
Reuters: Ad Connecting Romney To Company In Medicare Fraud Case "Mostly True"
Last week a public workers union launched a television ad that raised an old question about presidential candidate Mitt Romney's connection to Damon Corp, a company that defrauded Medicare by the millions while under the watch of Romney's private equity firm Bain Capital (Kuo, 1/27).
And Romney backers are urging Gingrich to disclose his drug company contracts and advocacy efforts related to the Medicare prescription drug program -
Politico: Idaho Gov. Says Newt Should Release Drug-Company Contracts
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, a Mitt Romney backer and one of the former members of Congress who say they felt lobbied by Newt Gingrich when he called to push for a "yes" vote on a Medicare prescription drug benefit bill in 2003, is calling on the former House Speaker to say whether he was under contract with any drug companies at the time (Haberman, 1/26).
The Associated Press: Gingrich Reveals Income, But Not How He Earned It
Gingrich has said he was exercising his rights as a citizen, not a lobbyist, in 2003 when he publicly advocated changes in Medicare. And he's argued that he and his group, which received millions from dozens of health-related businesses, made sure not to cross the line into lobbying when he met with congressional members and others to promote the Medicare changes sought by then President George W. Bush (Blackledge, 1/26).
iWatch News: Gingrich's Health Center Was Power Player In A Host Of Washington Policy Debates
Newt Gingrich’s Washington-based advocacy on behalf of a broad array of health care interests has been far more extensive than the Republican presidential candidate has acknowledged, a review by the Center for Public Integrity has found. Since 2003, the former House speaker’s Center for Health Transformation has taken an active role in circulating policy papers, testifying at congressional hearings and using other forums to build support for dozens of pieces of legislation and federal policy initiatives that would financially benefit clients who paid as much as $200,000 a year for his services, records show (Schulte and Eaton, 1/26).