Romney Faces Health Policy Attacks In Tuesday’s GOP Presidential Debate
Again on the defensive about the Massachusetts health law he signed while governor, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney reiterated that he didn't think the federal government should have used the state's measure as a model and acknowledged that he didn't finish the job in terms of reducing health care costs.
McClatchy: Sparks Fly On Taxes, Immigration As GOP Presidential Candidates Debate
Romney also found himself on the defensive Tuesday on another familiar topic: his support of a Massachusetts law that requires nearly everyone in the state to obtain health care coverage — considered a model for the 2010 federal health care law that Republicans loathe. Romney has repeatedly said he didn't intend for the federal government to copy Massachusetts (Lightman and Thomma, 10/18).
CNN (Video): Five Things We Learned From Tuesday's GOP Debate
Romney gave as good as he got: We knew Romney would be under the microscope, but the attacks from his fellow candidates seemed a bit more vicious in Las Vegas. Call it a Wild West shootout along the Strip, with Romney the target. Romney and Santorum got into a shouting match over the Massachusetts health care measure passed when Romney was governor. The plan, known as 'RomneyCare,' has been attacked by fellow Republicans as the genesis for the much-hated national health care law pushed by President Barack Obama and passed by a Democratic-controlled Congress. … Rick Santorum's the fighter: He's low in the polls and he isn't rich with campaign cash, but Santorum's excelling at going on the attack and grabbing attention at the debates. Santorum hammered Romney over the Massachusetts health care law, saying "You just don't have credibility. Your consultants helped craft Obamacare" (Steinhauser and Hamby, 10/19).
Los Angeles Times: Vegas Debate: Romney Faces Withering Attacks Over Health Care
After the candidates sliced and diced Herman Cain's "9-9-9" plan, they turned their attention to the man long considered the tentative GOP front-runner — Mitt Romney — and his biggest liability— health care reform (Memoli, 10/18).
Reuters: Confident Romney On Attack At Republican Debate
A confident Mitt Romney criticized his Republican rivals and fended off attacks on Tuesday at a feisty debate that could help reinstall him as the party's presidential front-runner. ... Romney's rivals again brought up the health care plan Romney fathered as governor of Massachusetts that Democrat Obama has said was a model for the 2010 overhaul the White House engineered, which conservatives want to repeal. The Massachusetts plan is perhaps Romney's biggest Achilles heel in persuading conservatives he is one of them (Holland and Zengerle, 10/19).
Reuters: Factcheck: Critique Of Romney's Health Care Was Exaggerated
Republican U.S. presidential hopeful Rick Santorum was exaggerating on Tuesday when he said a health care plan that his opponent Mitt Romney put in place in Massachusetts put a big dent in his state's budget. ... But according to a report by factcheck.org, the Taxpayers Foundation has said the Massachusetts law is not "bankrupting" the state (10/18).
Politico: Romney Takes A Dose Of Unhealthy Heat
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said Tuesday that he's the best-prepared presidential candidate to tackle rising health costs — but he admitted he didn't finish the job in his home-state plan. "When it comes to knowledge of health care, I may not be a doctor ... but I sure know how to bring the cost of health care down, and how to also make sure that we have a system that works for the American people," Romney said at the CNN debate in Las Vegas. Former Sen. Rick Santorum criticized Romney for the Massachusetts health care plan, arguing that the current administration is still trying to deal with rising health care costs in the state. "It's absolutely right that there's a lot that needs to be done, and I didn't get the job done in Massachusetts in getting the health care costs down in the country," Romney responded. "It's something that I think we gotta do at the national level" (Haberkorn, 10/18).
The Hill: Romney: 'I Didn't Get The Job Done' Lowering Health Care Costs As Governor
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney seemed to concede Tuesday that the health care reforms he signed into law did not successfully lower costs. Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) cited recent reports that Massachusetts is looking for new ways to cut health care costs in the state. Santorum said the effort shows that Romney's health care plan focused on the wrong problem — expanding coverage instead of controlling costs. "It's absolutely right that there's a lot that needs to be done — and I didn't get the job done in Massachusetts — and getting the health care costs down in this country is something I think we've got to do at the national level, and I intend to do that," Romney said (Baker, 10/18).
Politico Pro: Romney: I Got The Mandate Idea From Newt
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich took credit Tuesday — reluctantly — for helping Massachusetts craft the health care reform plan under fire in the Republican presidential primary. "Newt, we got the idea of the individual mandate from you," former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney told him during the CNN debate in Las Vegas. Gingrich resisted the effort to tie his record directly to the Massachusetts plan, which critics say was the root of the federal law. "You did not get that from me. You got that from the Heritage Foundation," Gingrich responded (Haberkorn, 10/18).
The Fiscal Times: Romney Takes Heat on Immigration and Health Care
Nastiest exchange — Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. The two bickered over health care reform, with Santorum saying that Romney lacks any credibility in pledging to repeal President Obama's health care reform law when it was the Massachusetts health care law that Romney pushed through as governor that laid the foundation for Obama's legislation. "What you did is exactly what Barack Obama did ... [f]ocused on the wrong problem," Santorum said. "The right problem is health care cost … [y]ou expanded the pool of insurance without controlling costs and you blew a hole in the budget up there." When Romney tried to respond, Santorum kept cutting him off. "Rick, you had your chance, now let me speak," Romney said. (Goozner, 10/18).
Kaiser Health News has video excerpts highlighting the role health policy played in Tuesday's debate.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.