Mitt Romney: Repeal Obamacare...And Replace It?


OK, I know a lot of people are upset with the Supreme Court's ruling on Obamacare today. However, I want you to think clearly, not with a knee jerk reaction. This means evaluating what you are being given by the GOP as a presumptive nominee. Realize that the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August is a time to put forward a platform and nominee who will lead the party in the way it should go, not the way the establishment wants it to go.

With that said, listen to the responce of the presumptive nominee and then follow along with the record he carries:

Mitt Romney claims, "What the Court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day, if elected president of the United States, and that is I will act to repeal Obamacare."

Now the rhetoric sounds good on the surface, but remember what this man and his campaign has said in the past. As Rick Santorum pointed out in an ad, a former Romney adviser admitted "Romneycare was blueprint for Obamacare."

This comment came from Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Jonathan Gruber on MSNBC's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. In that interview the following took place, according to the transcript.

O’Donnell: One of Gov. Romney's health care reform consultants was MIT economist Jonathan Gruber. He attended five of the 12 meetings at the Obama White House in 2009, including the meeting with the president. Joining me now, professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jonathan Gruber. Thanks for joining me tonight, professor.

Gruber: You bet, Lawrence. Good to be here.

O’Donnell: All right. Come on, come clean. You were in the room with President Obama discussing health care reform. And you did, in fact, work with the Romney administration in Massachusetts. Come on, professor, you have to tell us the truth.

Gruber: The truth is that the Affordable Care Act is essentially based on what we accomplished in Massachusetts. It's the same basic structure applied nationally. John McDonough (the executive director of Health Care For All, a Massachusetts consumer health advocacy organization and) one of the other advisers who worked in both Massachusetts and advised the White House, said it's the Massachusetts bill with three more zeros. That's basically a good description of what the federal bill did.

O’Donnell: It is kind of laughable that we've actually reach the point where we have the great investigative reporter Michael Isikoff actually going in there to get these kind of diary facts in the White House to sort of prove what we all know. I want you to listen to what Mitt Romney had to say when he was signing the bill in Massachusetts.

(In video clip) Mitt Romney: I want to thank the many, many people in this room who were critical to crafting and coaxing the bold health care initiative that I'm about to sign. Jonathan Gruber at MIT devoted hours and hours to an essential econometric model.

O’Donnell: That's for the econometric model, professor. He didn't mention you last night in his answer, when he was asked about, you know, who helped him and who helped President Obama?

Gruber: I'm hurt, Lawrence. I think I'll live.

So it's clear that Barack Obama took Mitt Romney's blueprint to form Obamacare. Yes, I understand it was a state mandated health program, but it was funded with federal dollars, hundreds of thousands of them.

Romneycare was such a blueprint for Obamacare the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg cited Romneycare as a reason for upholding Obamacare.

In the end there is no difference between the two on this issue. Romneycare was carried out at the state level by mandate using federal dollars and Obamacare is using federal dollars to the tune of $385 million to carry out individually mandated citizen purchasing health insurance at the federal level. Furthermore, Romneycare had the same kinds of requirements in it that Roman Catholics has been suing the federal government over and Newt Gingrich pointed it out back in February.

Now going back to Romney's claims today, it is bad law and it is bad policy. With this I agree, but he claims it will increase taxes by only $500 billion on the American people. That isn't even close to the figure. He should try doubling and then adding some to that figure. There is also no debate that Obamacare will be a job killer, as Romney points out.

However, what is the most interesting in what Romney states is that "We must repeal and replace Obamacare." My question for several months is what are we going to replace it with? Does it need replacing or just repealing? I stand for the latter.

The claim is also made that we must make health care insurance affordable and at the same time make it so that people who have pre-existing conditions get health insurance. Ok, just a second here. Romney is saying this at the federal level people. What has to happen for that to take place? I'll tell you what will happen. The federal government will begin forcing health insurance companies to insure people with pre-exisiting conditions even if they don't want to and do you know who will bear that load? That's right, every one of us who are in that system. Somebody had to pay for it and it will come directly through our pockets or through our pockets via the federal government subsidizing insurance. There really is no other way around it.

Romney says that if we are going to repeal Obamacare we have to replace Barack Obama. I want Obama replaced as bad as the next person. However, we can repeal Obamacare, even without replacing him, with a takeover of the Senate and people with spine in the Congress who will repeal it. Others will claim that Obama will veto the measure. Fine. Let him do it. Then when the Congress passes it with a two-thirds majority they don't need him to sign it and if he should fail to enforce the law and act against it, they have the numbers to impeach him.

Just what is Romney going to do in order to repeal Obamacare on his first day in office? Are we going to stand by and applaud an executive order, that bypasses Congress when it's a GOP guy in there? Look I ,like many of you, want that legislation overturned and replaced with nothing. So far, all Mitt Romney has to offer is Romneycare and as we have seen that is what Obamacare is built on.

In my opinion, today's ruling will give ammunition to the GOP for good campaign rhetoric, but will it produce anything of substance when it comes to actually repealing Obamacare? That is the issue. We've heard enough rhetoric. Let's see some action on it that the Constitution affords and leave people alone to make their own choices when it comes to health care, insurance and any other thing that involves their private property. Just get government out of our lives and don't replace it with anything.

I know it's hard to wake up. I know how it feels to be safe in our dreamland, but reality is crashing in. What real solution is being pushed forward here? There really is only one, full repeal and don't replace Obamacare with anything. The American people don't want it. It isn't demanded in the Constitution and people should be left to their own pursuits of healthcare should they desire it.

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