Snap Fact #199
Credit Governor Romney With One of President Obama’s Great Successes!
One of President Obama’s great successes has been the passage of the controversial Affordable Health Care Bill, dubbed ObamaCare by his detractors. The epitaph is now being worn as a badge of honor as the beneficial facts emerge from the shroud of fog that the opposition created to discredit universal health care. 

One of the problems was that Republicans defined the turf; putting the President on the defensive from the start. Another problem was the length of time before the benefits would kick in. As time moves on it has become more and more evident that, although the bill is far from perfect, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks and, with a Democratic Congress in 2013, the Bill will be strengthened and straightened. 

Just one benefit kicked in last December. This is the section, called the Medical Loss Ratio that mandates that the insurance companies must pay 80% to 85% of their proceeds back to policyholders in medical care. Should they not meet this threshold they are obligated to refund the difference to their policyholders. 1

The President demonstrated his thoughtfulness and penchant for consensus building early on. He called in stakeholders from every aspect of the issue. This included the medical community, the insurance industry, lawmakers, economists, and others. 

Among his advisers we three of the important gentlemen who were instrumental in creating the Massachusetts affordable health care law, recently dubbed RomneyCare by Tim Pawlenty, an early dropout rival of the Governor for the Republican nomination. 

According to Fox News, “NBC News first reported that Romney health care advisers and experts Jon Kingsdale, Jon Gruber and John McDonough all met with Obama officials in 2009, including one meeting with President Obama on July 20”. Fox News also confirmed that the three men made repeated visits to the White House.

"The White House wanted to learn a lot on what we'd done in Massachusetts,” Gruber, an MIT economist told NBC News. “They really wanted to know how we can take that same approach we used in Massachusetts and turn that into a national model.”

Romney also worked closely with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy on the Massachusetts health care plan and Kennedy was the lead author of the national legislation. Kennedy had said that the Romney plan was a model for the national one.2 

Romney as the candidate, and the Republican Party as a whole, have been running from RomneyCare as hard and as fast as they can. This is obviously because they want to run against ObamaCare. When you hear that the plans are “very different” check the source, - it will be from a right wing source – then check their “facts”. 

A sample of a well-researched comparison chart below is below. 

You can find the full chart at 2012/RomneyCare-ObamaCare.pdf.

Many people focus on the “individual mandate” (the requirement that folks must purchase health insurance) as the chief similarity between the 2006 health reform law passed in Massachusetts under then-Gov. Mitt Romney, and the 2010 national health law signed by President Obama. But the similarities between RomneyCare and ObamaCare go far, far beyond that, 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). 

From insurance exchanges to new rules for insurers and employers and beyond, the two plans really do have a deep twin-like resemblance according to this analysis, if not identical, then at least fraternal. Take a look.

Of course, the political back-story to all this is that Romney has been struggling to highlight the profound differences between the two laws while the Obama administration continues to point out the similarities.3

Before we lay the entire responsibility for the Massachusetts law being the archetypical model for ObamaCare on Governor Romney, there are a couple of caveats. First, it should be noted that some of the state bill was passed over Romney’s vetoes. This fact doesn’t seem to have the attention of the media. 

The second caveat is that wherever President Obama got his information, we know that he called in the best minds and most experience people to work on the plan. In the end he had to make some very tough compromises to get a watered down bill passed. Forward thinking folks realize that this faulted bill will get a thorough going over; and positive revisions will be made by the Democratic 113th Congress and signed into law by the President during his second term.