Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney delivered a speech at the University’s Cardiovascular Center Thursday, where he discussed his plans to “repeal and replace” health care legislation passed under President Barack Obama.
Click the image to see a slide from Romney’s presentation comparing his plan to President Obama’s.
At the invitation-only event that was over capacity, Romney — a prospective Republican presidential candidate and Michigan native — said he is eager to repeal Obama’s health care plan. He added that if he becomes a Republican nominee for president and wins the 2012 election, he plans to issue an executive order on his first day in office to provide “ObamaCare waivers.”
At the event, which was sponsored by the University’s chapter of College Republicans, Romney said he appreciated the opportunity to come back to Michigan, where his father served as governor in the 1960’s, in order to get expert opinions on health care policy from medical officials and other professionals at the University.
In response to criticisms that the health care plan he instituted as governor of Massachusetts closely resembles Obama’s health care overhaul, Romney outlined his vision for national health care legislation and explained the differences between the two plans in a PowerPoint presentation for the audience.
He said the plan he instituted as governor was a more “modest proposal,” while Obama’s health care plan — passed by Congress and signed by Obama in March 2010 — was a “power grab” with which the federal government took too much control over health care.
Romney said he believes that each state should be able to employ a health care plan that fits its specific needs, and that the role of the federal government should be limited. He added that the Constitution gives states the power to regulate areas like health care. Furthermore, he reaffirmed his support for the plan that he helped implement in Massachusetts.
“I did what I believed was right for the people of my state,” Romney said.
Romney argued that the Massachusetts’s health care plan differs from the federal legislation because it doesn’t raise taxes or compromise quality, as he believes Obama’s plan will.
“One person and one government shouldn’t impose their ideals on the rest,” he said.
He said that while the Massachusetts health care plan isn’t perfect, it has helped over 400,000 previously uninsured residents receive coverage. Romney said the ultimate goal of health care is to uphold the American ideal of helping people, arguing that that the president’s plan discourages innovations in health care services and leads to unemployment by implementing a “one-size-fits-all” plan.
Romney said that, if elected president, he would encourage free enterprise and competition between states and insurance companies. He promised the audience more specifics at a later time.
U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D–Mich.) released a press release shortly after Romney’s speech which claimed that Romney’s health care presentation “lacked major details.”
Dingell wrote that Romney’s explanation was “intriguing” because the federal health care law the former governor wishes to repeal was based on the plan he helped institute in Massachusetts.
In the release, Dingell also wrote that he wanted to remind Michigan citizens of the “true benefits” of the plan, like continuing to create private sector jobs.