Despite promising to repeal ObamaCare if elected president during previous months of campaigning, Mitt Romney now does not seem to intend to remove all of the United States’ new healthcare reform law. In an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press September 9, Romney said people with pre-existing conditions and adults under age 26 would not lose their guarantee of coverage under his intended course of action as president.
“I say we’re going to replace Obamacare,” Romney said in the interview. “And I’m replacing it with my own plan. And, you know, even in Massachusetts where I was governor, our plan there deals with pre-existing conditions and with young people.”
The controversial 2012 Affordable Care Act, nicknamed “ObamaCare,” requires that healthcare plans have the option to cover family members under age 26. The law also calls for patient protections like allowing coverage for pre-existing conditions, not letting insurers cancel policies when patients get sick, and requiring individuals to buy health insurance or pay a fine.
During his interview with Meet The Press Romney went on to say:
“There are a number of things that I like in healthcare reform that I’m going to put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage. Two is to assure that the marketplace allows for individuals to have policies that cover their — their family up to whatever age they might like. I also want individuals to be able to buy insurance, health insurance, on their own as opposed to only being able to get it on a tax advantage basis through their company.”
Romney did not comment on the most controversial aspect of the Affordable Care Act, the requirement that Americans buy healthcare or pay a fine for not doing so.
The New American Reports that, “The federal mandate withstood a constitutional challenge when the Supreme Court issued its decision in June of this year that the penalty for not buying health insurance falls within the taxing power of Congress. Supporters of the law have said the mandate is an essential feature of the overall plan and is necessary to provide the premium base the insurance companies will need to insure those with pre-existing conditions and others who are currently uninsured.”
A number of news outlets observed and commented on Romney’s changing opinion, and have questioned how this new stance will affect voters’ opinions of Romney. The Daily Beast noted that Romney’s new stance should not be surprising given his history as governor of Massachusetts.