In USA Today, Mitt Romney argues that we need “to abolish” Obamacare, “root and branch,” and replace it with “a free market, federalist approach to making quality, affordable health insurance available to every American.” He writes, “Each state should be allowed to pursue its own solution in this regard, instead of being dictated to by Washington.”
Romney elaborates on the sorts of potential state solutions he envisions:
“When I was governor of Massachusetts, we instituted a plan that got our citizens insured without raising taxes and without a government takeover. Other states will choose to go in different directions. It is the genius of federalism that it encourages experimentation….”
However, Romney also calls for changes at the federal level, starting with sensibly ending the tax code’s discrimination against the uninsured:
“[T]he tax code…discriminates against individuals who want to buy insurance on their own. We should let individuals continue with the current arrangement if it suits their needs. But I would also offer a tax benefit for those who wish to purchase insurance outside their workplace.”
Moreover, he calls for federal legislation stipulating that “individuals with pre-existing conditions who have maintained continuous health insurance coverage…be guaranteed the ability to retain coverage.”
Additionally, Romney advocates federal legislation to make insurance more accessible across state lines and to address “out-of-control” medical malpractice litigation. Both are laudable goals, although both run the risk of crossing the line dividing federal and state power that’s the principle focus of Romney’s Obamacare critique.
“The reforms I propose…could not be more different from Barack Obama’s. They entail no new taxes, no massive diversions of funds away from Medicare, no tax discrimination, and no new bureaucracies….Whatever the Supreme Court decides about the constitutionality of Obamacare, we already know that it is bad policy and wrong for America. Abolishing it and putting sensible changes in its place will be one of my highest priorities as president.