Saturday, March 24, 2012

Romney Blasts Obamacare, Presents His Own Plan

“Today Obamacare is two years old, but the American people are not celebrating, and neither is the White House. We must repeal this law immediately.” – Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney has leveled harsh criticism against President Obama’s failed health care reform. “It was always a liberal pipedream that a 2,700 page, multi-trillion dollar federal takeover could actually address the very serious problems we face with health care,” said Romney. “Sadly, the law itself is fast becoming the national nightmare that I and other critics have always predicted.” Romney noted that, contrary to President Obama’s claims in promoting the law, costs are already exceeding projections, insurance premiums are expected to rise dramatically, millions of Americans are facing the loss of their health plans, and Medicare beneficiaries are bracing for substantial cuts.

Romney repeated his commitment to repeal Obamacare, and outlined his vision for a health care system guided by state flexibility, market competition, and consumer choice that will provide higher quality care at a lower cost to all Americans. “Everyone can agree that health care is broken,” said Romney. “So the last thing we should do is allow Obamacare to freeze the current system in place. Instead, we need to encourage innovation at every level. States should have the flexibility to pursue new policy approaches.  Insurers and providers should have the opportunity to compete in a genuine market.  Most importantly, patients should have the information and control they need to make choices about what they actually want.”

Romney also announced members of his Health Care Policy Advisory Group: Scott Atlas, Tom Barker, Scott Gottlieb, Paul Howard, and Tevi Troy.  This group will help Romney design policies that will strengthen the health care system nationally while giving states the power to innovate and individuals the power to control their own health care decisions.  “I’m honored to have the support of this thoughtful and experienced group of advisors,” said Romney.  “I look forward to working with them to help deliver the health care system that the American people want.”

“I think I speak for all members of the group in saying that we are thrilled to be supporting Governor Romney and working with him on this critical issue,” said Troy.  “He has been a strong, conservative leader on health care reform and I believe he is the one candidate who can reverse the damage done by President Obama and put this nation on a path to market-based health care reform.”

A Health Care System Guided By State Flexibility, Market Competition, And Consumer Choice

As president, Mitt Romney will repeal Obamacare.  This effort will begin on Day One, by issuing an Executive Order paving the way for Obamacare waivers to all fifty states.  Then, he will pursue reforms at the national level that will create the conditions for a thriving, market-based health care system. These include:

Restoring State Leadership And Flexibility

Romney will begin by returning states to their proper place in charge of regulating local insurance markets and caring for the poor, uninsured, and chronically ill. States will have both the incentive and the flexibility to experiment, learn from one another, and craft the approaches best suited to their own citizens.

Block grant Medicaid and other payments to states
Limit federal standards and requirements on both private insurance and Medicaid coverage
Ensure flexibility to help the uninsured, including public-private partnerships, exchanges, and subsidies
Ensure flexibility to help the chronically ill, including high-risk pools, reinsurance, and risk adjustment
Offer innovation grants to explore non-litigation alternatives to dispute resolution
Promoting Free Markets And Fair Competition

Competition drives improvements in efficiency and effectiveness, offering consumers higher quality goods and services at lower cost.  It can have the same effect in the health care system, if given the chance to work.

Cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits
Empower individuals and small businesses to form purchasing pools
Prevent discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage
Facilitate IT interoperability
Empowering Consumer Choice

For markets to work, consumers must have the information and the power to make decisions about their own care.  Placing the patient at the center of the process will drive quality up and cost down while ensuring that services are designed to provide what Americans actually want.

End tax discrimination against the individual purchase of insurance
Allow consumers to purchase insurance across state lines
Unshackle HSAs by allowing funds to be used for insurance premiums
Promote “co-insurance” products
Promote alternatives to “fee for service”
Encourage “Consumer Reports”-type ratings of alternative insurance plans
Background On Members Of The Romney Health Care Policy Advisory Group:

Scott Atlas is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor and the chief of neuroradiology at the Stanford University Medical Center.

Tom Barker served as Deputy General Counsel at the Department of Health and Human Services from 2003 to 2007 and as General Counsel in 2008.

Scott Gottlieb served as Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs at the Food and Drug Administration from 2005 to 2007.  He is currently a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a practicing physician.

Paul Howard is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and director of the Institute’s Center for Medical Progress.

Tevi Troy served as Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services from 2007 to 2009.  He is currently a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. 


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