Politics: No, Romney did not say he will keep parts of Obamacare

Published by: Robert Laurie on Sunday September 9th, 2012

Robert Laurie

By ROBERT LAURIE – Left leaning media is, as usual, twisting his words.

Throughout his campaign, Mitt Romney has constantly voiced one rock-solid promise: the repeal and replacement of Obamacare.  This morning on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mitt Romney was pressed about his plans for healthcare.  During his answer, he said "Well, I'm not getting rid of all of healthcare reform."

Voices from both ends of the spectrum have pounced on the line.  The left (including most major media websites) claims he said he’ll keep parts of Obamacare intact.  Meanwhile, the right is busy calling him a turncoat and sellout who’s dumped his plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  In reality, they’re both wrong.

If you listen past the soundbite, you’ll hear Romney’s full intent.

“Of course, there are a number of things that I like in healthcare reform that I'm going to put in place," Romney said. "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 family up to whatever age they might like."

From the very beginning of his candidacy, the word “replace” has been a regular fixture of Romney’s plans. Today was no different.

"I say we're going to replace Obamacare. And I'm replacing it with my own plan. And even in Massachusetts when I was governor, our plan there deals with pre-existing conditions and with young people." 

Clearly, from day one, both pre-existing conditions and the ability to keep college-age children on family health plans have been “on the table.”  You can certainly argue the merits of these decisions, but you can’t pretend they weren’t being considered.  When Romney presents a new plan, they'll probably be included.

Along with these adjustments will likely come tort reform and laws allowing insurance companies to compete across state boundaries.  That these measures might eventually become part of Romney’s future health care provisions in no way means he’s abandoned his pledge to repeal.  In fact, it makes it pretty clear that's still the plan..

No one should be surprised that there will be some form of new health care legislation should Romney be elected. He’s made this clear for months. In fact, he’ll likely give the left some of what they’ve been asking for.  However, there’s nothing in today’s comments that should give anyone the impression that he won’t repeal Obamacare.

We all know there is work to be done in the health care space. All Romney did was acknowledge that fact - something he’s done many times before.