Romney Takes Heat Over Debate Health Care Claims

Topics: Politics, Medicare, Health Reform, Insurance, States

Oct 06, 2012

News outlets continue to examine statements made in the presidential debate as they look ahead to Thursday’s vice-presidential debate.

The New York Times: Romney Claims of Bipartisanship as Governor Face Challenge
[T]he record as governor he alluded to looks considerably less burnished than Mr. Romney suggested. Bipartisanship was in short supply; … Mr. Romney won lawmakers’ consent to streamline a tangled health and human services bureaucracy, but the savings amounted to but $7 million a year. … Mr. Romney proved to have a taste for vetoes … rejecting a subsidy to Medicaid payments so nursing homes could provide kosher meals to Jewish residents. (Wines, 10/5).

NPR’s Shots blog: Romney Health Care Debate Claim Gets Corrected By His Own Staff
Romney’s claim was this, part of what turned out to be a highly detailed discussion of health care: “No. 1, pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan.” … That’s already true in Massachusetts under the law Romney signed as governor. But Romney’s current plan for the nation, should he be elected president, wouldn’t necessarily guarantee that same protection. … This isn’t the first time a Romney statement has had to be walked back by his staff when it comes to health care. In recent weeks he’s misstated or switched positions on abortion and on Medicaid (Rovner, 10/6).

Politico: Romney’s Pre-Existing Condition Plan: A Tweak And A Handoff To The States
Romney doesn’t favor a big federal initiative to cover everyone with pre-existing conditions. He would make a tweak to broaden an existing law that helps people to move from job to job without losing their health insurance. And he’d put the rest of the coverage job in the states’ hands, giving them unspecified “resources” to come up with their own solutions — or not.  … Under Obama’s health care law, insurers already must cover children with pre-existing conditions. Adults will be covered in 2014 — the same year the individual mandate takes effect to pull in healthy adults (Kenen, 10/5).

Tampa Bay Times Politifact: Mitt Romney Says His Health Care Paln Covers Pre-Existing Conditions
What [Romney] didn’t say at the debate — but which his website states and advisers confirmed after the debate — is that people would be protected from denial only if they have been continuously insured. The health care law, though, offers protections whether people have current coverage or not, so it offers more robust protection. … Romney did not mention the qualifier that people have to stay insured to get the protection. … We rate his statement Mostly False (Bowers and Holan, 10/5).

In other post-debate news –

The Hill: Democrats Say Biden Must Make Case For Medicare In Vice Presidential Debate
Healthcare was seen as perhaps the brightest spot in Obama’s performance Wednesday night. He hit Republican challenger Mitt Romney harder on Medicare than most other issues, but still missed key opportunities … The president did not note, for example, that Ryan preserved the exact same savings in his past two budgets, both of which passed the House with near-universal GOP support. Some Democrats want Biden to mount a defense of those cuts along the lines of former President Clinton’s line that “it takes a lot of brass to attack a guy for doing what you did” (Baker, 10/5).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

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