Romney explicitly rejected Democratic claims that he must support the 2010 federal healthcare law because it was partially modeled on the Massachusetts measure and the insistence of some conservatives that he renounce the Massachusetts measure because it included controversial provisions, such as an individual mandate.
“I, in fact, did what was right for the people of my state,” Romney said.
He touted the outlines of a national healthcare plan to replace “Obamacare” that would allow people to carry individual insurance policies between employers, allow purchases across state lines and cap malpractice damage awards. The provisions likely to generate the most controversy include changing Medicaid to a block-grant approach, narrowing protections against insurance denials for pre-existing conditions and requiring patients to pay a fixed percentage of the care they receive.
“Medicaid ceases being an open checkbook for the states,” Romney said.
He praised the healthcare provisions of the deficit-reduction budget plan adopted by the House of Representatives in April but noted that his plan is not identical. For instance, he did not specify changes to Medicare, although he said he plans to do so.