Mitt Romney embraced his role as the architect of Massachusetts’s universal health care plan, an issue that has vexed him since he entered the race for president.
During a segment of the debate devoted to health care, President Obama reminded the audience that the 2010 national health care overhaul that has made him a target among conservatives was inspired by a similar plan pioneered by Romney while he was serving as governor of Massachusetts.
Romney was ready for the line of attack. “I like the way we did it in Massachusetts,” Romney said.
He hailed the Massachusetts plan as an example of bipartisan collaboration, contrasting it with President Obama’s overhaul, which passed without Republican support. And he called it a model of innovation at the state level, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach forced through from the federal level.
Romney also tried to clarify why he had previously called his Massachusetts plan a model for the nation.
“What we did in Massachusetts is a model for the nation state-by-state,” he said. “The federal government taking over health care for the entire nation and whisking aside the 10th Amendment, which gives states the rights for these kinds of things, is not the course for America to have a stronger, more vibrant economy.”
He doubled down in his closing statements. "If I'm elected, we won't have in place Obamacare. We'll put in place the kind of principles I put in place in my own state and allow each state to craft their own program to get people insured and focus on getting the cost of health care down," Romney said.