...Mitt Romney says his Massachusetts health reform plan is much better than Obama's. He claims it's different in important ways.
If there are big differences, it's difficult to find them....
Let's do some quick fact checking.
Does Romneycare have everyone insured? Close, but not fully there. The plan cut the state's rate of uninsurance by almost half. As of 2010, the rate was just over 6%
for the nonelderly population, the lowest of any state. That's a huge accomplishment, but there is still a ways to go before everyone has coverage.
Did Romneycare raise taxes? No, but the state didn't need to. It covered the cost of reform with larger payments that it negotiated from the federal government for its Medicaid program.
Does Romneycare have an unelected board that tells people what kinds of health care they can have? It does. The Massachusetts Connector Authority serves as the state's insurance exchange. It sets standards for the types of plans that may be sold, thereby determining the kind of access residents will have to health care services.
Is Obamacare any different? Not really.
It will extend coverage to 30 million more people, which will reduce the country's rate of uninsurance by about half to roughly 8 percent. Not too different from Romneycare.