Meet the Press   |  November 03, 2013

State health programs vs. federal ones

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney talks about the benefits of state public health insurance vs. federal.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> comparison to massachusetts , though, really comes down to two major points. a lot of people don't have health insurance because they can't afford it so you have to have subsidies. that's what did you in massachusetts skpchlt massachusetts . and in order to make sure your risk pool is right, you have to have young and healthy people in it so that the people would be taken care of who are older and sicker. that's what you did. but here's what you said to meet the press back in 2007 about the mandate. i want to play it and get your reaction.

>> i think you're going to find that when it's all said and done after all these states, laboratories and democracy get the chance to try their own plans, that those who follow the path we pursued will find it's the best path and we'll have a nation that takes the mandate approach.

>> you don't believe all states shu should adopt this, but you do believe all states should take a mandate approach. if it's so good for massachusetts , what's wrong with taking it national?

>> what i said there was precisely right, which was each state should be able to put in place the plan that works best for them, and if they adopt the massachusetts plan, terrific. if they adopt a different plan, that's also fine. but recognize massachusetts teaches some important lessons some states are not going to want to follow. one lesson is health insurance is more expensive in massachusetts than anywhere else in the country. now, that's something that texas and minnesota and montana are not necessarily going to want to adopt. and you're going to see, as a result of obama care, premiums going up dramatically across the country, and again, going back to -- i think the key thing the president is trying to get away from, and that is that he told people they could keep their insurance and that was not the truth. and whether you like the model of obama care or not, the fact that the president sold it on a basis that was not true has undermined the foundation of his second term. i think it's rotting it away. and i think the only way he can rebuild credibility is to work with republicans and democrats and try to rebuild a foundation. we've got to have a president. we've got to have a president that can lead, and right now he's not able to do so.

>> that's very strong language. you're saying the way he pitched your ability to keep a plan will undermine his entire second term. but how do you know --

>> there's no question.

>> assuming they get the site up and working, that's a big assumption at this point, but if that happens, how is it that in the end the same approach that you took in massachusetts with regard to subsidies, with regard to a mandate, why don't you think that could ultimately be successful?

>> well, what's going to happen is the people are going to lose insurance. you're going to have millions of individuals lose their health care plans.

>> some people will end up saving money in the plans and some people will pay more. again, that was also the case in massachusetts .

>> well, that may well be the case, but the reality is that was not what was sold with obama care. obama care barely made it through washington, as you know. and there is no question in my mind but had the president been truthful and told the american people that millions would lose their insurance and millions more would see their premiums skyrocket, had he told them that at the time it was going through washington, there would have been such a huge cry against it, it would not have passed. you begin with honesty. we can talk about what's the right plan, and there are aspects of the massachusetts plan i think other states would be wise to adopt. there are probably aspects that states will say, i don't want that, i've got a better idea. let him try those things. but imposing something that in some ways resembles what we did in massachusetts on the entire nation is not something -- and particularly doing it, by the way, in a dishonest way without telling people what was entailed is something the american people are rejecting overwhelmingly.