Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says Democrats who’re promising Americans "universal" health care coverage are on the wrong track.
According to Romney, it would be wrong to impose a "single answer" on the country. Romney says states should be allowed to experiment with health care reform. "The idea that every time there’s a challenge in America, the federal government should step in and put in place a one-size-fits-all program is in my opinion an idea that should not be pursued," Romney says.
Romney just finished a term as governor of Massachusetts and he signed a health care reform law that forces Massachusetts residents to get health insurance — just like car insurance is mandatory — and the state helps low income Massachusetts residents get insurance. That Massachusetts law also forces businesses to provide health care coverage to employees or pay a fine. "The objective — getting people insured — is something which I think Republicans and Democrats can agree on," Romney says. "The issue is are we going to have the government run health care and the insurance world or are we instead going to have the private market be the source upon which we rely for better care."
According to Romney, voters don’t like the status quo and Republicans have to offer some alternatives. "We have to agree that it’s a great idea to have everybody insured and to have primary care. The key is how are we going to get primary care and the Democrats’ path is always government-mandated, government-run, government insurance. The Republican path has to be how do get personal responsibility and the private market to work more effectively. That’s got to be the right answer for us," Romney says. "Government running something is almost by definition going to be inefficient, ineffective and expensive."
This winter Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards unveiled a plan to provide universal health care coverage. On Tuesday in Iowa City, Barack Obama outlined his proposal to deal with the issue. During a speech today in Des Moines, Romney ridiculed those plans as well as the health care reform effort Hillary Clinton led during her husband’s presidency. "They don’t understand. The path of Europe is not the way to go. Socialized medicine. Hillarycare. Obamacare. They don’t get it," Romney said. "The best way to make health care work is to make health care more like a market and with the dynamics of the private market, that’s the way to go."
Romney is making appearances in the Des Moines area today. He’ll be in Newton, Sioux City, Sioux Center and LeMars tomorrow.