Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney again rejected President Obama's comparisons between Obamacare and Romney's health care policy while governor of Massachusetts Sunday on Meet The Press, saying Obama had failed to learn the lessons from that state-run plan and had been dishonest with the American people.
Referring to Obama's infamous promise that "if you like your plan you will keep your plan," Romney said that falsehood could undermine his entire presidency.
"Perhaps the most important lesson the president, I think, failed to learn was, you have to tell the American people the truth," Romney said. "When he told the American people that you could keep your health insurance if you wanted to keep that plan, period, he said that time and again, he wasn't telling the truth, and I think that fundamental dishonesty has really put in peril the whole foundation of his second term."
Romney also laid out his belief that states should be able to craft their own plans but not be subjected to a sweeping federal policy, owing to the differences between states, their populations and their respective health factors:
DAVID GREGORY: Why do you reject the comparison, the compliment from President Obama this week when he says Obamacare based on Romneycare and that's the right way to go?
MITT ROMNEY: Well, I think the president failed to learn the lessons that came from the experience in Massachusetts. First of all, the Massachusetts experience was a state-run plan. The right way to deal with health care reform is not to have a one-size-fits-all plan that's imposed on all the states, but recognizing the differences between different states and their populations. States should be able to craft their own plans to get all their citizens insured and to make sure that preexisting conditions are covered, and there's some other differences. In Massachusetts, we phased in the requirements so that there was a slow rollout. That way you could test the systems as you went along to make sure there wouldn't be glitches. Perhaps the most important lesson the president, I think, failed to learn was, you have to tell the American people the truth. When he told the American people that you could keep your health insurance if you wanted to keep that plan, period, he said that time and again, he wasn't telling the truth, and I think that fundamental dishonesty has really put in peril the whole foundation of his second term.
GREGORY: On that point, we are talking about a small piece of the individual market, about 5%. In your law in Massachusetts, there were also minimum requirements for health plans in order to qualify for health insurance in Massachusetts, and the reason for that is so that you had basic plans that didn't allow presumably young and healthier people not to be adequately covered, because if they ended up getting a condition, the rest of the people have to pay for it. That hurts your risk pool.
ROMNEY: Well, we could talk about the technical differences between the Massachusetts plan and the federal plan, but the key, i think, that has really undermined the president's credibility in the hearts of the American people is that he went out as a centerpiece of his campaign and as a centerpiece of Obamacare over the last several years saying time and time again that fundamental to his plan was the right people would have to keep their insurance plan, and he knew that was not the case. He could know it by looking at Massachusetts and seeing people there lost insurance. He could have learned those lessons and told the people the truth, but he didn't. He told people they could keep their plan, and, you know, it was NBC News that said, look, some 6 million people are going to lose their insurance. That's not some little number, that's 6 million American people.