Three years after running on the promise to partially repeal the Affordable Care Act, Mitt Romney finally admitted the truth: His own Massachusetts health-care law led directly to President Obama’s current law.
During the 2012 campaign, Romney was dogged by accusations from the right that “Romneycare”—a mandate-based law passed during his time as governor of Massachusetts—was the foundation for the Affordable Care Act.
At the center of Romneycare was an individual mandate for Massachusetts residents to purchase health insurance or face fines. While that is also a crux of the Affordable Care Act, the former Republican nominee has repeatedly dismissed the comparison by suggesting his law was never meant to be applied nationwide.
However, while memorializing the recently deceased Staples founder Tom Stemberg on Friday, Romney finally admitted the similiarities: “Without Tom pushing it, I don’t think we would have had Romneycare,” he confessed. “Without Romneycare, I don’t think we would have Obamacare. So, without Tom a lot of people wouldn’t have health insurance.”
In response to criticism over that particular quote, Romney took to Facebook to “clarify” his remarks. “Getting people health insurance is a good thing, and that’s what Tom Stemberg fought for,” he wrote. “I oppose Obamacare and believe it has failed. It drove up premiums, took insurance away from people who were promised otherwise, and usurped state programs. As I said in the campaign, I’d repeal it and replace it with state-crafted plans.”
But still nothing about the individual mandate, for which Romney repeatedly praised Obama before running against him.