Writing on Tuesday over at the National Review, likely 2012 GOP hopeful Mitt Romney claimed that he would give waivers to each state allowing them to withhold complying with ObamaCare:
If I were president, on Day One I would issue an executive order paving the way for Obamacare waivers to all 50 states. The executive order would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services and all relevant federal officials to return the maximum possible authority to the states to innovate and design health-care solutions that work best for them.
As I have stated time and again, a one-size-fits-all national plan that raises taxes is simply not the answer. Under our federalist system, the states are “laboratories of democracy.” They should be free to experiment. By the way, what works in one state may not be the answer for another. Of course, the ultimate goal is to repeal Obamacare and replace it with free-market reforms that promote competition and lower health-care costs. But since an outright repeal would take time, an executive order is the first step in returning power to the states.
Several states have sought waivers from different parts of the program. More than 1,000 have been issued to businesses, unions and local and state governments.
Notice that Romney refers to the states being the “laboratories of democracy.” That’s a common theme of his to justify the health insurance reform program, known as RomneyCare, he pushed as Governor of Massachusetts. That plan has been cited by one of President Barack Obama’s advisors for providing inspiration for ObamaCare. Scholars at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, have essentially argued that RomneyCare and ObamaCare are one in the same by pointing out many similarities, including the individual mandate – an part of both plans that requires every individual to purchase health insurance or pay a fine. The only real difference is one was done at the state level and the other at the federal level.
Romney says wants ObamaCare repealed, but as recently 2009 he said that Washington could learn from Massachusetts:
In an interview with CNN in 2009, as Washington was debating President Barack Obama’s health care proposal, Romney said portions of the Massachusetts law could serve as a model for the country.
“I think there are a number of features in the Massachusetts plan that could inform Washington on ways to improve health care for all Americans,” Romney told CNN. “The fact that we were able to get people insured without a government option is a model I think they can learn from.”
That’s not going to play well in a primary.