The fact is, ObamaCare is expected to cause millions of uninsured Americans to gain health insurance, not lose it. Rubio's office points to a Congressional Budget Office report that said 27 million of the uninsured would have coverage by 2017.
Rubio's claim about some people losing "health insurance they were happy with" references the CBO's estimate that the number with employer-sponsored coverage would decline by 7 million by 2017. That's a net reduction, with some workers gaining coverage, some losing it, and others deciding to obtain other insurance on their own.
But these are estimates for what the insurance landscape will look like in the future. People aren't "now . losing the health insurance they were happy with," as Rubio said. In fact, CBO's estimates show 2 million uninsured Americans gaining coverage this year.
STEIN: We are squandering trillions of dollars over the coming decade on a massive, wasteful health insurance, private health insurance bureaucracy. By moving to a single-payer, Medicare-for-all system, we get a system that people love and want to defend from government tampering, and that system covers everyone comprehensively, puts you back in charge of your healthcare, and, in addition, it actually saves us trillions over the coming decade, equivalent to that austerity plan that they were talking about. What we have right now is 30% of every healthcare dollar is being spent on bureaucracy, red tape and paper pushing. Under Medicare, that 30% shrinks down to 2% to 3%. That's enough to cover everybody. And we deserve that.
BIDEN: No religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, including any hospital--none has to refer contraception. None has to pay for contraception. None has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact.
RYAN: If they agree with you, then why would they keep suing you? It's a distinction without a difference.
STEIN: Both Obama and Romney-Ryan are both aiming for essentially for the same targets. For Medicare, they are both aiming for Medicare to be reduced to about 2.2% of GDP. A sign that things are not really different between these two corporate-sponsored candidates. They're both proposing about $700 billion in Medicare cuts. We can fix this. One thing we can do right now is to fix Medicare Part D so that it's no longer a boondoggle, a giveaway for pharmaceutical companies and to allow bargaining and negotiation to get bulk purchasing and bring down the cost.
ANDERSON: The solution to Medicare is to provide Medicare for everybody. To make it a single payer system.
STEIN: I live in the state of Massachusetts. So, I've seen RomneyCare or ObamaCare--take your pick--the Affordable Care Act actually in the flesh is neither affordable nor caring, because it provides stripped-down plans which are fairly expensive unless you are in a very low income. If you are making less than $20,000 a year as a family, you're covered. And it actually has expanded care for the very poor, and that is a good thing. But if you're in the $20,000-$40,000 bracket, near-poor, these plans cover about 70% of your costs; yet you are paying approximately 10% of your income for them. So, it's not affordable for families. You're not fully covered. The proof of the pudding here is that when people get sick in Massachusetts now, they go into medical bankruptcy just as much as they did before we had the Affordable Care Act.
ANDERSON: We're talking here about ObamaCare and RomneyCare. I would call that "insurance companycare" because they're the ones who wrote it. They joined up with a very conservative foundation years ago to develop this plan, to make the American people buy this perverse product. We are the only country in the world that depends upon for-profit insurance companies for the majority of our coverage for health care, for those were lucky enough to have it.
STEIN: I live in the state of Massachusetts. So, I've seen RomneyCare or ObamaCare--take your pick--the Affordable Care Act actually in the flesh is neither affordable nor caring.
OBAMA: The irony is that we've seen this model work really well in Massachusetts, because Gov. Romney set up what is essentially the identical model.
ROMNEY: We didn't put in place a board that can tell people ultimately what treatments they're going to receive.
OBAMA: This "unelected" board is a group of health care experts to figure out, How can we reduce the cost of care in the system overall?
ROMNEY: To bring the cost of health care down, we don't need to have a board of 15 people telling us what kinds of treatments we should have. We instead need to put insurers, hospitals, doctors on target such that they have an incentive: performance pay, for doing an excellent job, for keeping costs down.
OBAMA: This board that we're talking about can't make decisions about what treatments are given. That's explicitly prohibited in the law.
ROMNEY: I like the way we did it in Massachusetts. In my state, we had Republicans and Democrats work together. What you did instead was to push through a plan without a single Republican vote. As a matter of fact, when Massachusetts did something quite extraordinary--elected a Republican senator to stop ObamaCare, you pushed it through anyway. So entirely on a partisan basis, instead of bringing America together and having a discussion on this important topic, you pushed through something that you and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid thought was the best answer and drove it through. What we did in a legislature 87% Democrat, we worked together; 200 legislators in my legislature, only two voted against the plan by the time we were finished. What were some differences? We didn't raise taxes. You've raised them by $1 trillion under ObamaCare.
OBAMA: Governor Romney said this has to be done on a bipartisan basis. [ObamaCare] was a bipartisan idea. In fact, it was a Republican idea. And Governor Romney said "what we did in Massachusetts could be a model for the nation." I agree that the Democratic legislators in Massachusetts might have given some advice to Republicans in Congress about how to cooperate, but the fact of the matter is, we used the same advisers, and they say it's the same plan.
ROMNEY: The right answer is not to have the federal government take over health care and start mandating to the providers across America. That's the wrong way to go. The federal government taking over health care for the entire nation and whisking aside the 10th Amendment, which gives states the rights for these kinds of things, is not the course for America to have a stronger, more vibrant economy.
OBAMA: When Governor Romney talks about this "unelected" board that we've created, is a group of health care experts, doctors etc., to figure out, how can we reduce the cost of care in the system overall? So what this board does is basically identifies best practices and says, let's use the purchasing power of Medicare and Medicaid to help to institutionalize all these good things that we do.
ROMNEY: In order to bring the cost of health care down, we don't need to have a board of 15 people telling us what kinds of treatments we should have. We instead need an incentive: performance pay, for doing an excellent job, for keeping costs down,
OBAMA: This board that we're talking about can't make decisions about what treatments are given. That's explicitly prohibited in the law.
ROMNEY: I sure do. It's expensive. It has killed jobs.
OBAMA: Well, four years ago, it wasn't just that small businesses were seeing costs skyrocket, but it was families who were worried about going bankrupt if they got sick. If they had a pre-existing condition, they might not be able to get coverage at all. If they did have coverage, insurance companies might impose an arbitrary limit. And let me tell you exactly what ObamaCare did. Number one, if you've got health insurance, it doesn't mean a government takeover. You keep your own insurance. You keep your own doctor. But it does say insurance companies can't jerk you around. They can't impose arbitrary lifetime limits. They have to let you keep your kid on your insurance plan until you're 26 years old. And it also says that you're going to have to get rebates if insurance companies are spending more on administrative costs and profits than they are on actual care.
A: I would repeal all of ObamaCare and replace it with I think the kinds of reforms we really need. Now and then the President says I'm the grandfather of ObamaCare. I don't think he meant that as a compliment, but I'll take it. I'm proud of the fact that in my state, after our plan was put in place, every child has insurance, 98% of adults have insurance, but we didn't have to cut Medicare by $716 billion to do that. We didn't raise taxes on health companies by $500 billion as the President did. And so we crafted a program that worked for our state, and I believe the right course for healthcare reform is to say for each state we're going to give you the Medicaid dollars you've had in the past, plus grow them with inflation, plus 1%, and you as the states are now going to be given targets to move people towards insurance and you craft programs that are right for your state. Some will copy what we did; others will find better solutions.
Ladies and gentlemen, you would be hard pressed to find another group in America that does more to serve the health of women and their babies than the Catholic Church and Catholic Charities. And now, suddenly, we have ObamaCare bureaucrats presuming to dictate how they will do it.
As Governor Romney has said, this mandate is not a threat and insult to one religious group--it is a threat and insult to every religious group. He and I are honored to stand with you--people of faith and concerned citizens--in defense of religious liberty. And I can assure you, when Mitt Romney is elected, we will get to work--on day one--to repeal that mandate and all of ObamaCare.
If we renew the contract, we will get the same deal--with only one difference: In a 2nd term, he will never answer to you again.
In so many ways, starting with ObamaCare, re-electing this president would set in motion things that can never be called back. It would be a choice to give up so many other choices. When all the new mandates of government-run healthcare come down, the last thing the regulators will want to hear is your opinion. When the Obama tax increases start coming, nobody in Washington is going to ask whether you can afford them or not. But we the people need to think ahead, even if our current president will not, to avoid that crisis while there is still time.
An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn't even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obama Care and we're going to stop it.
Medicare is a promise and we will honor it. A Romney-Ryan Administration with protect and strengthen Medicare for my mom's generation, for my generation and for my kids and yours.
The Ryan proposal would convert the current Medicare program to a system under which beneficiaries received premium support payments--payments that would be used to help pay the premiums for a private health insurance policy and would grow over time with overall consumer prices. Additionally, the proposal would convert the matching payments that the federal government makes to states for Medicaid costs under current law into block grants of fixed dollar amounts beginning in 2013, and [would repeal ObamaCare]. Under the Ryan proposal, mandatory spending for health care would be about 6% of GDP in 2030 and about 5% in 2050, CBO estimates.
A: You've got to have the facts on your side. When Obama runs ads saying you are throwing the elderly over the cliff, I will say shame on you Mr. President; you are the only president in history to cut Medicare by $500 billion. And why did you cut it? To pay for Obamacare that we don't want and we can't afford.
A: Well, we have it in Massachusetts, since it's really modeled after RomneyCare, and it's very problematic. It is not a solution--it did extend care to some people who didn't have it, but kind of at the cost of working families. The costs are not fairly distributed; the mandate is extremely unfair; the system is entirely unsustainable, and it is not working. Many people say health care is worse than it is better under ObamaCare, which is remarkable because you don't know what the real problems of a health care system are until you get sick.
Q: Was ObamaCare a step forward?
A: I think it was a step backward for the final goal of a system of single payer health care.
Q: So do you support ObamaCare?
A: I don't support ObamaCare and see it as a step backward that entrenches the power of the private health care industry.
ROMNEY: First, in RomneyCare, there's no mention of abortion whatsoever. The Massachusetts Supreme Court decided that all times that there was any subsidy of health care in Massachusetts that one received abortion care. That was not done by the legislature; I would have vetoed such a thing. That was done by the courts. #2, it's true, somewhere in that bill of ours, 70 pages, there's the mention of the words "Planned Parenthood," but it describes payment structures.
SANTORUM: You do not specifically mention that abortion is not covered. You can't say: Oh, gee, surprise, the court made us cover abortions. He knew very well that the court would make him cover abortions.
PAUL: No, essentially not, but they have to be a referee. If people are doing things that hurt other people, yes. But if you embark on instituting a society where government protects you from yourself, you're in big trouble, and that's what they're doing.
Q: What about mandates for adults?
PAUL: You talk about ObamaCare using force, but that's all government is, is force. I mean, do you have a choice about paying Medicare taxes? So there's not a whole of different: you're forced to buy insurance. That's one step further. But you have to stop with force. Once government uses force to mold behavior or mold the economy, they've overstepped the bounds and they've violated the whole concept of our revolution and our Constitution.
ROMNEY: One, I didn't send a team to meet with Obama. I wish he'd have given me a call. I wish when he was putting together his health care plan, he'd have had the judgment to say, "Let me talk to a governor who understands this topic," and get on the phone. I'd have said, "Mr. President, you're going down a very, very bad path. Do not continue going down that path because what you're going to do is you're going to raise taxes. You're going to cut Medicare." The plan we put in place in Massachusetts deals with the 8% of our people who didn't have insurance. The 92% of people who did have insurance, nothing changes for them. If I'm President, we're going to get rid of ObamaCare and return, under our Constitution--the 10th Amendment--the responsibility and care of health care to the people in the states.
ROMNEY: If the people of Massachusetts don't like our plan, they can get rid of it. Individuals under the 10th Amendment have the power to craft their own solutions. I'm absolutely adamantly opposed to ObamaCare. It's a 2,000-page bill that takes over health care. It is wrong for health care. It's unconstitutional.
PERRY: I read your first book and it said that your mandate in Massachusetts should be the model for the country. It came out of the reprint of the book. But, I'm just sayin', you were for individual mandates.
ROMNEY: You've raised that before, Rick. And you're simply wrong.
PERRY: It was true then. It's true now.
ROMNEY: Rick, I'll tell you what. $10,000 bet?
PERRY: I'm not in the betting business. I'll show you the book.
ROMNEY: I wrote the book. Chapter seven is called The Massachusetts Model. I have not said anything about our plan being a national model imposed on the nation.
Two years later when Obama used the Massachusetts plan as the model for a national health care program, Romney argued that "what works in one state is not going to work somewhere else." Many thought he was abandoning support for the Massachusetts plan, when in fact he was only saying, as he had said all along, that the health care plan could be implemented throughout the nation, presumably state by state. That is the only major difference: it should be a state program, not a federal one.
ROMNEY: Rick, you're absolutely right. On day one, granting a waiver to all 50 states doesn't stop in its tracks entirely ObamaCare. That's why I also say we have to repeal ObamaCare, and I will do that on day two with a reconciliation bill, because, as you know, it was passed by reconciliation, 51 votes. We can get rid of it with 51 votes. We have to get rid of ObamaCare and return to the states the responsibility [for healthcare]. We all agree about repeal and replace. I put together a plan that says what I'm going to replace it with: to solve the problem of health care, to get it to work like a market.
ROMNEY: I actually wrote my book, and in my book I said no such thing. When I put my health care plan together, a Washington Post reporter asked, "Is this is a plan that if you were president you would put on the whole nation, have a whole nation adopt it?" I said, "Absolutely not. This is a state plan for a state, it is not a national plan." And it's fine for to you retreat from your own words in your own book [on Social Security's constitutionality], but please don't try and make me retreat from the words that I wrote in my book. I stand by what I wrote. I believe in what I did. And I believe that the people of this country can read my book and see exactly what it is.
ROMNEY: I don't think he knows what he was talking about in that regard. Let me tell you this about our system in Massachusetts: 92% of our people were insured before we put our plan in place. Nothing's changed for them. The system is the same. They have private market-based insurance. We had 8% of our people that weren't insured. And so what we did is we said let's find a way to get them insurance, again, market-based private insurance. We didn't come up with some new government insurance plan. Our plan in Massachusetts has some good parts, some bad parts, some things I'd change, some things I like about it. It's different than Obamacare. Obamacare intends to put someone between you and your physician. It must be repealed. That law is bad; it's unconstitutional; it shall not stand.
ROMNEY: Absolutely. I'm not running for governor. I'm running for president. And if I'm president, on day one I'll direct the secretary of Health and Human Services to grant a waiver from Obamacare to all 50 states. It's a problem that's bad law, it's not constitutional. I'll get rid of it.
Q: [to Perry]: Can a state like Massachusetts go ahead and pass health care reform, including mandates? Is that a good idea, if Massachusetts wants to do it?
PERRY: Well, that's what Gov. Romney wanted to do, so that's fine. But the fact of the matter is, that was the plan that President Obama has said himself was the model for Obamacare. I don't think it was right for Massachusetts when you look at what it's costing the people of Massachusetts today.
ROMNEY: If you think what we did in Massachusetts and what Pres. Obama did are the same, boy, take a closer look: he raised taxes $500 billion; we didn't raise taxes.
CAIN: First, repeal Obamacare in its entirety. Secondly, [market reforms]: deductibility of health insurance premiums; loser-pay laws; and association health plans.
ROMNEY: Herman Cain is right, and let's get back to getting the cost of health care down. The reason health care is so expensive is not just because of insurance, it's because of the cost of providing care. And one reason for that is the person who receives care in America generally doesn't care how much it costs, because once they've paid their deductible, it's free. And the provider, the more they do, the more they get paid. And so what we have to do is make sure that individuals have a concern and care about how much something costs. And for that to happen, health savings accounts. Give people a stake in what the cost of insurance is going to be, what the cost of it is going to be. Co-insurance, where people pay a share of the bill, that makes a difference.
ROMNEY: First, I'd be careful about trusting what President Obama says as to what the source was of his plan, number one. But number two, if you think wha we did in Massachusetts and what President Obama did are the same, boy, take a closer look, because:
ROMNEY: One thing I'd do on day one if I'm elected president is direct my secretary of health and human services to put out an executive order granting a waiver from Obamacare to all 50 states. It is bad law, it will not work, and I'll get that done on day one. Now, what we faced in our state is different than what other states face. In our state, our plan covered 8% of the people, the uninsured. One thing I know, and that is that what Pres. Obama put in place is not going to work. It's massively expensive. His plan is taking over 100% of the people, and the American people don't like it and should vote it down.
A: Yes, if it's possible. I would do the same for [President Bush's Medicare] prescription [drug subsidies]. Two parties can take responsibility for where we're at right now.
ROMNEY: Are you familiar with the Massachusetts constitution? I am. It allows states [to mandate insurance].
Q: [to Paul]: Does a state have a constitutional right to make someone buy insurance just because they're a resident?
PAUL: No, the federal government can't go in and prohibit the states from doing bad things. And I would consider that a very bad thing, but you don't send in a federal police force because they're doing it. So they do have that leeway under our Constitution. But we have drifted so far from any of our care being delivered by the marketplace. And once you get the government involved--both parties have done it --they've developed a medical care delivery system based on corporatism. The corporations are doing quite well, whether it's Obama or under the Republicans. The drug companies do well. The insurance companies do well. The patient and the doctors suffer.
PAWLENTY: Obamacare was patterned after Mitt's plan. And for Mitt or anyone else to say that there aren't substantial similarities or they're not essentially the same plan, it just isn't credible.
ROMNEY: There are some similarities between what we did in Massachusetts and what President Obama did, but there are some big differences. And one is, I believe in the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. And that says that powers not specifically granted to the federal government are reserved by the states and the people. We put together a plan that was right for Massachusetts. The president took the power of the people & the states away from them and put in place a one-size-fits-all plan. It's bad law. It's bad constitutional law. It's bad medicine. And if I'm president, on my first day, I'll direct the secretary of HHS to grant a waiver from Obamacare to all 50 states
A: You're asking me, what do we think we should do about Obamacare? And the answer is, I think you have to repeal Obamacare, and I will, and I'll put in place a plan that allows states to craft their own programs to make those programs work.
Q: I'm asking you where you find that authority in the Constitution.
A: Are you familiar with the Massachusetts constitution? I am. And the Massachusetts constitution allows states, for instance, to say that our kids have to go to school. It has that power. We said, look, we're finding people that can afford health insurance, that are going to the hospital and getting the state to pay for them--people who are free riders. We said, you know what? We're going to insist that those people who can afford to pay for themselves do so. That was our conclusion
Johnson: Medicaid and Medicare and reforming Social Security.
Bachmann: Obamacare, the largest entitlement and spending program in our country's history.
Gingrich: Also, fraud in Medicaid and Medicare are rampant. We should stop paying the crooks.
Cain: I would focus on major entitlement reform. This would focus on programs similar to Social Security.
ROMNEY: If I'm elected president, I will repeal Obamacare. And also, on my first day in office, I will grant a waiver to all 50 states from Obamacare. Now, there's some similarities and there are some big differences. Obamacare spends a trillion dollars. If it were perfect--and it's not perfect, it's terrible--we can't afford more federal spending. Secondly, it raises $500 billion in taxes. We didn't raise taxes in Massachusetts. Third, Obamacare takes $500 billion out of Medicare and funds Obamacare. We, of course, didn't do that. And, finally, ours was a state plan, a state solution, and if people don't like it in our state, they can change it. That's the nature of why states are the right place for this type of responsibility. And that's why I introduced a plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a state-centric program.
PAWLENTY: I cited Obama's own words that he looked to Massachusetts as a blueprint or a guide when he designed Obamacare.
Q: You chose those words, "Obamneycare," on "Fox News Sunday;" why is it not "Obamneycare" with Romney right here?
PAWLENTY: Using the term "Obamneycare" was a reflection of the president's comments that he designed Obamacare on the Massachusetts health care plan.
ROMNEY: My guess is the president is going to eat those words and wish he hadn't put them out there. And I can't wait to debate him & say, Mr. President, if, in fact, you did look at what we did in Massachusetts, why didn't you give me a call and ask what worked & what didn't? And I would have told you, Mr. President, that wha you're doing will not work. It's a huge power grab by the federal government. It's going to be massively expensive, raising taxes, cutting Medicare. It's wrong for America. And that's why there's an outpouring across the nation to say no to Obamacare.
Still, the bill was passed and the damage has been done. In the end, this unsustainable bill jeopardizes the very thing it was supposed to fix: our health care system. Somewhere along the way we forgot that health care reform is about doctors & patients, not the IRS & politicians. Instead of helping doctors with tort reform, this bill has made primary care physicians think about getting out of medicine. It was supposed to make health care more affordable, but our premiums will continue to go up.
Obamacare mandates that the American people must go out and buy government-approved health insurance in the private market. I defy anyone to show me the clause in the Constitution that gives Washington the authority to do this.
A: I believe we need to directly address the uncertainty in the market caused by policies coming from Washington. We need to permanently extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, repeal Obamacare, halt regulations that hurt job creation and promote fair and free trade.
Human beings have no standing to ask this question. Only God does. But Obamacare preempts divine authority, and arrogates to men and women the responsibility for deciding when life is worth preserving and when it is not.
To a certain extent, all doctors and all families have always faced this excruciating decision. Now, Obama is demanding that it be decided by a calculation of Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs), in which physicians, with bureaucrats peering over their shoulders and cost accounting peering over theirs, must equate life with money and come up with an answer.
Obama said ObamaCare would not add to the deficit, would bend the cost curve down, and would reduce premiums, while the evidence shows just the opposite. Obama said that under his plan people could keep the insurance they had. Independent groups have shown this claim is simply false. At one point, President Obama was even so brash as to claim his plan would not cut Medicare benefits--even though the White House's own fact sheet said at the time that two-thirds of health-care reform would be paid for by $622 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts. The deceptions have badly injured his credibility.