Presidential Hopefuls Say Health Reform Law Adding to Fiscal Issues
During a debate at Dartmouth College on Tuesday, the eight Republican presidential candidates discussed the nation's economy, including the effect of the federal health reform law and other health care policy, the New York Times reports.
During the debate, which was sponsored by the Washington Post and Bloomberg, each of the candidates expressed their opposition to the overhaul and said that the health reform law is a significant contributing factor to the nation's fiscal problems.
Romney, Perry Discuss Health Reform
During one portion of the debate candidates were permitted to question each other, and several targeted former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney regarding his 2006 Massachusetts health law (Zeleny/Parker, New York Times, 10/11).
Texas Gov. Rick Perry asked Romney to respond to criticisms of the state overhaul, which Perry said drove up premiums (Memoli, "Politics Now," Los Angeles Times, 10/11). Romney defended his proposal by noting that unlike the federal health reform law, the Massachusetts plan did not raise taxes. He added, "One of the problems with ObamaCare is he doesn't just deal with the people without insurance. He takes over health care for everyone" (Gardner/Rucker, Washington Post, 10/11). Romney repeated a promise to repeal the federal overhaul.
Romney added that the Massachusetts law resulted in "less than 1% of our kids who are uninsured," noting that in comparison, "a million kids" in Texas are uninsured.
Perry defended his health care record by saying the state reduced health insurance costs by 30% during his tenure and passed sweeping tort reform in 2003. Later, Perry's campaign sent several press releases to reporters criticizing Romney and the Massachusetts reform law, according to CBS News (Condon, CBS News, 10/11).
Gingrich Defends Palin's 'Death Panel' Comments
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) said former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) was unfairly criticized for her suggestion that the federal health reform law would result in "death panels" having control over health care, the AP/Washington Post reports.
Gingrich said that although the panels are not part of the overhaul, the law gives the government too much control over allocating medical care (AP/Washington Post, 10/11).
Records Show Romney Advisers Discussed Health Reform With Obama
In related news, a report released earlier in the day by NBC News indicated that three health policy experts who worked on Romney's Massachusetts health care law met with Obama administration officials 12 times in 2009, as the administration worked on developing the federal reform law.
White House visitor logs show the officials also were involved in a July 2009 meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office (Isikoff, NBC News, 10/11).
President Obama has cited Romney's health care law as an inspiration for the federal health reform law, but Romney has repeatedly distanced himself from the overhaul (Edwards, National Journal, 10/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.