Romney Flip Flops on the Repeal of Obamacare

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GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has unambiguously said that he, if elected president, will repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), stated yesterday on NBC’s Meet the Press that he would not want to repeal all of the healthcare law [1]. The position is an abrupt turn on an early campaign promise.

Mitt Romney flip flops on healthcare reform

Romney told host David Gregory:

Well, I’m not getting rid of all of health care reform. Of course there are a number of things that I like in healthcare reform that I’m going to put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage. Two is to assure that the marketplace allows for individuals to have policies that cover their family up to whatever age they might like. I also want individuals to be able to buy insurance, health insurance, on their own as opposed to only being able to get it on a tax advantage basis through their company.

What makes Romney’s statement news worthy is that NOT repealing all of the Affordable Care Act is not only an express violation of the Republican Party’s 2012 platform, but it is also at odds with Romney’s own position as detailed on the campaign’s website.

Not surprisingly, within six hours, the Romney campaign had retracted the candidate’s remarks [2].

In reference to how Romney would deal with those with young adults who want to remain on their parents’ plans, a Romney aide responded that there had been no change in Romney’s position and that “in a competitive environment, the marketplace will make available plans that include coverage for what there is demand for. He was not proposing a federal mandate to require insurance plans to offer those particular features.”

The flip flop marks another chapter in Romney’s alternating positions with respect to healthcare. In 2006 as governor of Massachusetts, Romney passed a healthcare plan that he envisioned to be a model for the country. Even though Obamacare is based on Romeny’s model, as Republican presidential candidate in 2012, he has pledged to repeal the entirety of Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Or maybe not.

At Shots, the NPR Health Blog, there’s a detailed breakdown on the issue of ensuring that people who have a pre-existing health condition, and who’ve been insured in the past, are able to get insurance in the future. The analysis summarizes by stating that “what Romney is proposing doesn’t appear to answer either of the shortcomings of the 1996 law [HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act]. He says he only would protect people with continuous coverage, so people who can’t get insurance now wouldn’t be helped. And so far he hasn’t said anything about preventing insurers from charging people more if they have pre-existing conditions.”

Read more about what the healthcare law ruling means to you.


  1. September 9: Mitt Romney, Ann Romney, Julian Castro, Peggy Noonan, E.J. Dionne, Bill Bennett, Chuck Todd. Transcripts on Meet the Press. 2012 Sept 9.
  2. Re: Romney and Obamacare. National Review Online. 2012 Sept 9.
About the Author

Walter Jessen, Ph.D. is a Data Scientist, Digital Biologist, and Knowledge Engineer. His primary focus is to build and support expert systems, including AI (artificial intelligence) and user-generated platforms, and to identify and develop methods to capture, organize, integrate, and make accessible company knowledge. His research interests include disease biology modeling and biomarker identification. He is also a Principal at Highlight Health Media, which publishes Highlight HEALTH, and lead writer at Highlight HEALTH.