Jonathan Gruber, an economist at MIT and was the advisor for both Governor Romney and President Obama on health care law, wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe called ‘Massachusetts must remain a model on healthcare’ on why Massachusetts should remain a model on the healthcare in the state and as an example of a successful healthcare system as modeled in the Obama’s Affordable Care Act bill. Here is an excerpt:
But if we are to realize for the nation as a whole the types of gains we have seen in Massachusetts, the state must continue to lead. Part of that leadership means recognizing with some humbleness how we got here. Massachusetts was only able to pass our pioneering law because of enormous federal funding that paid more than half the costs of expanding insurance access. To suggest that other states simply follow our lead, but not to provide them the financial advantage that Massachusetts had in making this move, is simply disingenuous. (I’m talking to you, Governor Romney.)
That leadership also requires explaining to the rest of the country why our model works so well. It works because we have broad agreement that business, individuals, and the government should work together to craft an insurance system that works for all citizens. Businesses in Massachusetts have not abandoned health insurance coverage because of health reform; indeed, employer-sponsored insurance has grown much more rapidly here than in the rest of the nation since 2006. Individuals who were previously uninsured have contributed by buying insurance, often at the newly affordable rates provided by the state’s Health Connector. And the government has contributed by providing low-cost insurance alternatives for the poor, through its Commonwealth Care Program, and for everyone else, through the connector.
What Governor Romney constantly won’t admit that the same healthcare law in Massachusetts that he signed into law and his same adviser to his healthcare law is the same man who advised and crafted President Obama’s healthcare law with the same ideas from Governor Romney’s healthcare bill. As Mr. Gruber points out in an article last year that the fight against Obama’s healthcare bill on Capitol Hill and in public is more political:
Gruber said Republicans were actually less opposed to the mandate, which is going to be under scrutiny by the court, than they were to other provisions of the health care bill, given that the mandate was an essentially conservative idea that had currency with conservative intellectuals in the early 1990s. I asked about the difference between this plan and the kind that was espoused by former House speaker Newt Gingrich back then (and, briefly, in May of this year).
“Zero difference,” he said. “This is, to my mind, the most blatantly obvious case of politics trumping policy I’ve ever seen in my life. Because this is an idea, that four or five years ago, Republicans were touting. A guy from the Heritage Foundation spoke at the bill signing in Massachusetts about how good this bill was.”
He credited Mitt Romney for not totally disavowing the Massachusetts bill during his presidential campaign, but said Romney’s attempt to distinguish between Obama’s bill and his own is disingenuous.
“The problem is there is no way to say that,” Gruber said. “Because they’re the same fucking bill. He just can’t have his cake and eat it too. Basically, you know, it’s the same bill. He can try to draw distinctions and stuff, but he’s just lying. The only big difference is he didn’t have to pay for his. Because the federal government paid for it. Where at the federal level, we have to pay for it, so we have to raise taxes.”