Romneycare vs. Gillespiecare: what's the difference?

3/24/2014

Tonight, Ed Gillespie travels to New York City to hold a fundraiser with a man who spent an entire presidential campaign trying to run away from his record on healthcare: Mitt Romney. Prior to running for president in 2012, Romney called his healthcare plan a "model for the nation." When it was clear this would not play well with the Tea Party, he changed his tune. However, even the conservative think tank AEI understood that "Romneycare was ‘template’ for Obamacare."

Ed Gillespie seems to be following the same playbook. He argued in his book that "a more rational approach...is to use the tax code to gain compliance" to have people buy health insurance, and in 2007 he was paid $300,000 to be the front man for a coalition that made the individual mandate the centerpiece of its health reform plan. However, just last week, Gillespie's campaign reversed course and claimed that he "consistently opposed the mandates."

Sound familiar?

Gillespie's rendezvous with Romney in New York City seems appropriate on this first day of the Virginia General Assembly special session for one more reason: the Virginia GOP is advocating against expanding Medicaid - despite it being a policy Gillespie strongly supported in 2007.

"Ed Gillespie and Mitt Romney are two peas in a pod when it comes to flip flopping on health reform," said DPVA spokeswoman Ashley Bauman. "The fact that Gillespie so easily abandons his previous support for the individual mandate and expanding Medicaid shows that he will say anything to get elected."

BACKGROUND

ROMNEY REPEATEDLY SAID HIS MASSACHUSETTS PLAN WOULD BE “A MODEL FOR THE NATION”

2007: Romney Said That The Massachusetts Plan “Will Be A Model For The Nation.” “During a speech in Baltimore on Feb. 2, 2007, Romney outlined his ambitions for the Massachusetts plan. ‘I’m proud of what we’ve done,’ he said. ‘If Massachusetts succeeds in implementing it, then that will be a model for the nation.’ Last month Romney’s dream came true. If Republicans knew what was good for them, they would stop treating it as a nightmare.” [Newsweek, 4/16/10]



ROMNEYCARE OFFICIALS HELPED WITH THE CREATION OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

White House Visitor Logs Show A Dozen Meetings In 2009 With Three Health-Care Advisers And Experts Who Helped Shape RomneyCare In 2006 Including One In The Oval Office With President Obama. NBC wrote on Romney’s health care advisors, advising the White House on health care reform: “The records, gleaned from White House visitor logs reviewed by NBC News, show that senior White House officials had a dozen meetings in 2009 with three health-care advisers and experts who helped shape the health care reform law signed by Romney in 2006, when the Republican presidential candidate was governor of Massachusetts. One of those meetings, on July 20, 2009, was in the Oval Office and presided over by President Barack Obama, the records show.” [NBC,10/11/11]

ROMNEYCARE WAS THE MODEL FOR OBAMACARE 

Headline: “Romneycare Was ‘Template’ For Obamacare” [James Pethokoukis, American Enterprise Institute, 1/26/12]

Politifact Rated The Claim That Obamacare Was Patterned After Romneycare, “True.” “Pawlenty said that ‘Obamacare was patterned after Mitt's plan in Massachusetts.’ In rating that statement, we noticed that Pawlenty phrased his statement carefully. He didn't say it was the same plan, but instead said that the national law was ‘patterned’ after the Massachusetts law, and they had ‘substantial similarities.’ He's correct that the plans, thought not completely identical, are very similar in structure. They both require everyone to have health insurance or pay a penalty; they both leave the current insurance system in place; they both expand coverage for the uninsured through subsidies or Medicaid. Because his statement accurately categorized the plans as similar -- but not exactly the same -- we rate Pawlenty's statement True.” [PolitiFact, 8/12/11]

GILLESPIE ARGUED FOR THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE WHEN HE WAS PAID

 

2006: Gillespie’s Memoir Promotes An Individual Health Care Mandate, And Recommends That It Be  Enforced By The IRS Through The Income Tax Code. “A more rational approach is to ensure that every emancipated adult capable of providing for his or her health care do so. One way to accomplish this is to use the tax code to gain compliance.” [Gillespie memoir, Winning Right: Campaign Politics and Conservative Policies, (2006, Threshold Editions), pages 245-6]

2007: Gillespie’s Lobbying Firm was Paid More Than $300,000 By The Coalition To Advance Healthcare Reform, A Business And Insurance Coalition Launched With The Stated Goal Of Requiring An Individual And Employer Health Insurance Mandate. The news release announcing the Coalition highlighted Gillespie’s role both as a strategist and a participant, and the Coalition’s mailing address was the same as Gillespie’s D.C. lobbying firm.  “Standing shoulder to shoulder with lawmakers at a Capitol Hill press conference, [CAHR] discussed the coalition's core principles, its mission and called for meaningful federal and state policy reforms by 2009 to solve the nation's healthcare crisis… Specifically, the coalition believes the foundation of any reform must be based on the following: Universal Coverage with Individual Responsibility.”[PRNewswire, 05/07/2007]

2007: The Coalition’s Website Clearly Stated That The Individual Mandate Was A Key Principle. “Public policy has long mandated that care be provided when needed. We believe this policy should be balanced with a requirement that individuals carry health insurance regardless of their employment status.” [CAHR website archive,accessed 02/24/2014]

GILLESPIE BELIEVED LOW INCOME FAMILIES SHOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR SUBSIDIES TO PAY FOR THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE

2007: In A Radio Interview Supporting The Coalition’s Launch, Gillespie Said Low-Income Families Should Be Eligible For Taxpayer Subsidies To Help Pay For The Cost Of The Individual Mandate. Gillespie told Tom Ashbrook of WBUR/Boston’s “On Point” on May 8, 2007, “That’s not to say people shouldn’t be eligible for Medicaid or some form of government subsidies.” [Gillespie, WBUR Boston’s On Point, 5/8/2007]