After years of running away from his implementation, as Massachusetts governor, of a health care overhaul that helped inspire Obamacare, freshman Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is now pitching in on helping the Trump administration come up with an Affordable Care Act replacement.
Romney’s spokesperson confirmed to The Hill that the failed 2012 presidential candidate is in “preliminary discussions” surrounding a potential replacement plan.
President Trump has in recent days promised to come up with something “far better” than Obamacare, a long sought-after white whale that eluded Republicans with their disastrous go at repealing the Affordable Care Act in 2017. Trump’s promises come after a move by his Justice Department last week to seek that courts invalidate all of Obamacare in a Texas case challenging it.
In 2006, Romney signed into law a Massachusetts health care regime that had many of the same features — a mandate, insurance marketplaces and subsidies for premiums — that Democrats under President Obama would go on to adopt with their passage of the Affordable Care Act.
“Romneycare,” as the Massachusetts version was derisively dubbed, was a toxic issue for the governor among conservatives as he ran against Obama for president. During the 2012 campaign, Romney argued that he opposed Obamacare in favor of letting states craft their own systems. But in 2015, Romney finally claimed ownership of helping create the state law that laid the foundations for the Affordable Care Act.
“Without Tom pushing it, I don’t think we would have had Romneycare,” Romney said in an obituary for Thomas Stemberg, a Boston-based business exec who pushed for the health care overhaul.
“Without Romneycare, I don’t think we would have Obamacare. So, without Tom a lot of people wouldn’t have health insurance,” Romney said in 2015.