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Perry calls Romney’s Massachusetts health care law ‘a huge problem for him’

Texas Governor Rick Perry said on Thursday that the state health care law Mitt Romney signed during his time as governor of Massachusetts “is a huge problem for him.” The two men are among the top contenders for the Republican presidential nomination.

“Mitt is finally recognizing that the Massachusetts health care plan that he passed is a huge problem for him,” Perry said on conservative radio host Laura Ingraham’s show, according to The Austin American-Statesman. “And yeah, it was not almost perfect. I truly believe that you have to have the free-market in play with our health care. I think Obamacare, which was modeled after the Massachusetts plan, is an absolute debacle.”

Perry also said that he hopes the Supreme Court will rule before the 2012 election on the individual mandate included in the federal health care law. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the individual mandate exceeds Congress’ commerce clause powers, even after the Sixth Circuit court upheld the mandate in a previous ruling.

“I’m a big believer that the answer to our health care issues in this country can be found in the states, block-granting and substantially reducing the total amount of dollars back to the states and allowing them to come up with the ways to deliver health care, come up with the innovative approaches, the menu of ways to choose what kind of health care,” Perry said.

The American-Statesman reports that Texas has the highest rate of uninsured people in the country.

According to The Hill newspaper, the Massachusetts health care law is seen as one of Romney’s largest political liabilities, “one he tried to put behind him with a May speech in Ann Arbor, where he embraced the plan, including its individual mandate.” When he was still in the race, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty used the term “ObamneyCare” to try to lump Romney’s law in with the one signed by President Barack Obama.

In a poll released Wednesday, Gallup found Perry leading the field of Republican contenders. Twenty-nine percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents nationwide told Gallup they are most likely to support Perry, putting him well ahead of Romney, who attracted 17 percent. Gallup polls in May, June and July each had Romney in first place.

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Christian King on 08/26/2011 - 09:37 am.

    It’s funny how Mr. Perry, in the typical fashion of many politicians, ignores facts while denigrating his opponent’s record. The Massachusetts health care program is quite successful and popular with the state’s residents. See this link:

    Or this one:

    Mr. Romney would be a fool to turn his back on a great success like this one, but if it’s politically expedient to do so, I’m sure he will.

  2. Submitted by James Hamilton on 08/26/2011 - 10:43 am.

    So the private-for-profit medical care delivery system and the states have had too few centuries to find a way to provide universal, cost-effective health care, eh, Rick?

  3. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 08/26/2011 - 03:47 pm.

    The Massachusetts plan has two defects: (1) It is modeled on European plans that keep their spending at half or a little more per person than we spend — BUT it costs much, much more because Mitt Romney’s Republican beliefs would not allow him to accept the need for the state to regulate pricing of health care and insurance as Europe does; and (2) it covers most but definitely not all the state’s residents.

    The U.S. federal plan has two defects: (1) see above; (2) see above (an estimted 30 million Americans will still be uninsured).

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