CNN: Romney once touted mandate he now deems unconstitutional
Every story quoting Romney on the mandate needs to remind everyone of this. It is true as CNN says that many people are aware of it, but we are in a weird situation where both campaigns seem to be downplaying this extraordinary flip flop,so the media needs to keep reminding people of the reality about Romney.
"Gosh I hope they do the right thing and turn this thing down," Romney told a fundraiser in Atlanta earlier this month, according to pool reports. "And say it's unconstitutional because it is."
As most voters now know, the president fashioned much of his law by borrowing heavily from the reform plan signed into law by Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts six years ago. The centerpiece of the Massachusetts plan is its own mandate.
In an interview with CNN in 2009, Romney touted the mandate as a free market alternative to the president's original plan that offered Americans the option to buy into a government insurance plan. That so-called "public option" was later dropped from the law.
"I think there are a number of features in the Massachusetts plan that could inform Washington on ways to improve health care for all Americans," Romney told CNN in 2009. "The fact that we were able to get people insured without a government option is a model I think they can learn from."
Romney explained his mandate, or "incentive" as he preferred to call it in the interview, was designed to achieve universal coverage.
"No more free riders. Everybody is part of the plan. And that way, we get the costs down. We let people know that they never have to worry about losing their coverage," Romney said in the interview.