Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Former Adviser: Romney Used to Sound Like Roberts on Health Mandate Former Adviser: Romney Used to Sound Like Roberts on Health Mandate

This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Politics / Campaign 2012

Former Adviser: Romney Used to Sound Like Roberts on Health Mandate

With the Capitol in the background, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks about the Supreme Court's health care ruling, Thursday, June 28, 2012, in Washington.(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

photo of Michael Hirsh
June 28, 2012

An MIT economist who helped Mitt Romney design his health insurance program in Massachusetts says that the then-governor used reasoning and language very similar to that of Chief Justice John Roberts in arguing for the necessity of an individual mandate.

"It's a penalty for free riding on the system. That's the way Gov. Romney talked about it," saidJonathan Gruber, who later became one of the key architects of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, which was modeled in part on the Romney law. "Justice Roberts used similar language today" in his opinion upholding what Romney and the Republicans have since denounced as "Obamacare." Although Roberts said that Congress did not have the right to mandate behavior, it did retain the right to "tax and spend," including to penalize people for not buying health care coverage.

Back in the early 2000s, when Gruber demonstrated to Romney with computer models that, absent an individual mandate, one-third of Massachusetts' poorest and sickest would remain uninsured (and drive up costs for everyone), the governor jumped on the point, instantly converted, Gruber said. Romney went at the problem "like a management consultant or an engineer," even against the advice of his conservative political advisers, the economist said. "They were concerned about the politics of universal health care. He argued them down."

 

Today, Gruber said, Romney has been handed the greatest vindication of his career as a policymaker--and he's running away from it. "He's completely disingenuous," Gruber contended. "There is a total disconnect between who Romney was in Massachusetts and what we're seeing now."

Job Board
Search Jobs
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
Fire Sprinkler Inspector
American Society of Civil Engineers | Charlotte, NC
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Deputy Director of Transit Operations
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Jose, CA
Transportation Planner
American Society of Civil Engineers | Salinas, CA
Assistant Professor - Water Resources/Ecological Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers | Auburn, AL
Product Manager - Chemical Development and Supply - Tulsa, OK
American Society of Civil Engineers | Tulsa, OK
Commissioning Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Chicago, IL
Assessment and Remediation Team Lead
American Society of Civil Engineers | Regina, SK
Business Development Manager
American Society of Civil Engineers
Sr. Controls Systems Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Grand Island, NE
Senior Project Manager- Transportation
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Antonio, TX
Materials Engineer 2
American Society of Civil Engineers | IL
Land Surveyor
American Society of Civil Engineers
Quality Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Attica, IN
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus