Romney’s Obamacare replacement would give more flexibility to states


Sen. Mitt Romney


Sen. Mitt Romney is working behind the scenes on a replacement to the Affordable Care Act, but few details have been forthcoming. Romney tells his plan will help provide healthcare to those Americans who are still without insurance under the ACA.

“How do we deal with the 10 to 15% of Americans that don’t have insurance? Obamacare took that on, but wasn’t really successful in getting everybody insured,” said Romney. 

Romney says his idea to get coverage to those Americans without insurance is a partnership between the federal government and states that would give individual states more flexibility to provide healthcare. The federal government would set standards for coverage, but it would be up to individual states to decide how to meet those standards.

“I’m not wild about the idea that a state has to go to Washington begging for the authority to what it believes is right for its own people,” he said. “I think it’s much better to let the state craft its own program for its own people, but the state has to meet certain standards. You have to cover preexisting conditions. You have to make sure you’re covering maternity care and so forth.”

Romney’s plan seems to be the ideological sibling to Gov. Gary Herbert’s “Healthy Utah” alternative to Medicaid expansion. That plan essentially used block grants from the federal government to help Utahns in the Medicaid gap and those earning up to 138 percent of federal poverty levels purchase private health insurance.

Romney said his idea was “on the same path” that Herbert was considering, but was not forthcoming with any more details.

Sen. Romney also said he’s working on legislation to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and to eliminate surprise medical billing.

You can listen to our podcast conversation with Romney here.