On Sunday’s edition of ’60 Minutes,’ Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney talked about health insurance. “Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance. If someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care.”
The comments made by Romney seem to be a turnaround from his time in Massachusetts as governor, where he passed a universal health care law. The reason he passed the law was so costs could be eliminated from uninsured people using emergency rooms for medical care. Back in 2010, during an interview with ‘Morning Joe’ on MSNBC, Romney said the following when asked about universal coverage:
“Look, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for us to have millions and millions of people who have no health insurance and yet who can go to the emergency room and get entirely free care for which they have no responsibility, particularly if they are people who have sufficient means to pay their own way,” he said.
Back in 2007, Romney said the following during an interview with Glenn Beck: “When they show up at the hospital, they get care. They get free care paid for by you and me. If that’s not a form of socialism, I don’t know what is. So my plan did something quite different. It said, you know what? If people can afford to buy insurance … or if they can pay their own way, then they either buy that insurance or pay their own way, but they no longer look to government to hand out free care. And that, in my opinion, is ultimate conservativism.”
Getting back to his interview Sunday night on ’60 Minutes,’ Romney said that each of the 50 states should deal with uninsured citizens using different methods.
“Again, different states have different ways of doing that,” Romney said. “Some provide that care through clinics. Some provide the care through emergency rooms. In my state, we found a solution that worked for my state. But I wouldn’t take what we did in Massachusetts and say to Texas, ‘You’ve got to take the Massachusetts model.’”
The bill passed by Romney in Massachusetts has been successful so far, reducing the number of people who use emergency rooms for care over the past six years. Also, the state has the highest rate of citizens that have health insurance in the country.