Perry is right, Romney supported a national individual mandate

During Thursday’s debate, Rick Perry an interesting claim that Mitt Romney removed a line from his book, No Apology, where he said that the Massachusetts health care reform law — the blueprint for ObamaCare — should serve as model for the rest of the country. Romney dismissed the claim, saying:

I actually wrote my book, and in my book I said no such thing. What I said, actually — when I put my health care plan together – and I met with Dan Balz, for instance, of The Washington Post. He said, “Is this is a plan that if you were president you would put on the whole nation, have a whole nation adopt it?” I said, “Absolutely not.” I said, “This is a state plan for a state, it is not a national plan.”

Romney’s argument has been that his health care plan, which has cost Massachusetts some 18,000 jobs and has been a financial burden on the state, was what was right for his state; a poor defense. He has constantly denied ever saying that it serves as a national model. We know Romney backed a national individual mandate, the centerpiece of his plan and ObamaCare, as early as 1994. And it certainly seems as though Perry was right on this specific accusation, according to a report from ABC News:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said during the Florida debate that Romney took out the single line that suggested the Massachusetts health reform law could be applied to the country. The line that is removed in the paperback version reads, “We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country.”

The defense from the Romney camp is rather weak:

After the debate Romney’s staffer Fehrnstrom went into greater detail to explain what Romney was trying to say during the debate. Fehrnstrom said that line was indeed removed because there was more information when the second version of the book came out.  The line was originally written, according to Fehrnstrom, before Obamacare was on the books.

“Every time a book goes from hardcover to paperback there are updates that are made,” said Fehrnstrom after the debate. “When Mitt Romney wrote his book “No Apology” it came out before the health reform law passed and the stimulus bill passed came so of course there were updates a year later when the paperback edition came out. That’s not unusual in the publishing industry.”

“They were simple updates to reflect that we had more information at the time the paperback came out,” said Fehrnstrom.

The first edition of Romney’s book was published in March 2, 2010. Obama’s Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010. The paperback version of Romney’s book was first issued in February of 2011.

Translation: Romney wrote that before it was politically convenient to oppose ObamaCare, so he had to cover up a potentially politicially damaging position. There’s a shocker, Mitt Romney is trying to alter his past positions to get the Republican nomination; only this time, he may get away with it since the attacks haven’t stuck.

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