Mitt Romney said Sunday that he likes parts of ‘Obamacare’ and will keep key provisions involving pre-existing conditions and young people.
“I’m not getting rid of all of health care reform. Of course there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I’m going to put in place,” he said on NBC’s “Meet The Press. “One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage. Two is to assure that the marketplace allows for individuals to have policies that cover their family up to whatever age they might like.”
The remarks appear to contradict Romney’s strong, unequivocal support for full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which he has consistently held since the Republican primaries.
Politically, his comments risk drawing the ire of conservatives, who have been adamant that Republicans repeal the law in its entirety if elected. It’s a major gamble that could reflect Romney’s need to win over more independent voters, who support those provisions.
Earlier this summer Romney came out for laws protecting Americans who have obtained continuous insurance coverage from being denied access to care. But the provision in the Affordable Care Act goes much further and bans insurers from turning down prospective customers on the basis of health status. It takes effect in 2014. A Romney spokesperson later clarified that Romney still supports his version of the policy — not the ACA’s.
Laws permitting young Americans to remain on a parent’s insurance policy until 26 have been backed by other top Republicans in recent months.
Asked on “Meet The Press” if he wants to repeal those two popular provisions of the law, Romney said, “Well, of course not. I say we’re going to replace Obamacare. And I’m replacing it with my own plan. And even in Massachusetts when I was governor, our plan there deals with pre-existing conditions and with young people.”
Republicans flirted with including those provisions of the law in a replacement plan in the run-up to the Supreme Court decision on its constitutionality. Conservative activists gave them hell for considering it and GOP leaders backed off before the decision came down.
This article has been updated after a late clarification from the Romney campaign.
Sahil Kapur is a congressional reporter for TPM. He previously covered politics and public policy for numerous publications including The Guardian and The Huffington Post. He can be reached at sahil [at] talkingpointsmemo.com.