President Obama and Mitt Romney square off on American health reform in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The journal invited the Democratic president and his Republican opponent in the presidential election in November to write editorials explaining their health care platforms and their vision of the future of health care reform.
Noting that both supporters and detractors of the Affordable Care Act refer to the law as Obamacare, the president wrote, “I don’t mind, because I do care. And because of Obamacare we’re moving forward toward a health care system that broadly provides health security.”
He noted that many of the law’s provisions take effect in 2014, “when 30 million currently uninsured people will finally begin to find affordable coverage.”
Obama writes that Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, “has a radically different vision for the future of our health care system—even if it means running from his past as the architect of health reform in Massachusetts. He would begin by repealing Obamacare on day 1. Your patients would once again be charged excessive copays for preventive care, and millions of Americans would be one illness or injury away from bankruptcy.”
In his editorial, Romney asserts: “President Obama’s 2,700-page federal takeover does not solve our problems. His $1 trillion in tax increases hits the middle class hard and drives medical innovation overseas.”
Romney said he would replace Obamacare with “common-sense, patient-centered reforms suited to the challenges we face.”
“In the health care system that I envision,” Romney continues, “costs will be brought under control not because a board of bureaucrats decrees it but because everyone—providers, insurers, and patients—has incentives to do it. Families will have the option of keeping their employer-sponsored coverage, but they will also be empowered to enjoy the greater choice, portability, and security of purchasing their own insurance plans.”