Barack Obama "wants the government to take over health care, spend hundreds of billions of dollars of new money for health insurance for everyone."
Mitt Romney on Saturday, January 5th, 2008 in a debate in Manchester, N.H.
Obama plan not a takeover
In a question at a New Hampshire debate, the Republican candidates were asked how they would campaign against Barack Obama if he wins the Democratic nomination. Mitt Romney's first response was to argue that Obama "wants the government to take over health care, spend hundreds of billions of dollars of new money for health insurance for everyone."
Problem is, Obama's plan keeps the free-market health care system intact, particularly employer-based insurance. His plan expands existing programs for the uninsured by increaseing eligibility for the poor and children to enroll in initiatives like Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. His plan also creates pools for individuals to buy their own cheaper insurance. And it outlines several strategies aimed at reining in costs for everyone, such as streamlining medical record-keeping and emphasizing preventative care.
Romney is also off when he says that Obama wants to spend hundreds of billions of dollars. The Obama campaign has said that Obama believes the cost will be less than $100-billion — between $50-billion and $65-billion.
Romney is correct when he says Obama wants to cover everyone; Obama has said that is his goal. But Obama has no mandate requiring that adults buy health insurance. How many people would remain uninsured has become a hot issue in the Democratic primary. (See our coverage of this issue here . )
At best, Romney is wrong on two out of three points in his attack on the Obama health plan. It's not a government takeover and the purported cost is less than what Romney stated. For these reasons, we rate Romney's statement Barely True.
Editor's note: This statement was rated Barely True when it was published. On July 27, 2011, we changed the name for the rating to Mostly False.