ObamaCare Modeled on RomneyCare: Records

NBC News obtains records that are sure to play a part in tonight's debate
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2011 9:14 AM CDT
ObamaCare Modeled on RomneyCare: Records
US Republican presidential hopeful former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney addresses the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit in Washington on October 8, 2011.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – As the GOP frontrunner, it's widely expected that Mitt Romney will face a tough time tonight—and it looks like tough might be an understatement. NBC News has obtained White House visitor log records that reveal that ObamaCare doesn't just resemble RomneyCare, it was actually modeled on it, and crafted by some of the experts and health-care advisers Romney himself relied on. In 2009, top White House officials—including Peter Orszag, Larry Summers, and Obama's chief health care adviser—met a dozen times with three such advisers, once in the Oval Office, with Obama in attendance.

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NBC talks to one of them, Jon Gruber, an MIT economist with a specialty in health-care issues who both helped Romney put his plan together and attended five of the 2009 meetings. The White House "really wanted to know how we can take that same approach we used in Massachusetts and turn that into a national model," explains Gruber, who records also show was handed a $380,000 contract from the Obama administration tasking him with helping Congress draft a federal law based on the Massachusetts one. Gruber recalls Romney insisting on the inclusion of the individual mandate, and calls the candidate "the guy with whom [national health care] all starts." Romney aides have recently downplayed the part Gruber played, though NBC notes Romney recognized him as he signed the Massachusetts bill. Click to read the entire piece. (Read more ObamaCare stories.)

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