Former Utah governor Michael Leavitt, who is leading the effort to be prepared for the White House transition should Mitt Romney win, is also a big fan of the state health-care exchanges in Obamacare — and doesn’t want the GOP to eliminate the exchanges. From Politico (hat tip: Ben Domenech at Ricochet):
Leavitt has said some relatively positive things about certain elements of Obama’s health reform law, suggesting earlier this year that “Obamacare” empowers the HHS secretary “to do certain things that are clearly aimed at trying to move us in the right direction.”
[Leavitt chief aide Rich] McKeown, who still works with Leavitt at his Utah-based health care consultancy, acknowledged that the former governor does not want to undo one key part of the controversial legislation [Obamacare].
“We believe that the exchanges are the solution to small business insurance market and that’s gotten us sideways with some conservatives,” he said.
The exchanges are not only a matter of principle for Leavitt — they’re also a cash cow.
The size of his firm, Leavitt Partners, doubled in the year after the bill was signed as they won contracts to help states set up the exchanges funded by the legislation.
Asked for a response, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul e-mailed, “Gov. Romney alone decides policy. As he’s made clear, he is committed to completely repealing Obamacare.”