The Corner

Obama Administration Asked Romneycare Advisers for Obamacare Advice

In a new story, NBC News details how Obama administration officials — and on one occasion, President Obama himself — met with some of the same advisers and consultants who had helped Mitt Romney develop his Massachusetts health-care program when working out the specifics of Obamacare:

Newly obtained White House records provide fresh details on how senior Obama administration officials used Mitt Romney’s landmark health-care law in Massachusetts as a model for the new federal law, including recruiting some of Romney’s own health care advisers and experts to help craft the act now derided by Republicans as “Obamacare.” 

The records, gleaned from White House visitor logs reviewed by NBC News, show that senior White House officials had a dozen meetings in 2009 with three health-care advisers and experts who helped shape the health care reform law signed by Romney in 2006, when the Republican presidential candidate was governor of Massachusetts. One of those meetings, on July 20, 2009, was in the Oval Office and presided over by President Barack Obama, the records show. 

“The White House wanted to lean a lot on what we’d done in Massachusetts,” said Jon Gruber, an MIT economist who advised the Romney administration on health care and who attended five meetings at the Obama White House in 2009, including the meeting with the president. “They really wanted to know how we can take that same approach we used in Massachusetts and turn that into a national model.”

Romney, who does not support Obamacare and has pledged he would repeal the program if elected, has repeatedly noted that President Obama never called him to ask for advice about how to create Obamacare. 

UPDATE: The Perry campaign highlighted the NBC report in a e-mail today entitled, “TRUTH REVEALED: ROMNEY MANDATE LED WAY TO OBAMACARE.” 

“Gov. Romney personally insisted the government mandate requiring private citizens to buy health insurance be included in his Massachusetts government health care law. New documents also prove that Romney and Obama shared policy advisors and an unwavering commitment to government-mandated health insurance,” said Perry spokesman Mark Miner in a statement.

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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