RomneyCare is the name given to Mitt Romney's health care insurance reform laws passed in MA in 2006. RomneyCare aimed to reform healthcare by providing all MA residents with affordable quality health insurance. It also offered additional protections to MA residents including the retention of health coverage when switching employers or when they faced financial difficulties. The idea being that all citizens of that state should have health coverage.
As of today Romenycare is still in effect and has made Massachusetts the model for Obama's health care reform due to it's widely recognized success and popularity within Ma.
Yes, ironically RomneyCare and ObamaCare have almost identical goals (and plans). Even Barack Obama himself will admit that RomneyCare was part of the model ObamaCare used to create the current health care reform laws. However Romney's health care plan for MA has some significant differences, and Romney himself has different plans for the country then he had for MA.
RomneyCare provides health insurance to those who cannot afford it by helping them through subsidies. The idea was that instead of using state money to give people a free ride they would use a sliding scale ensuring that people paid what they could and those who couldn't pay would be the only ones who get a "free ride". The sliding scale is reevaluated each year, so as those with financial troubles get back on their feet their rates go up accordingly.
Those who meet the following qualificaitons can buy insurance on an excahnge of sorts via "The Health Connector", a clearinghouse for insurance plans and payments and offers Commonwealth Care (RomneyCare). This applies to inividuals and famliies who do not qualify for MassHealth (Medicaid).
RomneyCare does a few important things that are actually still in effect in MA and helping it's residents.
RomneyCare aimed to cover 95% of the state's 500,000 uninsured within a three year period 2006-2009.
High coverage of residents. Almost all of the residents of MA are currently covered under some health care plan because of RomneyCare.
More businesses are able to offer health insurance to their employees due to tax credits and more affordable health insurance. Businesses with over 10 employees who choose not offer employees healthcare are subject to a tax penalty.
RomneyCare has proved cost effective, is creating jobs, reducing insurance costs and providing better quality affordable health care to more people.
RomneyCare, like ObamaCare, comes with taxes for those who choose not to purchase health insurance (in the form of a loss of personal exemption taxes of up to $219). These and other taxes similar to what ObamaCare comes with have not been a point of contention among most MA residents. In fact most families save more money and have better quality health insurance.
Insurance premium rates have decreased dramatically under RomneyCare. One thing we are hearing about ObamaCare is that rates will go up, the RomneyCare model tells us that this is not the case. Most independent studies of ObamaCare show that it will help to decrease these sorts of costs saving the taxpayer money and helping to decrease the deficit by trillions over the next two decades.
Romney says that while RomneyCare worked on many levels it wasn't perfect. He tried to veto many aspects of the bill, but these vetoes did not go through. We won't go into a full list of details, but the bottom line is that he didn't like that so much was being given away for free. (this is what he has said post running for President.)
When it comes to Obamacare Romney believes that health care reform works better on a state level to solve the unique problems of the state. No matter what "issues" Romney has with Obamacare it's hard to deny that RomneyCare and Romney's health care reform laws passed in Massachusetts paved the way for ObamaCare and is one of the big "proofs" that health care reform works.