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Mitt Romney
Two years ago, Mitt Romney appeared on national television and said he supported delivering coverage to uninsured Americans through a system of federal health care exchanges—highly-regulated markets in which individuals can purchase private health insurance with the support of government subsidizes. Asked by CBS morning anchor Harry Smith about how he would cover the uninsured, Romney said:
Well, that’s what we did in Massachusetts, and that is, we put together an exchange. And the president’s copying that idea. I’m glad to hear that. We let people buy their own private insurance. Most people can afford to buy that insurance, once you have an exchange that allows them to do that on a cost-effective basis. And then for those that are low income, you help them buy their own private insurance. But you don’t set up a government insurance plan, because it’s going to end up costing billions of dollars in subsidy. It’s the wrong way to go.

Note that Romney not only said he supported the exchanges, he claimed credit for the idea, which he said President Obama was "copying" from his Massachusetts health care plan. Romney also spoke clearly against creating "a government insurance plan" (aka, the public option) and in the end he got his way: federal health care exchanges are at the core of President Obama's health care reform plan and the public option was defeated.

But now that the 2012 campaign is under way, Mitt Romney has changed his position: he no longer supports federal health care exchanges and says that his top priority as president would be repealing the law that created them.

And in one of the dumbest fact-checks ever, PolitiFact says it is "mostly false" for Democrats to call that a flip-flop.

The DNC video shows two clips of Romney speaking. The first says, "We put together an exchange, and the president’s copying that idea. I’m glad to hear that." Words on the screen say "pro-health reform."

In the second clip Romney says, "Obamacare is bad news." Text says "anti-health reform."

So was Romney for health care reform before he was against it? We decided to check it out.

And their "ruling"?

Democrats could make an argument that Romney has changed position in opposing the type of plan he once supported. But in this ad, they imply he once supported Obama’s proposal. We don’t find that he did, and we rate the Democrats’ statement Mostly False.

Uh, Democrats didn't "imply" that Mitt Romney once supported a national health care reform plan built around exchanges ... it was Mitt Romney. And he didn't merely imply it ... he flat-out said it.

In his own words, Romney said he was "glad to hear" that President Obama was "copying" the idea of a health insurance exchange from Massachusetts. And as everybody knows, the law is built around those exchanges — and didn't include a public option, which Romney opposed. But even though Mitt Romney got exactly what he said he wanted, he now he says he wants to repeal every single provision in the legislation.

It would be one thing if Mitt Romney were still saying that he's glad the exchanges made it into the law, but that he opposes other parts of it. But that's not what he's saying. He's saying he hates the whole thing, that he believes it's unconstitutional, and that his top priority as President would be to repeal it. If that isn't the story of a flip-flop, I don't know what is.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 07:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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