RNC hands out regrettable version of Romney's 'No Apology'
Well, this is awkward.
Tens of thousands of people at the Republican National Convention received swag bags that include the hardback edition of Mitt Romney's No Apology.
What's the problem? This book includes Romney's regrettable line about his Massachusetts health care reforms: "We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country, and it can be done without letting government take over health care." (page 177, shown above)
The sentence read in isolation leaves the impression that Romney is an advocate for President Barack Obama's health care law. Eeek.
Romney distanced himself from "Obamacare" in the paperback version, changing that sentence to read, "And it was done without government taking over health care."
Texas Gov. Rick Perry made the rewrite an issue during the GOP presidential primary in 2011. He suggested Romney was calling for a national health care policy that mirrored his Massachusetts approach, when his original words really intended it to be a model for other states.
Following a 2011 debate, PolitiFact explored the revisions and explained it like this:
His hardcover was written when the national health care policy supported by President Barack Obama included a public insurance option. So his Massachusetts plan, by comparison, kept "private insurance and personal choice intact," he wrote.
Then the Democratic plan passed, without the public option. And it looked uncomfortably close to Romney's plan. As PolitiFact's Angie Drobnic Holan has written, both leave in place the major insurance systems: employer-provided insurance, Medicare for seniors and Medicaid for the poor. They seek to reduce the number of uninsured by expanding Medicaid and by offering tax breaks to help moderate income people buy insurance. People are required to buy insurance or pay a penalty, a mechanism called the "individual mandate." And companies that don't offer insurance have to pay fines, with exceptions for small business and a few other cases.
Suddenly, the line in the hardcover edition to "accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country" as Republican Romney had done for Massachusetts was pretty close to what the Democratic president had done nationally.