Romney advisors met with President Obama’s administration during Obamacare development
Three of Mitt Romney’s advisers went to the White House at least a dozen times in 2009 to consult on the former Massachusetts governor’s health care plan that President Obama used as a model for his initiative.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Tuesday he was “not in a position to comment on specific meetings,” but Earnest repeated that Obama took cues from the Massachusetts legislation.
“You’ve certainly heard the president himself say that there were a number of very good ideas included in the health care plan that then-Gov. Romney put in place in Massachusetts that were incorporated into the Affordable Care Act and so it’s clear that these are some ideas that we were interested in incorporating and we did incorporate. But in terms of individual meetings and who participated and what the goal of them was, I don’t have that information,” he said.
NBC News first reported that Romney health care advisers and experts Jon Kingsdale, Jon Gruber and John McDonough all met with Obama officials in 2009, including one meeting with President Obama on July 20.
Fox News confirmed that Kingsdale visited three times (March, June and July), McDonough came three times (March, July and August) while Gruber, who was not an adviser to Romney but ran an econometric model on his plan, dropped by five times (January, July and three times in March).
“The White House wanted to learn a lot on what we’d done in Massachusetts,” Gruber, an MIT economist told NBC News. “They really wanted to know how we can take that same approach we used in Massachusetts and turn that into a national model.”
Romney worked closely with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy on the Massachusetts health care plan and Kennedy was the lead author of the national legislation. Kennedy had said that the Romney plan was a model for the national one.
The Romney campaign responded by pointing to comments the former governor made to Fox News’ Sean Hannity in June in which he said his plan met a state need unlike the Obama plan.