Official Transcript of Presidential Debate, October 2012
"How can it be, Governor Romney, that the health care plan you signed into law was good for Massachusetts but not good for the country? Do people in Massachusetts get a different kind of cancer? Do they get a different kind of heart attack? Diabetes? Do mothers need a different kind of pre-natal care? How about children's health? Come on, Governor Romney.
You signed that plan into law because you knew it was good for Massachusetts. You even had a copy of that law, and only that law, sitting on your desk painted into your official state portrait. That’s how good and important you thought that law was. Even as late as 2008 you praised the Massachusetts law, specifically praised the mandate, and then said you’d, “do it for America, just like we did it there.”
And in 2008 you were right. The Massachusetts plan was working, and four years later we have even more evidence that it’s working. Almost 100% of children are covered, and more than 98% of all the people in the state are covered. The quality of care has gone up, the law has increased overall spending on health care by only 1%, and the premiums people pay are growing much slower in Massachusetts than nation-wide.
But this time around you decided to sell your soul to get the Republican nomination. You decided to pretend that what you said in 2008, that Romneycare was good not only for Massachusetts but for America, was no longer true.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the fundamental difference between me and Governor Romney, on health care, and right on down the line. He doesn’t have the courage of his convictions. He’s willing to sacrifice his principles, and to ignore what he truly believes is best for the country, in order to get elected. He stands for nothing.
I know what I believe, and I know what I stand for. I fought to pass health care reform and didn’t care about whether it would help me get re-elected. I fought to pass health care reform because it is the right thing to do for our country. It makes us a stronger, healthier people. That’s what I care about. Governor Romney only cares about getting elected. That’s the difference between him and me."