Mitt Romney 'Not Getting Rid of All of Health Care Reform'

Campaign says he would repeal 'Obamacare,' then implement parts of it.

ByABC News
September 9, 2012, 7:49 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2012— -- Mitt Romney raised some eyebrows today when he said, "I'm not getting rid of all of healthcare reform."

That sounded quite different from the mantra he has repeated for months, that he would "repeal Obamacare."

Though the Romney campaign quickly said there has been no change in position, it's clear that despite the rhetoric, the Republican nominee would keep some of the popular elements of President Obama's healthcare reform act.

"Well, I'm not getting rid of all of healthcare reform," Romney said in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"Of course there are a number of things that I like in healthcare reform that I'm going to put in place," he said. "One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage."

Romney added that he would like families to be able to insure members, including children, for an indefinite period.

But those elements, even though they sound a lot like parts of the president's plan, would only be implemented after the Affordable Care Act is repealed, the Romney campaign told ABC News.

While campaigning in Florida, the President attacked Romney's plans for healthcare.

"Their basic idea is that since government can't do everything, it should do almost nothing," Obama said at a rally in Orlando. "If you can't afford health insurance, hope you don't get sick."

The president used the battleground state of Florida, with its large population of seniors, to renew his attack on the Romney-Ryan plan for Medicare.

Even before his speech, the president had breakfast with two retired couples.

"Their voucher plan for Medicare would bankrupt Medicare," Obama later told the 3,000 supporters who attended the rally.

Armed with a new report from the left leaning think tank, the Center for American Progress, the president claimed the Romney plan will cost retiring seniors thousands of dollars for insurance coverage.

"No American should have to spend their golden years at the mercy of the Insurance companies," he said.

The report claims a retiring senior in 2023 would pay nearly $60,000 in additional fees for insurance coverage.

Romney's running mate was pressed Sunday to provide some of the specific tax loopholes the Republican ticket hopes to close if elected. Paul Ryan , on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, was asked if it is a "secret plan?" "No, no. What we don't want is a secret plan," Ryan said. But when pressed to specify loopholes now, the Congressman would only say, "The best way to do this is to show the framework, show the outlines of these plans, then to work with Congress to do this. That's how you get things done."