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Posted on Wed, May 11, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

Mitt Romney previews health care reform speech in Ann Arbor

By Nathan Bomey

State governments should have the flexibility to decide that they don't want to participate in President Barack Obama's health care reforms, likely Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney argued today in an op-ed article for USA Today.

Romney's article is a preview of a major health care reform speech he's set to deliver Thursday at the University of Michigan's Cardiovascular Center in Ann Arbor.

Romney laid out several proposals "to harness the power of markets to drive positive change in health insurance and health care."

He called for Medicaid funding to be sent to states in a block grant, which would give officials more flexibility on how to run the program. He also wants to alter the federal tax code to make it easier for people to buy insurance as individuals, "strengthen" health savings accounts and fight frivolous law suits that drive up the cost of insurance.

Romney's invitation-only speech in Ann Arbor is set for 2 p.m. Thursday.

The university issued a statement today distancing itself from the former Massachusetts governor's speech, saying that the U-M chapter of the College Republicans is paying for the event and that his appearance "does not constitute endorsement of the content of his speech nor of his potential candidacy by the U-M Health System or the University of Michigan."

Meanwhile, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will not attend Romney's speech, his spokeswoman told in an e-mail. Sara Wurfel said that Romney invited the former Ann Arbor venture capitalist to the event but that the governor can't attend or speak to Romney by phone due to scheduling conflicts.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Thu, May 12, 2011 : 11:11 p.m.

Joe Hood: There is no "Obamacare" but there is the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which is an effort to provide access to medical care for millions of Americans who were previously unable to receive medical care. The ACA provides safeguards guaranteeing preventive care, securing access to medical care despite pre-existing conditions and maintaining that access even when chronic medical problems develop. The ACA allows children up to age 26 to receive medical care under their parents health care policies. Many more benefits are included for the first time and these should be valued by everyone who is just one day away from needing chronic medical care. But the Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan medical care plan will eliminate most of ACA's benefits and will increase the cost of medical care for all. The "R & R" plan does nothing to cap premium rates for health care insurance policies nor will it rein in rising medication and medical device costs. It is true that most people do not value what they have until they lose it.


Thu, May 12, 2011 : 2:29 p.m.

We have been discussing this issue for a long time now. Mostly, our concerns are limited to the costs of health care and how to pay it. The costs of health care services is an important issue. Much of the increase is attributable to widespread corruption and misappropriation of insurance funds, medicare funds, and medicaid funds. By giving block grants to States, the problem will not go away. We may have to separate the players to stem this rot. The Primary Care services and the Hospital Care services must be separated and the hospital services must be fully audited to discover fraudulent acitivities. Government must invest the limited financial resources to strengthen Primary Care and to reduce hospital care and services by promoting better health keeping by all people. People with risky behaviors and lifestyles have to accept the responsibility for their own health care costs.

Joe Hood

Wed, May 11, 2011 : 11:58 p.m.

Romneycare is the blueprint for Obamacare and that experiment is failing in Massachusetts. Romney, as someone who has been there and is looking the other way, is telling. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>