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Obama hits at Romney for sending uninsured to emergency rooms

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WASHINGTON--Mitt Romney told CBS "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday, that people without health insurance can use hospital emergency rooms--one of the most expensive health care options for dealing with the uninsured.

"Well, we do provide care for people who don't have insurance, people -- we -- if someone has a heart attack, they don't sit in their apartment and -- and die. We -- we pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care," Romney said.

The Obama campaign seized on this in a Monday video--featuring video of Romney speaking in 2010 about how he was for universal coverage and emergency rooms are not a substitute for health insurance.

What Romney told Scott Pelley:

PELLEY: Does the government have a responsibility to provide health care to the fifty million Americans who don't have it today?

ROMNEY: Well, we do provide care for people who don't have insurance, people -- we -- if someone has a heart attack, they don't sit in their apartment and -- and die. We -- we pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care.

PELLEY: That's the most expensive way to do it.

ROMNEY: Well the...

PELLEY: In the emergency room.

ROMNEY: Diff -- different, again, different states have different ways of doing that. Some -- some provide that care through clinics. Some provide the care through emergency rooms. In my state, we found a solution that worked for my state. But I wouldn't take what we did in Massachusetts and say to Texas, ``You've got to take the Massachusetts model.''


The Obama campaign react: "Mitt Romney knows that emergency room treatment is expensive and inefficient--that's why just two years ago he explained that it is not a good solution for providing care to the uninsured. But, on 60 Minutes last night, Romney continued to tie himself in political knots by saying that uninsured people can just go to the emergency room to get care.

Today, Obama for America released a new web video highlighting another stunning example of Romney Economics. Romney's healthcare plan would lead to higher costs and leave more Americans without insurance. Expensive and inefficient--Romney's plan is simply wrong for our economy."

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on September 24, 2012 5:42 PM.

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