Families USA: The Voice for Health Care Consumers

Date: September 27, 2012

Dave Lemmon, Director of Communications
Bob Meissner, Deputy Director of Communications
Bryan Fisher, Press Secretary

Press Release

New Report: Families Buying Health Insurance Would Pay Nearly Twice as Much under Romney as under ObamaCare

Families Buying Health Coverage on Their Own Would Pay an Average of $11,481 Under Romney’s Proposals in 2016, Compared to $5,985 under ObamaCare

41.9 Million More People Would Be Uninsured under Romney than under ObamaCare in 2016; by 2022, the Difference Would Grow to 50.9 Million

Washington, D.C. – Families buying non-group health insurance on their own in 2016 would pay, on average, nearly twice as much (92 percent more) under the health proposals offered by presidential candidate Mitt Romney asunder ObamaCare: $11,481 compared to $5,985, according to a new report released today.

That large differential includes comparative insurance premium payments, as well as out-of-pocket costs (such as deductibles and copayments) paid by families when they receive health care.

The report uses never-before-released national and state-by-state data to analyze and compare health care benefits and costs among three different plans: RomneyCare (the Massachusetts health law signed by then-Governor Mitt Romney in 2006), ObamaCare (the Affordable Care Act, signed into law in March 2010), and RomneyCandidateCare, the health care proposals of presidential candidate Romney.

Titled “ObamaCare versus RomneyCare versus RomneyCandidateCare: A National and State-by-State Analysis,” the report was prepared by the national health consumer organization Families USA, together with three distinguished health analysts who participated in the development and promotion of both RomneyCare and ObamaCare. (Biographical background of those analysts is provided at the end of this release.)

The report shows significant similarities between ObamaCare and RomneyCare but substantial differences between ObamaCare and RomneyCandidateCare, including the following:

  • Approximately 20.3 million middle-class people would receive tax creditsubsidies to help pay for insurance premiums under ObamaCare in 2016, while less than half (10.1 million people) would receive tax deductionsubsidies to help pay for insurance premiums under RomneyCandidateCare.
  • The average size of those tax credit subsidies under ObamaCare would be $4,231 in 2016, while the average size of the RomneyCandidateCare tax deductions subsidies would be considerably lower ($2,490).
  • In the absence of any health reform, there would be 56.0 million uninsured people in 2016. ObamaCare reduces the number of uninsured in that year by 30.7 million, but RomneyCandidateCare increases the number of uninsured by 11.2 million—a differential of 41.9 million people.
  • In the absence of any health reform, there would be 60.0 million uninsured people in 2022. ObamaCare reduces the number of uninsured in that year by more than 32.9 million, but RomneyCandidateCare increases the number of uninsured by almost 18.0 million—a differential of 50.9 million. 
  • In 2016 and 2022, respectively, there would be 67.2 million and 78.0 million uninsured people under RomneyCandidateCare. From the latest Census Bureau findings that 48.6 million people were uninsured in 2011, these totals represent 38.3 percent and 60.5 percent increases in the number of uninsured.

“ObamaCare and the Massachusetts-based RomneyCare, on the one hand, and RomneyCandidateCare, on the other hand, are as different as day and night,” said Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA.

“Under RomneyCandidateCare, middle-class families would pay comparatively much more out of pocket for their health care, and the number of uninsured Americans would skyrocket,” said Pollack.

There are key differences between ObamaCare and RomneyCandidateCare that affect current Medicare beneficiaries as well. Under ObamaCare, seniors and people with disabilities in Medicare receive free preventive care services, such as mammograms and colonoscopies. This new benefit is already in effect, and 25.7 million people enrolled in traditional Medicare received such free services in 2011. By repealing ObamaCare, Governor Romney would require Medicare beneficiaries to pay for those benefits.

Similarly, ObamaCare helps Medicare beneficiaries who have high prescription drug costs and who fall into the large drug coverage gap called the “doughnut hole.” Currently, as a result of ObamaCare, seniors falling into the doughnut hole receive 50 percent discounts on their brand-name drugs; and by 2020, the doughnut hole will be completely eliminated.

In 2011, 3.8 million Medicare beneficiaries who fell into the doughnut hole received discount help, and that help averaged $613 per person. Again, this and future help for seniors with high drug costs would be eliminated under RomneyCandidateCare.

“ObamaCare’s free preventive care and prescription medicine help are important for Medicare beneficiaries to enable them to remain healthy,” said Pollack. “Taking away these important benefits would cause great harm to America’s seniors and people with disabilities.”

The report uses 2016 for the comparison because that is the last year of the next president’s term of office, and it is a year when the Affordable Care Act will be fully implemented.


The preparationof this Families USA report was aided enormously by three distinguished health policy analysts who played significant roles in the development and promotion of RomneyCare and ObamaCare. They are:

Stuart Altman is the Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Dr. Altman served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in the Nixon Administration and was one of the architects of Nixon’s health reform plan. He was Chair of the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission for 12 years under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. President Clinton appointed him to the Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare.

Jonathan Gruber is a Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Gruber served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy in the U.S. Treasury Department. He is a gubernatorial appointee to the Board of the Massachusetts Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority. He is the Director of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Program on Children. The new data in this report were derived from a model developed by Dr. Gruber.

John McDonough is a Professor of Practice at the Harvard School of Public Health, and he is the Director of the Harvard School of Public Health’s Center for Public Health Leadership. From 2003 to 2008, Dr. McDonough served as the Executive Director of Health Care for All in Massachusetts, where he played a central role in the 2006 passage of RomneyCare. He served as Senior Adviser in the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor,and Pensions Committee, where he played a major role in developing the health insurance expansion provisions of ObamaCare.


Families USA is the national organization for health care consumers and is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(4) organization that does not endorse, support, or oppose political candidates. Its mission is to achieve high-quality, affordable health coverage and care for all Americans.

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