June 29, 2009
On "Meet the Press" on June 28, former presidential candidate and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney falsely claimed that President Obama had called for a "single-payer" health care system on the campaign trail:
Romney: President Obama, when he was campaigning, said he wanted a single-payer system.
We debunked this falsehood when Sen. John McCain said it during the third presidential debate. McCain claimed that "as he said, his object is a single payer system." But as a presidential candidate, Obama didn't say that at all. And the plan he proposed wasn't a single-payer system, one in which everyone is covered by health insurance through the government. As we said in our Oct. 16 article, Obama said at a town hall meeting in Albuquerque last summer that a single payer system would "probably" be his first choice "if" he were "designing a system from scratch." But instead, he said, his "attitude is let's build up the system we got, let's make it more efficient, we may be over time – as we make the system more efficient and everybody's covered – decide that there are other ways for us to provide care more effectively."