Battle of the Bills

By Varney and Co

Five years later, the critics are not ready to quit.

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Since the passing of the health-care overhaul in Massachusetts in 2006, Former Governor Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) has taken a lot of flack from the Republican Party, who accuse him of providing the inspiration for Obama's controversial bill.

On Thursday, Romney spoke to a Michigan audience in an attempt to emphasize differences between his health care bill and the national law passed by President Obama. Despite Romney's effort to distance the plans, many say the similarities are too strong to overlook.

On Monday the Galen Institute's Grace-Marie Turner told Varney & Co. "it is really hard to love Romneycare and hate Obamacare when there are so many similarities between these two programs."

According to Turner, the most obvious comparisons are the reliance of both plans on "a major expansion of Medicaid to cover more people, huge new government bureaucracy, mandates on individuals and mandates on businesses."

"We cannot afford the huge new entitlement program in Obamacare and yet we see in Massachusetts, none of the promises have been kept."

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A new report by the Massachusetts Medical Society found that "more than half of the state's primary care practices are closed to new patients," and Turner says that is only the beginning of the problems.

Under Romneycare "more people are figuring out that they do not need to buy health insurance when they are healthy," says Turner, "They will just buy it when they are sick because the insurance companies are required to sell it."

All of these factors are driving up the cost of health care in Massachusetts, which is already the highest in the nation.

"They have thrown out a lot of federal dollars to subsidize this," said Turner, "We simply cannot afford that at a national level."

To get a hint of what kind of impact Obamacare will have on the nation, Turner points to Massachusetts.

"We need to look at what this is going to mean for Obamacare. The future is here."