May 31,2007 00:00
DES MOINES, Iowa - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said his party must propose a solution to provide health insurance for U.S. residents who don't have it.
Romney said the 45 million people in the country without health insurance are sure to become a major issue of the 2008 presidential campaign, the Des Moines (Iowa) Register reported Thursday.
"I know the Democrats are talking about that," the former Massachusetts governor said Wednesday in Des Moines. "There's no question it's going to be pushed by them. The Republicans have to talk about it as well."
"The Democrats' path is always government-mandated, government-run, government insurance," he said in the Register report. He suggested the Republicans' approach should be to make the private market more effective. "That's got to be the right answer for us, because government running something is almost by definition going to be inefficient, ineffective and expensive."
Romney helped design and pass a program in Massachusetts that requires all residents to have health insurance. Those who cannot afford insurance programs receive subsidies to use policies from private insurers. He said no tax increase was required for the program.
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