"I wouldn't repeal it. I'd reform Medicare and reform Medicaid and reform Social Security to get them on a sustainable basis, not for current retirees, but for those in their 20s and 30s and early 50s” – Romney, Tampa Tea Party Debate, Sept. 12, 2011.
- All plans would have to offer coverage at least comparable to what Medicare provides today, though premiums for "traditional" coverage would rise if private companies can provide the same services for less. Critics say that capping the government's contribution would likely mean that beneficiaries' costs would increase.
- Backed the December 2011 Medicare proposal by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Ron Wyden (PDF), D-Ore.
- Prior to the Ryan-Wyden plan, supported the Medicare overhaul included in the Ryan budget plan that was approved by the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.
- Supports the notion that wealthier seniors should pay more toward their health coverage and lower-income seniors should receive a higher subsidy.
- Wants to publish a yearly federal balance sheet to help people understand the impact of entitlement spending on the budget and economy.
On the Health Care Marketplace, Romney:
- Wants to strengthen high-deductible health savings accounts by allowing consumers to use them to pay insurance premiums.
- Supports caps on non-economic damage awards in medical malpractice lawsuits and funds for states to develop other ways to deal with the liability issue, such as health care courts.
- Urges restricting federal regulation of health care insurance, although he supports limited rules to bar insurers from denying coverage to those with preexisting conditions when they have had coverage for a specified period of time.
- Supports "co-insurance" plans, in which consumers pay a fixed percentage of the cost of their care.
- Says insurers should be allowed to sell their products across state lines.
- Endorses ending "tax discrimination against the individual purchase of insurance" and has suggested allowing tax deductions for people who obtain health insurance on their own; also favors allowing individuals and small businesses to join together to buy insurance.
- Wants to issue "Consumer Reports"-type ratings of insurance plans.