Architect of Romney's healthcare law says it's 'the same' as Obama's

White House hopeful Mitt Romney is “lying” when he says the healthcare law he signed in Massachusetts is substantively different from President Obama’s, a key architect of both plans said Wednesday.

Jonathan Gruber, a healthcare economist and a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, made the comments in an interview with Capital New York, criticizing Romney’s attempt to argue that the federal healthcare law goes further than what he signed as Massachusetts governor.

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"The problem is there is no way to say that," Gruber said. "Because they're the same f---ing bill. He just can't have his cake and eat it too. Basically, you know, it's the same bill. He can try to draw distinctions and stuff, but he's just lying. The only big difference is he didn't have to pay for his. Because the federal government paid for it. Where at the federal level, we have to pay for it, so we have to raise taxes."

Gruber helped craft Romney’s healthcare bill and also consulted with the Obama administration during the healthcare debate.

Romney’s rivals for the GOP presidential nomination haven’t hit him especially hard on healthcare lately. The field has largely agreed on a “repeal ‘ObamaCare’” message and left it at that. 

But there are indeed strong similarities between the two laws. They share the same basic structure: establish a new marketplace to buy private insurance; provide government subsidies to people who can’t afford coverage otherwise; and use an individual mandate to bring healthy patients into the system.