Romney defends his Mass. healthcare law as better than Obama's

Mitt Romney on Thursday defended the healthcare overhaul he oversaw in Massachusetts as better than the federal law it inspired. 

"My healthcare plan I put in place in my state has everyone insured," Romney told a CBS affiliate in Denver on Thursday, "but we didn't go out and raise taxes on people and have a unelected board tell people what kind of healthcare they can have." 

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Both the Massachusetts law and President Obama's Affordable Care Act seek to expand healthcare coverage through an individual mandate to buy insurance. Both also established unelected boards to help accomplish the laws' objectives. 

Romney, the GOP's presumptive presidential nominee, has sought to rebut criticism of the Massachusetts overhaul by saying it was appropriate for the state but not for the federal government. 

The Massachusetts law has been a touchy subject for the Romney campaign due to the strong opposition in the GOP to the federal overhaul and its mandate to have insurance. A Romney spokeswoman took heat from conservatives earlier this month for talking about the success of the Massachusetts system in response to a pro-Obama campaign ad.

More than 98 percent of Massachusetts residents are insured, according to The Associated Press. 

Under the Affordable Care Act, the 15-member Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) will advise Congress on slowing cost growth in Medicare. Sarah Palin referred to IPAB as a "death panel," and other Republicans have attacked it as a rationing board. 

In Massachusetts, the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority Board helps to regulate insurance in the state.