By Elise Viebeck - 10/02/12 03:20 PM EDT
Mitt Romney's healthcare proposals would dramatically increase the uninsured population compared to the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study.
The Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit research foundation that supports President Obama's signature reform law, evaluated the candidates' healthcare policies and found Obama's proposals "outperform" Romney's when it comes to expanding coverage and lowering costs.
Even compared against a baseline scenario in which the Affordable Care Act had not been implemented, Romney's plans "are estimated to increase the number of uninsured people by 12 million," researchers wrote.
Responding to the Commonwealth study, Romney's campaign said researchers were wrong on the former Massachusetts governor's proposals and their implications — and said the report overestimated the likelihood that the president's bill will be effective.
"The Commonwealth study sadly contributes little to the health reform conversation that this country deserves," campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in a statement.
"It badly mistakes Governor Romney’s proposals. Worse, it assumes a fantasy world where ObamaCare has been a success.
"The simple truth is this: The American people do not want this law, we cannot afford this law, and when Mitt Romney is President he will repeal it and replace it with common-sense, patient-centered reforms that strengthen our healthcare system."
The healthcare law remains divisive with the public, but researchers with Commonwealth said it beat Romney's plan on seven criteria, including cutting insurance costs, protecting consumers, improving consumer choice and improving Medicare.
Romney has promised to create a health insurance tax deduction, block-grant Medicaid and partially privatize Medicare, among other policies.
Tuesday's report comes on the heels of another, from the liberal group Families USA, that found families would pay nearly twice as much for non-group health insurance under Romney compared with Obama. Romney's campaign dismissed the study as "absurd."