Romney hits Obama for bashing insurance companies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Potential Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized President Barack Obama on Friday for his recent attacks on health insurance companies.

Obama has argued this week for congressional passage of a healthcare overhaul by pointing to rate increases by insurance companies that have made insurance unaffordable for many people.

Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met several top health insurance executives on Thursday to complain about what Sebelius called “jaw-dropping” rate increases.

Obama read them a letter from an Ohio woman who said her insurance premiums had gone up 25 percent in 2009 and were about to go up another 40 percent this year, making insurance unaffordable for her.

“Insurance companies freely ration healthcare based on who’s sick and who’s healthy; who can pay and who can’t,” Obama said on Wednesday.

Romney, who is contemplating a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, said in remarks at the National Press Club that the problems within the U.S. healthcare system are more complicated than simply zeroing in on the insurance industry.

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