BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney launched a preemptive strike Wednesday prior to President Obama’s planned speech in Boston on Massachusetts Health Care’s sluggish start.

Obama is to speak at Fanueil Hall, where Romney signed his own version of health care reform into law in 2006.

The White House said the president’s speech is an effort to keep expectations low for sign-ups for the much-scrutinized federal Affordable Care Act.

Romney released a statement Wednesday morning hours before the president’s speech, warning Congress that health care worked in the state because it had bipartisan support and was rolled out carefully.

“In the years since the Massachusetts health care law went into effect nothing has changed my view that a plan crafted to fit the unique circumstances of a single state should not be grafted onto the entire country. Beyond that, had President Obama actually learned the lessons of Massachusetts health care, millions of Americans would not lose the insurance they were promised they could keep, millions more would not see their premiums skyrocket, and the installation of the program would not have been a frustrating embarrassment. Health reform is best crafted by states with bipartisan support and input from its employers, as we did, without raising taxes, and by carefully phasing it in to avoid the type of disruptions we are seeing nationally.”

The federal Affordable Care Act and Massachusetts’ health care law are similar, including a mandate for all consumers to purchase health insurance.

The Obama administration is under intense scrutiny following the shaky debut of the federal version earlier this month of the website that allows consumers to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace.

The Obama administration had expected 500,000 uninsured people to sign up for health care by October but so far, less-impressive figures have been reported.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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