San Diego, Calif. (CNN) – As the Supreme Court met to hear arguments over the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law, GOP candidate Mitt Romney assailed the president's signature initiative as a federal power grab and a drag on economic growth.
"What's happening today in Washington is an attack on free enterprise, an attack on economic freedom unlike anything we have ever seen before," Romney told an audience at NuVasive, a medical device company that designs artificial spine replacements.
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Romney did not mention the issue on the Supreme Court's docket and did not repeat his usual call for the repeal of Obama's health care law, though he stood beneath a banner that called for repeal.
Instead the former Massachusetts governor claimed the president was "burdening" the health care industry with a raft of new federal regulators and bureaucracy. He said a new tax on medical device companies could force NuVasive to eliminate 200 jobs.
"I just don't think the president and his people understand that as they burden enterprise with taxation and with regulation, they hurt all of us," Romney said.
The CEO of the medical device company spoke darkly about the effect on the law on medical innovation.
"We need to do everything we can to push back on these issues, to push back on Obamacare, to repeal it," said Alexis V. Lukianov.
Romney has previously defended the health care plan he passed in Massachusetts – which served as a model for the Obama plan – by saying the law should not have been mandated on a federal level.