Orlando (CNN) – In a speech Tuesday, Mitt Romney continued to admonish Barack Obama for his remark last week saying the private sector "was doing fine," while also claiming the president misunderstands the economic impact of the health care law implemented by his own administration.
"The president needs to get in touch with what's happening in the private sector, what's happening with middle income families and the damage that's being done by the specter of Obamacare and the taxes that it already charges to businesses in the health care sector," Romney said Monday.
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With a large "Repeal & Replace Obamacare" sign behind him and another one affixed on his podium, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee outlined his own national health care plan and addressed the pending U.S. Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.
"I intend to do both if I'm the president at a time when the Supreme Court has left Obamacare in place, I will repeal it on day one by sending out a waiver to all 50 states to keep them from having to pursue Obamacare," he said, speaking in Orlando at air filtration manufacturer Con-Air Industries, Inc.
The Romney campaign selecting Florida's politically charged I-4 corridor – an area that voted for President George W. Bush in 2004 but voted for Obama in 2008 - to focus on Obama's controversial health care bill was no accident.
A campaign staffer was sure to point out in a tweet a recent Quinnipiac poll that showed Florida voters, by a 51-38 percent margin, want the 2010 health care reform legislation overturned.
Another May survey by Quinnipiac University indicated that Romney holds a six-point lead over Obama in the crucial battleground state of Florida, with 47% of registered voters behind Romney and 41% behind Obama, with 7% unsure. The six-point advantage for Romney is up from the beginning of the month, when Romney was at 44% and Obama at 43% in a previous Quinnipiac's poll in Florida.
Romney, who has faced his share of criticism for enacting legislation as governor that mandated health care insurance in Massachusetts, described Obama’s plan as “the poster child for a piece of policy that’s made it harder for businesses to hire people, so we’ve got to get rid of it.”
“Now just yesterday the president said something else that shows just how much out of touch he is,” Romney continued. “He said he didn’t understand that Obamacare was hurting small business, he doesn’t understand that Obamacare impacts small business, and you have to scratch your head about that.”
Romney then cited a survey of more than 1,300 small business owners, released in January by the Chamber of Commerce, which found nearly 75% surveyed said the health care law makes it harder for their business to hire more employees.
The White House hopeful applied economic principles to explain how he would fix health care in the United States.
“We can get health care to act more like a consumer market, and if we do that and we stop making it like a big government-managed utility, we’re going to see better prices, lower costs and better care,” Romney said. “It’s happened everywhere we’ve applied consumer market principles. Free enterprise is the way America works. We need to apply that to health care.”
Romney said “the best way to care for the uninsured” is to send Medicaid money back to the states so each state takes responsibility for managing and caring for their uninsured.
He would also allow individuals to receive a tax deduction for buying health insurance the same way small businesses do. He is also in favor of individuals and businesses being able to buy insurance across state lines so they can “get the best deal they can get anywhere in the country.”
As for Medicare, Romney favors individuals getting to choose between a traditional, government-sponsored Medicare or private-sector Medicare.
“And by the way, higher-income people I think should get less help getting Medicare than lower-income people. I think we should care for those that need the care most and let them choose the private or public system they prefer,” he said.
In response to the GOP candidate’s health care plan laid out in the speech, the president’s re-election team claimed Romney’s plan to “privatize” Medicare would bankrupt the program by 2016.
“For too long, American families have faced a choice between going bankrupt to afford the care they need or going without that care at all, and Mitt Romney wants to take us back to that time. Americans simply can’t afford Romney Economics,” said Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith.