June 28th, 2012
12:32 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney reacts to health care ruling, renews repeal pledge

Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate who has long pledged to repeal President Barack Obama's sweeping health care law if elected president, said Thursday the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the law did not signal the measure was good for the American people.

"Let's make clear that we understand what the court did and did not do," Romney said. "What the court did do today is say that Obamacare does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do is to say that Obamacare is good law or that it is good policy. Obamacare was bad policy yesterday. It's bad policy today. Obamacare was a bad law yesterday. It is bad law today."

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Romney stressed the Supreme Court ruling, which said the individual mandate requiring people to have health insurance is valid as a tax, even though it is impermissible under the Constitution's commerce clause, did not change his basic feelings toward the law.

"What the Court did not do on the last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States, and that is that I will act to repeal Obamacare," Romney said in a statement approximately two hours after the ruling was handed down.

Explaining his opposition to Obama's health law, Romney cited figures showing the Affordable Care Act reduced funding to other government-sponsored programs.

"Obama care cuts Medicare - cuts Medicare - by approximately $500 billion. And even with those cuts and tax increases, Obamacare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt," Romney said.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which reviewed the Senate version of the health-care law that eventually passed in 2010, the law will wring $492 billion from the projected future costs of Medicare and Medicaid over 10 years. The AARP found the legislation would not cut benefits or increase out-of-pocket costs for Medicare, the federal health-care program for Americans over 65. But Republicans argue that there's no way to cut future costs that much without reducing services. The CBO found it was "unclear" whether the Senate bill could reduce the growth of Medicare spending without reducing care.

Romney, who learned of the Court ruling in his hotel room at the Washington Hilton, made his statement ahead of a campaign event in Washington with the U.S. Capitol as his backdrop. He used his public remarks on the court's landmark decision to assail his Democratic opponent and present himself as an alternative.

"Our mission is clear: If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we have to replace President Obama," Romney said.

While he struck a resolute tone Thursday, Romney's move forward on health care will be lined with political pitfalls. Many of the law's provisions are popular among Americans, including allowing adult children to remain on their parents' health care plans until the age of 26, and disallowing insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions.

Despite his pledge to repeal Obamacare, Romney has promised to continue some of the law's protections for consumers. He said Thursday he would maintain the ban on preventing care based on pre-existing conditions, saying such consumers "will be able to be insured and they will not lose their insurance."

Romney's history on health care legislation also complicates his political message on the subject. As voters learned during the blistering Republican primary process, the president fashioned much of his law by borrowing heavily from the reform plan signed into law by Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts six years ago. The centerpiece of the Massachusetts plan is its own mandate.

In an interview with CNN in 2009, Romney touted the mandate as a free market alternative to the president's original plan that offered Americans the option to buy into a government insurance plan. That so-called "public option" was later dropped from the law.

"I think there are a number of features in the Massachusetts plan that could inform Washington on ways to improve health care for all Americans," Romney told CNN in 2009. "The fact that we were able to get people insured without a government option is a model I think they can learn from."

Romney has since said on numerous occasions his plan was meant for Massachusetts only.

"Our plan was a state solution to a state problem, and his plan is a power grab by the federal government to put a one-size-fits-all plan across the nation," Romney said in a speech in the weeks before he jumped into the race last year.

Following the court's decision to uphold Obama's health care law, Romney press secretary Saul wrote on Twitter that Romney's campaign had raised $300,000 in campaign cash, using the Republicans' hashtag for Supreme Court-related reaction, #FullRepeal.

CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Health care • Mitt Romney
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Pander Bear

    Just wait about 2 months when the polls show an increase in support for ACA and Romney will then claim it was his idea all along – just like saving Detroit and the Auto industry. Worst Candidate Ever.

    June 28, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. November 6, 2012 -- The Start of the Second American Revolution

    I will be contributing heavily to ANY politician that supports the full repeal of Obamacare. Romney can expect his June contribution tomorrow and every month until November. Repeal of Obamacare is now the new litmus test for ANYBODY up for federal office. No repeal, no contribution. I wonder how many Democrats will be signing up to repeal it in order to save their seats???

    June 28, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. Pam from Iowa

    There are still some of us Americans who actually care about our fellow Americans Mr. Romney!
    We all know that does not include you!
    You must own a lot of stock in the major insurance carriers for you to care so much about their profit ratio!!!

    June 28, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. gg

    I think Romney is right Obama didn't wasted three and half years.

    June 28, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. Eddie The Barber

    So now this jerk is going to repeal the Arfordable Health Care law – single handedly – and on Day One! Who does he think he is to buck this program that was passed by congress, signed by the president and upheald by the supreme court? And...he can errase monumental and historic legislation all by himself and on Day One? What a fool. The only thing he's be doing on Day One (of the second Obama term as president) is planning his retirement. Bye Bye Willard Mitt Romney!

    June 28, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Gov 47th in Job Creation

    Whole lot of nothing said there. Sounds like he hired Palin as his speechwriter. That word salad saying nothing was absolutely Palin-esque. My goodness GOP surely you could have done better than this pro-mandate, spineless empty suit.

    June 28, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. Al-NY,NY

    he was before mandates before being against them....sound familiar righties???

    June 28, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. Four and The Door

    "Obama care cuts Medicare – cuts Medicare – by approximately $500 billion. And even with those cuts and tax increases, Obamacare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt," Romney said.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________
    Not only this, but we know already that the cost to the federal government has doubled from what the Democrats advertised when it was passed. But it's not just the cost. This bill adds cost and does nothing to increase the quality of care. The American people were given a bad deal for the sake of political expediency. We can do much better and we should hold the Romney Administration to repealing this poorly crafted bureaucracy so that the real opportunities for health care reform can be realized.

    June 28, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    Blah Blah Blah Willard. Good thing for us that you won't have a "1st day" in office. "I think there are a number of features in the Massachusetts plan that could inform Washington on ways to improve health care for all Americans." Those are YOUR words Willard.

    June 28, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. GOP = Greed Over People

    Go President O!

    Nuthin' but net!!!

    June 28, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. TAK

    Well, Mitt did ask Republicans not to gloat after the SCOTUS decision was announced. I am glad that they are finally listening to him.

    June 28, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  12. Al-NY,NY

    November 6, 2012 - The Start of the Second American Revolution

    I will be contributing heavily to ANY politician that supports the full repeal of Obamacare. Romney can expect his June contribution tomorrow and every month until November. Repeal of Obamacare is now the new litmus test for ANYBODY up for federal office. No repeal, no contribution.
    ---------------

    Great. That $1 will REALLY make a difference. Mr Internet Muscles here is just scaring everyone into submission with his tough talk. Come November 7th, he'll be in the corner sucking his thumb rocking back and forth "It's President Romney, NOT Obama. It's president Romney, NOT Obama..."

    June 28, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  13. Marry

    Very interesting to hear Mr. Romney’s reaction to the SCOTUS decision. This must be a new record of the most lies and scare tacktics ever uttered in such a sort time! People, listen to what he says! …want Americans to get the insurance they like… Well, what people would want and need they mostly cannot afford and if they get it they are refused cover as soon as they need it – often desperately. You really want that again?
    Congratulation to you, Democrats/Independents/a few Republicans across the country! Now, go out and vote in November to keep what was so difficult for you to finally get!! A health care reform that is worth your support! Thank you President Obama for your courage, and steadfast fight for the the American people – despite constant insults from the party of "NO"!

    June 28, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. Mikey

    Didn't Romney clearly state that ACA WAS "unconstitutional". I guess he was wrong. Even at the time it seemed a stupid statement, as he maintained the mandate was constitutional in Massachusetts, but apparently not so elsewhere – failing basic logic. Then again, Romney does prove that you don't have to be brilliant to make a lot of money.

    Can't wait for the debates.

    June 28, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. mikle

    Obama is liar. He said it's not tax, now it's tax. Liar,liar.

    June 28, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Pander Bear

    Osama Bin Laden is dead
    GM is alive
    We're out of Iraq
    And Americans have health insurance

    Despite everything the right wing has attempted to do, President Obama has proven to be one of the best Presidents in history.

    June 28, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    We have laws against shoplifting at the grocery store.
    Now we have a law against shoplifting in the Emergency Room.
    Get over it, conservatives. You were for it long before you were against it.

    June 28, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. manhandler1

    Really? Your first day in office? Not gonna happen.

    June 28, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  19. Woman In California

    As usual he came up EMPTY. He's an EMPTY man with EMPTY ideas and an EMPTY soul and the fact American taxpayers are paying for his protection makes it even more pathethic. Not only is this empty man suggesting we not respect the SC's decision, he's basically offering nothing in return.

    Today, the nation found out who the better leader is and most of us want to stick with him. IF Willard somehow thinks he can take away our healthcare without a fight he is sadly mistaken as he FOUND out today. He will never be able to out think, out smart or out shine our current CIC and he might as well accept it and move on to his Mormon missions.

    Good riddance in advance of your loss in November.

    June 28, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. Beverly - NYC

    Mitt, please review Romney Care prior to shooting off your pie hole on this issue for which you have little to no credibility. Face it the President has removed another talking point from the Republican quiver. Repeal healthcare my butt. By August the Republicans will acknowledge what the rest of us know, you have no chance at winning and they will focus on adding more crazies to the House & Senate. Enjoy your Summer off Mitt, cheer your fancy horse at the Olympics, make sure the car elevators are properly installed, and go back to being an umemployed gent leman of leisure.

    June 28, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  21. Keeping it Real

    Four and The Door

    "Obama care cuts Medicare – cuts Medicare – by approximately $500 billion. And even with those cuts and tax increases, Obamacare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt," Romney said.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________
    Not only this, but we know already that the cost to the federal government has doubled from what the Democrats advertised when it was passed. But it's not just the cost. This bill adds cost and does nothing to increase the quality of care. The American people were given a bad deal for the sake of political expediency. We can do much better and we should hold the Romney Administration to repealing this poorly crafted bureaucracy so that the real opportunities for health care reform can be realized.
    ---–
    Not to mention the raise in insurance premiums that are already happening as a direct result of Obamacare. I don't understand how the USSC can even think this penalty is a tax, when it's solely based upon the choice not to buy goods and services. It's a fine, You can't tax something that isn't purchased. Leave it to Democrats to tax something that was never bought!

    June 28, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  22. i want a mega rich Mormon who hidvilvies money overseas, and a master tax evader as president

    That quote made about him being a weather vane is true. Mitt is against whatever Obama is against. What a empty suite Robme has proven himself to be. Last night this used car salesman said the whitehouse wasn't sleeping comfortable with the impeding court decision, now this Richie rich 1% loser says this is Obama's blah, blah, blah. I'm so over zitt. What will Robme say when his tax returns are release?

    June 28, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  23. November 6, 2012 -- The Start of the Second American Revolution

    Al-NY,NY - Great. That $1 will REALLY make a difference.
    ==============================================
    Missing several zeroes there. My freedoms and liberty are well worth the price to protect them from lying deceitful leftist Democrats.

    June 28, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. Kenny K

    Now all Mitt's videos, where he was touting the madate as a model for the nation, should be used in ads. That way, his supporter will understand how much he love the mandate.

    June 28, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  25. Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe Say_Nothing -Do_Nothing_Flip_n_Flopper VULTURE CAPITALIST

    Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe says OBAMACARE will not PASS constitutional muster!
    Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe said that President Obama would have wasted 3.5yrs if OBAMACARE is deemed unconstitutional!!!

    NEO-CON JUSTICE ROBERTS sided with President Obama and TOLD mitt robme you are a LIAR!!!

    Guess what AMERICA....Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe was WRONG THEN, and HE IS WRONG NOW!!!!!

    Obama 2012

    June 28, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
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