June 28th, 2012
12:32 PM ET
11 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. the Situation

    You just lost the middle and working class vote MItts. See Ya!

    June 28, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. Megisis

    I love how the left uses the fact that every hospital has to treat you as a tool to say that we pay for uninsured people's healthcare and so we should force them to buy it. Who do you think pushed those laws that say the hospitals have to treat you? The left of course. Hey how bout this, let's have PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY! If you are poor you are covered under medicaid or medicare. If you are not in that position you DO NOT get treated at a hospital unless you can pay for it through money or insurance. SIMPLE, then no one is paying for your healthcare and the government can stay out of it. Funny how if you get the government intervention out of the system the system can work fine.

    June 28, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. tom wittmann


    ""So, Romney says::I'll do what justices didn't "

    1) Does he thinks that a president has the power to reverse a Congree act??
    2) Dos he knows that that a repeal must be approved by an unattainable 2/3 vote in the Senate??

    If so, he is very ignorant.
    If not so, he is mocking the electorate""

    June 28, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Jim, San Antonio

    He can't repeal it without 60 votes in the Senate and he will NEVER have 60 votes in the Senate!!!!! Obama needs to call him on this!

    June 28, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Q

    Romney is the one who came up with this idea, promoted it and got it enacted in his home state. He then pushed the idea during the great health care debate. Now we must believe he is the only one standing against his own idea and in fact he is the only one who can get rid of it......I get dizzy trying to follow this stuff sometimes

    June 28, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. Independent

    @Alfredo: thank you for your post you are telling the truth.

    June 28, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. blue19

    By promising to repeal the Health Care act, they're saying the are fine with millions of people being left with unimaginable financial exposure.. it's the same old GOP mantra, "I'm OK, screw you". As with the issue of immigration reform, Mittens doesn't like anything the president has done but promises to do something bettor if elected. I know we can trust him cause the GOp tackled health care and immigraiton during the 8 year fiasco of the last GOP president.

    June 28, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. V

    First the immigration issue and now the Supreme Court decision. See a pattern here? Obama "trumps" Romney.
    THANK GOD and than you Mr. President. This man is evil and has no place in politics!!
    Also – a big shout-out to the Justices for doing what was right for the American People who are not the wealthy 1%.

    June 28, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. curious

    I am amazed that all Americans are not celebrating the possibility that over 31 million Americans can now see a doctor.

    June 28, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Mario

    The Supreme Court has spoke. ROMEY and REPUBLICAN need to quit LYING ot the American people. Romney has nothing to run on and wants come up with lie's

    June 28, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. the time has come

    Romney is like a fake dollar bill you can is a fake within seconds of coming in contact with it

    June 28, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. Roy

    Before Obama we had TAXPAYER FUNDED HEALTHCARE. Freeloaders could go to the emergency room and get care for free.

    Obamacare has a MANDATE so that freeloaders must buy insurance. This REDUCES what taxpayers must pay.

    That is why repealing Obamacare will make the Deficit bigger.

    June 28, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. Rick

    Romney, you a sick dog. Why you against the American people have health care, when you passed the same HC in MA. And it only increased state expense less than 1%. What is your issue Romney, Ah, yes. It is Obama you have the issue with not the health care. I hope the American voters issued a huge defeat in November.

    June 28, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. Jen

    Romney just lied again – yes you CAN keep your current coverage – if you are insured you do not have to do anything at all – however, if your insurer does not meet minimum standards – the insurance company are the ones who will have to upgrade your policy – so you will likely get more coverage – real coverage – this is how the GOP are "getting away" with this lie.

    If you have a good standard policy, you will likely not see or notice a change, except if you get sick there will be no lifetime cap and you won't and can't be dropped – that is it.

    Everyone, including Romney, knows he can't repeal this on day one – it has to come from Congress and the Republicans will not have a "super majority" in the Senate to do this and as far as taxes – 500 billion over 10 years is not a lot – just extending the Bush tax cuts for 2 years last time cost 544 billion (CnnMoney) & making them permanent 3.7 trillion over ten years – so this "increase" is peanuts by comparison to the Bush cuts – this increase is less than 1/7 of the cost or loss of the Bush tax cuts over the same time period

    June 28, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. Elizabeth

    Replace it with what?

    June 28, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. G Foster

    It's refreshing moving forward and not backward. Mitt Romney should be happy knowing his brainchild is now deemed constitutionally valid.

    June 28, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. mike12

    Mitt Rommey would do anything that election, the repulic would do anything to show they are the better chose, hey Mitt we're stupid ok, this health care it your model. stop lyin to US.

    June 28, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  18. blue19

    @ investment advisor Yes America is a cut above in Health care. You have the bighest infant mortality and maternal death rates of any developed nation, you spend exponetially more money on health care as part of your GDP than any developed country and health care bills are the largest single contributor to private bankruptcy. Well done.

    June 28, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. Dora Villanueva

    Good job justices!  There is hope for the country...,. Yayyyyy on passing healthcare vote!!!!!! Now time to come together to perfect the details.... This is not about Republicans or Democrats it is about human beings!

    June 28, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. janetlaw

    My brother-in-law can now get insurance (he has a pre-existing condition). Why should I not be celebrating that?

    June 28, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. mb

    Romney has totally flip flopped on his own health care law that he himself said could be used as a model for a national health care law. I guess he is allowed to do that to please the teabaggers. And if he's such a job creator why is there so many family drs saying they will go out of biz in the next year if obamacare is repealed. I think I read an article saying 17% of family drs would close. So he really understands the average person and how to create jobs for them. His comments are the proof. What a clown he is.

    June 28, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. W l jones

    Some people can go into a hospital or doctor office without showing his medical card other have to when walking through the door It sad why some people think like this.

    June 28, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. John

    Every time Romney turns around Preseident Obama is standing there kicking him in the head. Romney is a great target.

    June 28, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. TAK

    Conservatives have no one to blame for this debacle but themselves. Had they cooperated with the Democrats when the bill was being drafted, maybe the health care act would not have some of the odious provisions they find appalling. But no, they had to totally black-ball the process and gave the Democrats carte-blanche to put in whatever they wanted. Now the GOP has major egg on their face.

    June 28, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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