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. Jesus Christ Superstar

    "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."

    That's because it's not their job to say if something is a "good" law. The SCOTUS did their job.

    Not to mention this is a good law. It may not be good for you, but it's good for me, and I'm a better person than you Mittens, so you can go home to your many homes and many wives and cry

    June 28, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. 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!!!!!

    president Obama 2012

    June 28, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. Four and The Door

    Didn't Romney clearly state that ACA WAS "unconstitutional". I guess he was wrong.
    The court upheld the law and found that the so-called individual mandate can be constitutional under Congress's taxing power – but not under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, as the government originally had argued. The government argument was wrong and Mitt Romney was correct. However, the justices cut the government a break and took it upon themselves to reconsider the mandate as a tax, which congress is capable of enacting.

    June 28, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. Gov 47th in Job Creation

    Willard did not take any questions either. This, after one of the biggest SCOTUS cases in quite some time...
    Same tactic on his plane after leaving AZ. Willard lacks the cojones and the ability to think quickly on his feet necessary to be POTUS.
    His little podium sign said Repeal and Replace. I'd like specific details on what he plans to replace it with, no 10,000 foot level platitudes, specifics. In addition, how about some specifics on how his economic policy is different than W's.

    Willard is also on record as being pro-mandate both on a state and national level, he can't run from his record. If the GOP was serious about this healthcare issue, they sure picked the wrong dude to trot out there in Nov. Dream candidate for Democrats.

    June 28, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. Glen

    REPEAL OBAMACARE-VOTE ROMNEY- States can opt out and many will do so until after the Election per the SCOTUS decision on the Medicaid portion of the bill.
    Also- Medicare will be eliminated in OBAMACARE – wake up Now Seniors. Your health is at stake!
    You will be taxed to pay for Obamacare. Everyone will have to pay a hefty tax penalty if you do not comply.
    SOCIALISM at it's worst!!!

    June 28, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    before the Obama election in 2008, I always felt that the left were the biggest crybabies and whiners......that indeed has changed. Right wingers and GOPers like Mitt have been throwing tantrums and bawling when they don't get their way since November 2008. The SCOTUS that they felt would have no problem booting out the Obama plan, the same court they loved and worshipped when they passed and upheld Citizens United has now sided with the president and they are having a hissy fit. If they could have repealed this bill why didn't they do that or try to at first without sending it to the SCOTUS? I hope that all you righties like Mitt out there crying will be willing to give those rebate checks coming in the mail from your insurance company back when they get here.

    June 28, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  7. cali girl

    Repeal and replace, that was the sign on the podium Robmey spoke from.
    Yet, he said nothing of what he would replace it with. And took no questions from the press. Again.
    This seems to be the thread with Robmey. Won't explain at all what he plans to do to fix: Economy, Health Care, Immigration, Womens Rights, Equal Pay. HE WILL NOT EXPLAIN WHAT HE WILL DO WITH ANY OF THESE THINGS!!!

    June 28, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. Romneycare was a tax?

    Since Romneycare was a tax in Massachusetts, you can't REPEAL Obamacare and REPLACE it with Romneycare.

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

    Sorry, but as Rick Santorum said, Mitt Romney has no credibility on this issue. The ACA was modeled after his plan in Mass, and he was proud of that at the time. For the sake of political gain, he had to use twisted logic to now claim to be against the ACA once it became a TEA party hot button.

    It was good for Mass but not the country, what does that even mean? It's constitutional for a state but not the federal government, how is that possible?

    Mitt – a little advice. If you believe in something, stand up for it. People may not agree with you, but at least they can respect you.

    June 28, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. Dean

    This ruling will hurt Obama in November. Perhaps Chief Justice Roberts is more sly than we thought.

    June 28, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Hey Romney didn't you bet somebody $10,000 that OBAMACARE was unconstitutional?
    Pay up.

    June 28, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. NotFooledByDistractions

    Mute Romney actually would have done himself a favor if he would have had the sense to keep his mouth shut, just like he has previously done on all the other issues.

    He can't complain that the mandate is a tax because Romney explicitly sold his Massachusetts mandate as a tax enforced through a tax penalty.

    He can't complain on a states rights basis because he didn't have a problem with Obamacare in Massachusetts—he called it Romneycare.

    But his claim during the primary was that he opposed Obamacare because it was unconstitutional. Well, it's not. So now he's coming up with new reasons to be against it because, well, he has to be against it or his tea party masters will rebel against him.

    It's better to be thought an idiot than open your mouth and prove it. Romney should have followed his core beliefs and remained silent once again.

    June 28, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. Linda

    Romney speaks out of both sides of his mouth, he was for Healthcare reform including making the people in his State pay a penality if they didn't buy healthcare......if you people think this man as President can repeal this bill on day one, a bill the President created, Congress passed and the Supreme Court upheld, then you are more delusional than Romney himself.....Republicans had 8 years to come up with a Healthcare Bill, but they didn't do it.....because your health and my health is really not a concern to them......if they couldn't come up with a better Health care plan when they had 8 years to do it, do you think they are going to come up with a better one if they win the White House.....NO they will not.....They claim to be Christrians, but have you heard one of them say anything good about this Bill, the fact that so many children have healthcare that they never had before.....isn't that a cause to celebrate......Romney says its a bad law.....so I guess it's bad that these children can now go to the Dr. just like his 5 boys can.......LOSER ROMNEY

    June 28, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  14. Mikey

    "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"
    Yet another lie from Romney – just one of dozens. He can't do what he is promising here. Does he think he is running for emperor?

    June 28, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. Dave

    Mr. Flip-Flopper must have forgotten about that other pesky thing that might get in the way of "his" repeal: Congress. This guy simply plays to idiots and they eat it right up.

    June 28, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. Investment Advisor

    Todays ruling is ok....Justice Roberts didn't validate the law as a good one and said the final word would rest with the people. The glass is half full and this will energize those voters to overturn Obama Care this November by voting for Mitt Romney as Our next President. Health care is good if it is done right...this one wasn't. Enjoy the 7th inning stretch...things are starting to heat up.

    June 28, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. vic , nashville ,tn

    2010 is over , local tea baggers gave up on repealing Obama care, there is no way out
    Because Mitt Romney champion on health care reform

    June 28, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. Curt

    How dare Romney threaten to repeal a law that an elected congress passed and the Supreme court said was constitutional. Its about time that the USA got a health plan that helped those less fortunate. Maybe what should be happening is an investigation into what hospitals charge for items and the insurance companies.

    June 28, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  19. Publius Novus

    "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." Mr. Romney, when did it become the responsibility or charge of the courts to tell us whether a law is good or good policy? Of course the SCOTUS did not weigh in on the value of the law. The Court opined on the constitutionality of the law, which is what courts do. You are either a very bad Harvard-educated lawyer or you are a very deceptive man.

    June 28, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. Marc in Texas

    For the record – if you think that Romney has the ability to repeal ACA, you are very poorly informed. Of course, Romney counts on that – the entire Repblican strategy is based upon ignorant and blind opposition, and has no regard for how our country actually works. Every time you make statements like "Romney will repeal" or "Roberts is a traitor" it just shows how sublimely ignorant and gullible the Republican faithful are. An uninformed, ignorant mob should never prevail in this country.

    June 28, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. Larry

    Why would Mr. Romney come out and say he would repeal a National Health Care plan when every country in Europe has one, Canada has one, nearly everyone but the U.S. had one? So it is OK with him if we continue to bankrupt people, deny them care, and just shame them from seeking care because they have no insurance. Obama gets four more years.

    June 28, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    ""Obama care cuts Medicare – cuts Medicare – by approximately $500 billion. "

    And Ryan's Pathology of Plutocracy budget has the exact same prvisions in it...which aren't really cuts, but rather cost savings measures aimed at fraud and reducing provider payments. And suprise su-freekin-prise....Deputy Doublethink has signed on whole-hog to Ryan's Pathology of Plutocracy budget. It's like the man read Orwell's entire works as a set of instruction manuals.

    June 28, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. livingston

    And if Romney doesn't get his way he will hire someone to hold their breath and stomp their feet until he does! Come on guy – deal with the real world and if you don't like it come up with something better and try to sell it to the American people. Until then sit down and shut up. You are running for president – not king. It really doesn't matter what you want.

    June 28, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  24. Alfredo

    LOL... It seems the constitutional professors are posting on CNN today. Romney is done and Obama will be re-elected. The Affordable Care Act is law and the world isn't ending. I would have preferred single payer. The real driver for health cost is obesity and preventable diseases that stem from lifestyle choices. The funny thing is, the Affordable Care Act is almost identical to what conservatives wanted to pass in the 90s when HillaryCare was being debated in the congress. What has changed? The party and color of the president introducing the bill. I guess what was good for conservatives before Bush isn't good for them after Bush...

    June 28, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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