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. Wake up people

    How ANYONE can believe one word this pathological liar says is utterly and completely beyond me.

    OBAMA 2012!

    June 28, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. ironmule

    Obamacare is an ill-conceived virtually criminal Big Labor Big Government power-grab. The way the bill got passed was illegal. The powers the bill authorizes are illegal. As Supreme Court Judge Anthony Kennedy said in his dissent, "...the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety."

    Now We The People MUST step up our resistance to Federal bureaucratic tyranny. I believe Judge Roberts was wise to side with the Liberals to avoid the political firestorm that would come from a Supreme Court mandated repeal of this onerous Act. If we love our Liberty, We The People should elect a Congress that will repeal Obamacare by a majority-vote of duly Elected Congressional Representatives.

    If the Liberal Left can elect enough Liberals to protect Obamacare from repeal then that's how it goes. The U.S.A. will be less free and more oppressive. If We The People do not defend ourselves the Feds will walk all over us. Do YOU want a Federal bureaucrat breathing down your neck for the rest of your life? Obamacare as it stands authorizes creation of 159 new Federal government bureaucracies.

    Do not repeat DO NOT be disheartened or downcast. This kind of setback is what General George Washington dealt with every day during the Revolutionary War of 1776. Now it's our turn. Live Free Or Die! Fight back every hour of every day between now and November 6th 2012. Every little bit helps. No act of resistance is too small. Government of, by & for the people is not the responsibility of the Courts, the Congress, or the President. Our government is OUR responsibility: We The People of The United States. Do not back down now!

    June 28, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. Alfredo

    Mitt Romney has no spine...

    June 28, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Keep it Real wrote:

    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.
    Yes, insurance premiums have gone up since the law was enacted. But, the law puts caps on increases, and companies must show cause for large rate increases. Recall how they tried to raise rates 30-50% in several states immediately after the law was signed? They tried to raise CA by 40%. The ACA stopped them.

    If you do not want to ever go to a public hospital, then that is your right and your choice. But, when you do show up, and you will sooner or later, make sure you have some form of guaranteed payment, like health insurance. If you do not want to pay the tax, then don't ever use a public hospital. Unfortunately, laws in this country require facilities to provide you with care. Now we have a law that requires you to pay for your own care, instead of me and others having to foot the bill for you.

    June 28, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. JimB

    What a hypocrite. He doesn't remember that he recommended that Washington learn from the mandate he supported as Governor of his state. How can this country support a man who constantly changes his mind on important issues for totally political gain? How can this country support a man who wants to buy the election like he bought the GOP nomination? How can this country support a man who doesn't seem to have any core beliefs? It's fabulous that the right couldn't buy right wing Justice Roberts? We are a nation of laws. That is what makes our democracy unique.

    June 28, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. Pronghorn

    Obama must be evicted, and every Democrat Senator must be evicted, in order to eliminate Obama's stupid healthcare experiment.

    June 28, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. November Tsunami

    Maybe Roberts was being sly!

    He has awoken a sleeping giant who will speak at the polls in November.
    I am sending my donation to Romney right now.


    June 28, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. Danram

    The Supreme Court just handed you a tremendous early Christmas present, Gov. Romney. Now that they've declined to intervene, the only way that this law can be repealed as a majority of Americans want is to vote your opponent out of office.

    Also, the ruling means that businesses will not start to invest the money they're sitting on any time soon, meaning that the economy will continue to be weak leading up to the election.

    All in all, this ruling will prove to be worth at least 2-3 percentage points for Romney on election day.

    June 28, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. Investment Advisor

    @Larry....We are not a Europe or a Canada...I would like to think The United States of America is a "cut above the rest of the world". Now,...... I believe a better health care law can be enacted with time and thought rather than just jamming it at us for the sake of expediency. There is not a person in this country that does NOT want health care....If there is ,please show me. But lets develop a plan that has more support than 30-40% of the population.

    June 28, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. georgewashington

    Romney tailors his message to the particular campaign he is running. Some would call him a hypocrite others pragmatic when in reality he is simply a huge fraud.

    June 28, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    oops, edit, forgot to finish a sentence...

    PATRIOT Act allows wire taps without a warrant, etc. etc. – conservatives run up and down the streets hailing it as a godsend to protect our nashyonall sekyooritah!!!!

    ACA levies fines for failure to purchase health insurance, not criminal penalties, because the failure to do so burdens society and increases costs of insurance and health care for EVERYONE...thus, it makes it possible for everyone to obtain access to health care: conservatives run around like someone stabbed their grandma on the Night of the Long Knives.

    The IOKIYAR hypocrisy and double-standards are frightening and appalling. These people can doublethink themelseves into such a frenzy of partisan clownery that it's truly one of he great wonders of the world.

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

    it seems he STILL can't accept facts.

    June 28, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Len Smith

    Thank you President Obama for the Affordable Care Act 2010. And, we need to thank the people like Governor Romney and many of the Republicans for the idea behind the act and now this country can move forward.

    June 28, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. cedar rapids

    "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,"

    Ok folks, theres a first day promise to remember if he gets in. We all know how the gop love to monitor first day promises.

    June 28, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. uhoh

    Gee you would think the decision to uphold Romneycare would be received more easily by it's author?!

    June 28, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. John

    It is time to move on GOP. It is time to move on Mitt. You lost and the American people won. Get over it.................

    June 28, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. Rick James

    so, let me get this straight....

    If the mandate was struck down, Romney wins...
    But since the mandate was upheld, Romney still wins? Hilarious. I'm not truly thrilled about Obama, but it is nice to see Republicans count their chickens before they hatch, then get owned in the process.

    And for those that say that this is a "government takeover", please know that has be previously debunked several times by independent observers. What this is is the Republican alternative to Clinton's single-payer system- pay your way and take responsibility. My hunch is that this will get re-visited in 2014 if Obama is re-elected.
    It will be funny to see the Romnster doing mental gymnastics in the meantime. Remember , The Auto-Bailout was his idea, and this is too..

    June 28, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  18. Name

    Romney sucks and is a lying moron, great day for the POTUS, everyone needs to have health insurance, people who don't and are going to ERs running up huge bills are costing this country alot of money. We need this reform, Mittens paased The SAME reform here in MA when he was a drive-by GOV. Obama 2012!

    June 28, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  19. Tony

    November 6, 2012 - The Start of the Second Obama Term,

    Too bad for you. Have you seen the latest polls? Romney trails Obama in Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Republicans should think about repealing Romney as their nominee, who once upon a time liked individual mandate so much that he thought it should be the basis for national health care reform.

    June 28, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. Real American

    The federal government has grown exponentially over the past few decades, becomming more and more tyranical with every bill passed. States will attempt to secede within our lifetime.

    June 28, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. Romney's so gone

    Gee...I wish Romney had used the term "Obamacare" a little more during his response; we just weren't getting the idea.

    June 28, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  22. lolo

    Listen to the robot Romney now. Keep trying my friend. When you get someback bone let the rest of the Americans know then maybe you will get our vote. Right now it does not look too good for you right now. As for his followers they have the dumbest excuses right now as to why this is not legal. Give it up GOP/TP'ers. You are trying to ruin America and it won't work. Tell your boy Romney to grow a pair and stop beiing a wimp.Try to think for himself. This man has two degrees from Harvard and still acts like a little boy trying to fill a man's shoes. I can see the Koch Brothers and Rove now trying to think up a plot to destroy us. The entire republican party flips-flop more than free willy the whale. Thank you justices for seeing the truth. LLet the republicans tell it everything is wrong with the current administration. Looks like Obama wins again. Hey McConnel who's waterloo is it now?

    June 28, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  23. Robert Schiele

    Sheer bluster. I mean, please. "...I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States, and that is that I will act to repeal Obamacare." Doesn't the imbecile know that doing so would require the approval of both houses of Congress? And there will BE no Republican flood as there was in 2010. Tea Baggers may not have figured it out, but independent voters have wised up enough to know they're nothing but a bunch of reactionary obstructionists. They've yet to introduce a single piece of legislation that had any chance of passage. That isn't governance; it's hostage-taking. Even if Romney ekes out a win in November, there's no way he'll have enough votes in the Senate to get anything meaningful done, certainly not anything currently on the Tea Bag agenda anyway. This guy's a cosmic joke.

    June 28, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. Bob

    "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.

    The lies never stop with Etch-A-Sketch. Never.

    June 28, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. I See You Don't Understand The Way Government Works


    The Supreme Court just handed you a tremendous early Christmas present, Gov. Romney. Now that they've declined to intervene, the only way that this law can be repealed as a majority of Americans want is to vote your opponent out of office.
    Dear Danram: The Supreme Court did not "decline to intervene," as you say. They decided the issue and found it constitutional. Declining to intervene would have meant not making a ruling at all and letting the lower court ruling against the ACA to stand.

    Electing Mittler versus Obama will not automatically repeal the ACA either. There will still be a Congress that he will have to convince to overturn the law. The constitution allows for a lot of things, but a King in Chief is not one of them.

    I can see you don't understanding the way government works. That is what Mittler wants you to think. He's going to be out running around now telling everyone to vote for him and he will repeal the law. It just doesn't work that way, but he is hoping you are stupid enough to think that it does.

    June 28, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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