(ORLANDO) — Looking to continue to benefit from President Obama’s remark last week that the private sector is “doing fine,” Mitt Romney sought to portray the president as “out of touch” when it comes to the economy and, more specifically, his health care plan. In the crucial battleground state of Florida, Romney outlined how he would seek to repeal and replace the controversial Affordable Care Act.
“Now I know the Supreme Court is about to make a decision with regards to Obamacare, and I have right in my pocket what they’re going to say,” Romney joked. “Actually, I don’t know what they’re going to do. You know, regardless of what they do, it’s going to be up to the next president to either repeal and replace Obamacare or to replace Obamacare. And 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,” said Romney.
Appearing at an air filtration manufacturer in Orlando, Romney catered his speech to the audience, who gave the candidate a series of standing ovations during his speech. A Quinnipiac poll from early May found that Florida voters want the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the 2010 health care reform legislation by a 51 to 38 percent margin.
Romney outlined several specific steps he would take in overhauling the health care system if elected, saying he would make sure states remained responsible for their uninsured, by making sure Medicaid dollars are sent to the states so that they can “care for their own people in the way they think best.”
Romney also said he would support a plan that would allow individuals to buy insurance on the same tax-advantage basis the businesses are afforded, and would allow people to buy insurance across state lines.
“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,” said Romney.
Romney also spoke at length about pre-existing conditions, saying that he wants to make sure people can’t “get dropped” from their insurance if they have one.
“We’re gonna have to make sure the law we replace Obamacare with assures that people who have a pre-existing condition, who’ve been insured in the past, are able to get insurance in the future so they don’t have to worry about that condition keeping them from getting the kind of healthcare they deserve,” he said.
Lis Smith, a spokeswoman for the Obama re-election campaign, sought to frame Romney’s comments as detrimental to the Sunshine State’s seniors.
“This morning, Mitt Romney promised that if he’s elected, insurance companies will be able to discriminate against Americans with pre-existing conditions, charge women higher premiums than they charge men for the same coverage, and kick young adults off their parents’ plans when they graduate high school or college,” said Smith. “And he did it in Florida, where his promise to privatize Medicare under the Romney-Ryan budget would impact more than three million Florida seniors, and could increase seniors’ costs by as much as $6,350 a year – all while bankrupting 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.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
David Chalian, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Herb Scribner, Deseret News
Stephen Collinson, CNN