(WASHINGTON) — Mitt Romney today renewed his vow to repeal the health care law that the United States Supreme Court upheld earlier in the day, referring to the plan as “bad law” and “bad policy.”
“As you might imagine, I disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision and I agree with the dissent,” said Romney, with the Capitol building as his backdrop. “What the Court did not do on its last day in session I will do on my first day if elected President of the United States and that is I will act to repeal Obamacare.”
“Let’s make clear that we understand what the Court did and did not do. What the Court did today was say that Obamacare does not violate the Constitution,” he said. “What they did not do was say that Obamacare is good law, or that its good policy. Obamacare was bad policy yesterday, it’s bad policy today. Obamacare was bad law yesterday, it’s bad law today.”
The Supreme Court handed down its decision this morning that upheld President Obama’s signature health care plan, including the individual mandate. Romney, who watched the announcement of the ruling from a Washington hotel room with staffers and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, was joined at his statement by some of his top senior staffers, including deputy campaign manager Katie Packer Gage, policy director Lanhee Chen, senior adviser Russ Schrieffer and pollster Neil Newhouse.
Romney, who spoke for just over four minutes and mentioned the term “Obamacare” 18 times, said the reasons that Obamacare is “bad law” are because it raises taxes, cuts Medicare and is a “job killer.”
Pledging “real reform,” if elected, Romney said his own plan would have to make sure that people can keep the insurance they have if they want to. He added that people with pre-existing conditions should “know they will be able to be insured and will not lose their insurance.”
Romney did not elaborate on this issue of pre-existing conditions, and did not note that he does not support the across-the-board consumer protections for pre-existing conditions as written into the health care law.
Romney also said that a replacement plan must make sure every American has affordable access to health care, adding that “Obamacare does not do that,” and that health care is becoming “prohibitively expensive.”
Repealing and replacing President Obama’s health care law has been a pivotal point in Romney’s campaign platform, and today the candidate continued to use the policy as a rallying cry.
“If we want good jobs and a bright economic future for ourselves and for our kids, we must replace Obamacare,” he said. “That is my mission. That is our work, and I’m asking the people of America to join me.”
“If you don’t want the course that President Obama has put us on, if you want instead a course that the founders envisioned, then join me in this effort. Help us. Help us defeat Obamacare, help us defeat the liberal agenda that makes government too big, too intrusive, and that’s killing jobs across this great country,” said Romney.
The president’s campaign quickly fired back, highlighting what it says is Romney’s inability to offer specifics and his previous support for an insurance mandate as governor of Massachusetts.
“He owes the American people a clear, non-parsed explanation of why he believes his decisions in Massachusetts are wrong for the country, and exactly what he would do to help the American people get the health care they need,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said.
Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for Romney, said that as of noon today more than $375,000 had been raised to support a repeal of the law through an online effort by the campaign.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Maeve Reston, CNN
Kevin Liptak, CNN