WASHINGTON--GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Thursday while the Supreme Court ruled President Barack Obama's signature health care law was legal, it was poor public policy as he repeated his vow to "repeal Obamacare."
Said Romney, speaking in Washington, "As you might imagine, I disagree with the Supreme Court's decision, and I agree with the dissent. 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."
Chief Justice John Roberts never said in writing the 5-4 opinion upholding the main elements of the 2010 law noted that the decision was not intended as a comment on the policy. Wrote Roberts, "We do not consider whether the Act embodies sound policies. That judgment is entrusted to the Nation's elected leaders. We ask only whether Congress has the power under the Constitution to enact the challenged provisions."
Said Romney, "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. What they did not do was say that "Obamacare" is good law or that it's good policy. "Obamacare" was bad policy yesterday. It's bad policy today. "Obamacare" was bad law yesterday. It's bad law today.
"Let me tell you why I say that. "Obamacare" raises taxes on the American people by approximately $500 billion. "Obamacare" cuts Medicare, cuts from Medicare by approximately $500 billion. And even with those cuts and tax increases, "Obamacare" adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt, and pushes those obligations on to coming generations.
"Obamacare" also means that for up to 20 million Americans, they will lose the insurance they currently have, the insurance that they like and they want to keep.
"Obamacare" is a job killer. Businesses across the country have been asked what the impact is of "Obamacare." Three-quarters of those surveyed by the Chamber of Commerce said "Obamacare" makes them less likely to then -- to hire people.
"And perhaps most troubling of all, "Obamacare" puts the federal government between you and your doctor.
"For all those reasons, it's important for us to repeal and replace "Obamacare."
"What are some of the things that we'll keep in place and must be in place in a reform, a real reform of our health care system? One, we have to make sure that people who want to keep their current insurance will be able to do so. Having 20 million people, up to that number...lose the insurance they want is simply unacceptable.
"Number two, we got to make sure that those people who have pre- existing conditions know that they will be able to be insured and they will not lose their insurance.
"We also have to assure that we do our very best to help each state in their effort to assure that every American has access to affordable health care.
"And something that "Obamacare" does not do that must be done in real reform is helping lower the cost of health care and health insurance. It's becoming prohibitively expensive.
"So this is now a time for the American people to make a choice. You can choose whether you want to have a larger and larger government, more and more intrusive in your life, separating you and your doctor; whether you're accountable, with more deficits, higher debt that we pass on to the coming generations; whether you're willing to have the government put in place a plan that potentially causes you to lose the insurance that you like, or whether instead you want to return to a time when the American people will have their own choice in health care, where consumers will be able to make their choices as to what kind of health insurance they want.
"This is a time of choice for the American people.
"Our mission is clear. If we want to get rid of "Obamacare," were going to have to replace President Obama. My mission is to make sure we do exactly that, that we return to the American people the privilege they've always had to live their lives in the way they feel most appropriate, where we don't pass on to coming generations massive deficits and debt, where we don't have a setting where jobs are lost.
"If we want good jobs and a bright economic future for ourselves and for our kids, we must replace "Obamacare." That is my mission. That 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.
"Thank you so much.