Romney Slams 'Obamacare,' Says First Term Wasted If Health Care Law Fails
Romney spoke to more than 1,000 Virginia supporters outside Carter Machinery, where he called out the president for his support of the Affordable Care Act.
"If Obamacare is not deemed constitutional, then the first three-and-a-half years of this president's term will have been wasted on something that has not helped American people," said Romney. "If it is deemed to stand, then I'll tell you one thing, we're going to have a president--and I'm that one--that's going to get rid of Obamacare. We're going to stop it on day one."
Romney's comments echo earlier criticism of Obama that said he is more focused on legislative priorities like the health-care law than on the down economy.
"What we're witnessing is a failure of the president's policies," said Romney on Tuesday. "With regards to Obamacare he put that as a higher priority than our economy."
Erasing the health care law has been a focal point of Romney's political agenda, recently launching an ad that stressed he would take down the law in his first 100 days in office.
Although Romney has alluded to "common-sense" reforms as a replacement for Obamacare, the presumptive GOP candidate has yet to introduce any additional details outlining the plan.
In response, Obama defended his support of the bill at an Atlanta fundraiser. He said the law is the "right thing to do" and Romney's decision to wipe out the law would impact "tens of millions of people," who would be booted from health insurance rolls in order to pay for $5 trillion tax cuts for high-income earners.
"He'd roll back the Affordable Care Act, and he'd block-grant Medicaid in such a way where vulnerable people all across the country, folks who may be disabled, folks--seniors who are relying on those services--that would be eliminated," said Obama.
The U.S. Supreme Court will rule Thursday on the constitutionality of the health care law, which focuses on the law's requirement that most Americans buy health insurance or pay a fine starting in 2014. Prior to the Supreme Court's ruling, four different federal appeals courts heard challenges to the law, each ruling differently. CNN reports that the partisan debate encompasses nearly every hot-button topic including abortion and contraception funding, state and individual rights, federal deficits, end-of-life care and the overall economy.
The high court's ruling on Arizona immigration Monday could foreshadow how the justices will make their decision. Conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts joined three liberals in striking down most of the measure. Reuters called the compromised judgment "modest" and tone "cautious," signaling how the justices view national authority on issues that extend past state boundaries. The ruling could show a prioritization of the federal government over interstate commerce.
The Washington Post reports that speculation points to Roberts Jr. as the majority opinion in the health-care act. Kennedy wrote the immigration decision, pointing to Roberts as the author if he is in the majority opinion.
A NBC News/WSJ poll said 37 percent of Americans would be pleased if the health care law is determined unconstitutional. Twenty-eight percent of Americans said they would be pleased if it passed. The same poll showed that 25 percent said the decision would hurt them and their families, while 18 percent said overturning the law would help and 55 percent said the law would have no impact either way.
Both Obama and Romney have additional public appearances lined up heading into Thursday's decision. Romney will appear Tuesday and Wednesday in Virginia while Obama is scheduled for two Atalanta fundraisers and two more in Florida on Tuesday.
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