Washington. White House hopeful Mitt Romney led a reinvigorated Republican charge against health care reforms Thursday, with a snap vote called to repeal the law after it was upheld by the Supreme Court.
“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 vowed.
The nation’s top court upheld President Barack Obama’s health care reforms to insure another 32 million Americans in a major victory as the Democratic leader seeks re-election in November in what is shaping up to be a tight race.
But despite the court’s ruling, Romney said the justices “did not . . . say that Obamacare is good law or that it is good policy.
“Obamacare was bad law yesterday. It is bad law today,” he said, arguing the Affordable Care Act would raise taxes, cause the national deficit to balloon and make up to 20 million Americans lose their existing insurance.
Some 75 percent of businesses surveyed had also said that the requirement to provide health insurance would force them to scale back hiring, he said.
Republican leaders on Thursday set a July 11 vote in the House of Representatives to repeal the law, but it will likely be dead on arrival in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
“We don’t have to accept ‘Obamacare,’” said House Speaker John Boehner in a message on his Twitter account. “The House will continue to fight for #fullrepeal.”
“House Republicans remain committed to #FullRepeal of the president’s health care law and all its tax hikes, fees and mandates.”
“I can assure you this. Republicans won’t let up whatsoever in our determination to repeal this terrible law and replace it with the kind of reforms that will truly address the problems it was meant to solve,” agreed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“The court’s ruling doesn’t mark the end of the debate,” he said, speaking on the Senate floor. “It marks a fresh start on the road to repeal. That’s been our goal from the start. That’s our goal now, and we plan to achieve it.”
The court ruling is a huge boost for Obama and he hailed it as “a victory for people all over this country.”
Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid, speaking on the Senate floor, said he was pleased the Supreme Court had put “the rule of law ahead of partisanship and ruled the Affordable Care Act is constitutional.”
The law will allow millions of Americans to keep “seeing the benefits of the law that we passed,” he said. “No longer will American families be a car accident or a heart attack away from bankruptcy.”
He took a dig at Republican efforts to dismantle the law, saying: “Unfortunately Republicans in Congress continue to target the rights and benefits guaranteed under this law.”
“Our Supreme Court has spoken. The matter is settled.”
Some Republicans, along with the president himself, were thrown when two television stations, CNN and Fox News, at first erroneously said the court had struck down the centerpiece pay provision in the law.
“Individual mandate ruled unconstitutional. Let Freedom Ring,” said Republican lawmaker Dennis Ross on Twitter.
Ross later changed his tack, saying he was “truly disappointed” after it became clear that the channels had been too hasty in deciphering the court’s complex ruling.