Romney Agrees Health Care Law Is Unconstitutional

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Likely presidential contender Mitt Romney is praising the court ruling that called President Obama's health care plan unconstitutional, even though he spearheaded a similar insurance requirement as Massachusetts governor.

A federal judge in Virginia on Monday said that the linchpin of the new health care law, which imposes a penalty on people who don't obtain insurance, violated the Constitution's commerce clause.


"The court ruling supports Mitt Romney's view that 'Obamacare' is an unconstitutional power grab by Washington,'' said Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom. "We should repeal the law and return to the states the power to determine their own health care solutions."

One of Romney's signature achievements as governor was a sweeping health care overhaul that also included an "individual mandate" to buy insurance. But with polls showing widespread anxiety over Obama's agenda, Romney has sought to make a distinction between his home state's plan and the law passed by Congress. He argues that there's a legal difference between what he did on a state level and what Obama did nationally.

However, as the law continues to wind its way through the courts, Romney is likely to keep facing questions about his own record.

"Health care was an issue that Mitt Romney discussed in the 2008 campaign and if he runs again, I'm sure it will be discussed,'' Fehrnstrom said. "Every candidate is going to have to talk about their record whatever it may be.''

This article appeared in the Wednesday, December 15, 2010 edition of National Journal Daily.

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Beth Reinhard is a political correspondent for National Journal.

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