Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican party’s presumptive nominee, provided a lengthy criticism of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as “Obamacare,” at a campaign stop on Tuesday morning in Orlando. He also argued that President Barack Obama is out of touch with ordinary Americans and lacks a fundamental understanding of how the economy works.
Romney spoke at the manufacturing location of Con Air Industries Inc., located at 4157 Seaboard Road. The company is a manufacturer, distributor and service provider of heating, ventilation and air conditioning filtration products. The company has a workforce of 97 employees.
Romney cited Obama’s recent remark where he said “the private sector is doing just fine” as an example of the president being out of touch. The remark was part of a larger statement Obama made when comparing public sector job growth to that of the private sector.
“This was not just one line taken out of context," Romney said. "He went on to describe why he believes that therefore we should provide another stimulus to hire government workers. It’s very clear he does think things are just fine in the private sector.”
He described Obama’s health care law as an impediment to the growth of small businesses, arguing that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has found that the law makes them less likely to hire people. A recent survey of 1,339 small-business executives by the chamber found that three out of four executives surveyed said the health care law is an obstacle to the hiring of new employees.
Romney also criticized the health care bill on other fronts. He said 30 percent of employers in the United States plan on dropping individuals from their health care plan once the law is fully implemented and that it will now cost $2 trillion rather than $1 trillion. A recent fact-check by The Washington Post calls this claim into question.
Romney proposed replacing the law with new legislation that would have a series of goals, such as giving states greater control over health care.
“What I would do is keep, as we have today, state responsibility for those that are uninsured,” he said. “You see, I believe in the 10th Amendment. I believe that states have the responsibility to care for their people in the way they feel best.”
Romney said he would do this by sending Medicaid dollars back to the states to allow states to do this. He also proposed letting individuals buy insurance across state lines and making sure people who have been continuously insured in the past don’t lose their coverage due to a pre-existing condition. Romney proposed bringing costs down by approaching health care differently.
“We can get health care to act more like a consumer market. And if we do that, and we stop making it like a big government-managed utility, we’re going to see better prices, lower costs and better care,” he said.
Danny Saavedra, a sophomore mechanical engineering major and a member of the College Republicans at UCF, was in attendance at the rally.
“I liked how he stuck to American values, stated how our position in the world is important, that we need to help people, but we need to do it in a different way than what is being done right now, all that was good,” he said.
Saavedra said he liked Romney’s approach to dealing with individuals who have pre-existing conditions.
“I’m a diabetic myself, so I have a pre-existing condition,” he said. “I definitely researched Obamacare and stuff like that, and it doesn’t benefit me at all. The way [Romney] is approaching the issue in general, it gives much more freedom for me to choose a better situation, and I’m just better off than I would be with Obamacare.”
Richard Costello, a UCF alumnus who graduated in 2009 with a political science degree, argued that Romney is the better candidate to help improve the economy.
“I think he’s the guy that’s going to help us get back on track,” he said. “I think he’s got the experience necessary, and he knows how to [create] jobs. We’ve seen his track record, and I just think he’s the right person who’s going to actually do what it takes to put Americans back to work.”
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