ORLANDO, Fla.--Mitt Romney used President Obama’s health care law on Tuesday to hammer him as out of touch with the economy, arguing that Obama is naively unaware of the impact of the Affordable Care Act on small businesses.
“Now just yesterday the president said something else that shows just how much out of touch he is. He said he didn’t understand that 'Obamacare' was hurting small business; he doesn’t understand that Obamacare impacts small business, and you have to scratch your head about that,” Romney told an audience of about 300 at Con Air Industries, a Florida HVAC product manufacturer and distributor.
“The president needs to get in touch with what’s happening in the private sector, what’s happening with middle-income families and the damage that’s being done by the specter of Obamacare and the taxes that it already charges to businesses in the health care sector.”
Romney was responding to an interview Obama gave to KTIV-TV in Sioux City, Iowa, on Monday, where he said that only insurance companies should have been affected by the health care law, and that a small business that said it closed as a result of the health care reform “probably wouldn’t have been impacted by that.”
Most provisions of the law are slated to take effect in 2014, assuming it is not thrown out this month by the Supreme Court. Republicans have seized on Obama’s comment to further attack it.
To back up his claims, Romney cited a U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey in March of 1,339 small businesses, 73 percent of which said that the health care law made it more difficult for them to hire people.
Romney also touted health care policy proposals he has said he would put in place after repeal of the Affordable Care Act, including block-granting Medicare funds to states, offering tax incentives to individuals who buy insurance, and offering private options for Medicare recipients.
The Obama campaign said that repealing the law, as Romney wants, would “discriminate against Americans with preexisting conditions, charge women higher premiums than they charge men for the same coverage, and kick young adults off their parents’ plans when they graduate high school or college.” Spokeswoman Lis Smith also said that Romney’s proposals for Medicare would increase costs on seniors and bankrupt the system.
Matthew Shelley contributed contributed to this article.