Mitt Romney: Obama's Health Care Reforms Unconstitutional

AP

Mitt Romney
AP

Potential 2012 GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney has spoken out against President Obama's health care reform plans, even though they mirror the reforms he put in place in Massachusetts as governor. On Wednesday, Romney went so far as to say the president's new reforms may be unconstitutional, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports.

"I'm not enough of a judge" to know with certainty whether the law is unconstitutional, Romney told the Union Leader. He added, however, "I think it's unconstitutional on the 10th Amendment front."

More than a dozen states are already suing the federal government on the grounds that the law violates the 10th Amendment, which says that powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved for the states.

Romney reportedly agreed that the law's individual mandate, which requires every citizen to acquire health insurance, violates the amendment.

Some constitutional scholars suggest, however, that this argument would not hold up in court, since Congress has well-established powers to create taxes, like the individual mandate (which fines individuals who do not acquire insurance). Given that nearly all of the state attorneys general challenging the law in court are Republican, some have chalked the fight up to partisan politics.

Romney's Massachusetts health care plan also required individuals to purchase or acquire insurance -- but that, of course, was implemented at the state level. The former governor has also had to explain why his health care reforms allowed government-subsidized plans to offer abortion coverage -- an issue that almost sunk the Democrats' federal plans.

With Republicans planning to make health care a campaign issue, Romney will have to convince conservative voters his plan is different from Mr. Obama's if he wants to make another bid for the presidency.

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