Elections

Rivals use Obamacare anniversary to ding Romney

Alex Pappas Political Reporter

Mitt Romney’s presidential rivals are using the two-year anniversary of Obamacare and the hearings on it this week before the Supreme Court to tie the former Massachusetts governor to the law.

The high court on Monday will begin listening to arguments about the constitutionality of the health care law’s individual mandate, which requires Americans to purchase health insurance.

Romney supports repealing Obamacare, but his opponents point out that he signed a bill into law as governor of Massachusetts that also included an individual mandate provision.

“As we mark the two year anniversary of Obamacare, we are reminded that Romneycare, just like Obamacare, has dealt a knockout blow to our personal freedoms and delivered a serious jab to our economy,” the presidential campaign of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said in a news release over the weekend.

“I am committed to righting the wrongs in our healthcare system,” Santorum said. “But that does not start with a government-centric healthcare overhaul like Romneycare or Obamacare that do nothing but increase our deficit.”

Likewise, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich used the renewed focus on Obamacare to hit Romney and say Republicans won’t be able to effectively campaign against the law in a race against Obama if Romney is the party’s nominee.

“Republicans ran against Obamacare in 2010 and won big,” Gingrich wrote in a fundraising email to supporters last week. “We can’t run against Obamacare in 2012 if we have to defend Romneycare, the model for President Obama’s healthcare law.”

Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, White House senior adviser David Plouffe also made a point of tying Romney to the president’s health care plan.

“Mitt Romney’s the godfather of our health care plan,” Plouffe said.

Last week, Romney assured conservatives that he’s 100 percent against the health care law in an op-ed published in USA Today.

“President Obama’s program is an unfolding disaster for the American economy, a budget-busting entitlement, and a dramatic new federal intrusion into our lives,” he wrote in an article titled “Why I’d repeal ObamaCare.”

Follow Alex on Twitter