WASHINGTON, March 23 (UPI) -- U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney Friday called President Obama's signature healthcare reform program "an unfolding disaster."
In an op-ed piece published in USA Today, Romney marked the second anniversary of the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, saying he always has opposed a "one-size-fits-all" plan for the entire country, preferring instead to allow each state to come up with its own solution.
"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," Romney wrote, adding that overturning the law is only part of the solution.
"Just as important is the question of what to put in its place. Instead of the massive new taxes, trillions of dollars in new spending, and top-down bureaucratic decrees of Obamacare, we need to limit Washington's control by spurring competition, creating maximum flexibility and enhancing consumer choice.
"I would begin by changing the tax code, which … discriminates against individuals who want to buy insurance on their own."
Romney called for action on "out-of-control medical malpractice litigation," which he said distorts the way care is given.
"The reforms I propose for the country could not be more different from Barack Obama's. They entail no new taxes, no massive diversions of funds away from Medicare, no tax discrimination, and no new bureaucracies," Romney wrote. "At the same time, they increase consumer choice, lower healthcare costs, decrease government spending and give states responsibility for dealing with the uninsured.
"Whatever the Supreme Court decides about the constitutionality of Obamacare, we already know that it is bad policy and wrong for America. Abolishing it and putting sensible changes in its place will be one of my highest priorities as president."