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In brief remarks two hours after the Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, Mitt Romney said Thursday that he disagreed with the court’s decision and used it as a call to arms for Republicans in November.

“This is a time of choice for the American people,” said a solemn Romney, who stood on the ninth-floor balcony of aWashington, D.C., office building. Behind him loomed the Capitol’s west front, where the presumptive GOP nominee would take the oath of office if he wins the presidential election. “Our mission is clear. If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we are going to have to replace President Obama. My mission is to make sure we do exactly that.”

Affixed to his podium was a sign proclaiming “Repeal and Replace Obamacare.”

Romney did not offer a critique of the court, nor did he question its rationale. He merely said he agreed with the dissent, and added: “Obamacare was bad policy yesterday, it’s bad policy today. Obamacare was bad law yesterday, it’s bad law today.”

He laid out his opposition to Obama’s law, which the president said was modeled on a similar law Romney championed when he was governor of Massachusetts.

“Obamacare raises taxes on the American people by approximately $500 billion dollars,” he said. “Obamacare cuts Medicare, cuts Medicare by approximately $500 billion dollars and even with those cut and tax increases, Obama care adds trillions to our deficits, and to our national debt and pushes those obligations on to coming generations. Obamacare also means that for up to 20 million Americans, they will lose the insurance they currently have — the insurance that they like and they want to keep.”

“And perhaps most troubling of all,” he said, hitting on a critique that is sure to resonate with conservatives, “Obamacare puts the federal government between you and your doctor.”

He also reprised his constant campaign theme that the president’s policies have stunted the economic recovery.

“Obamacare is a job killer,” Romney said. “Businesses across the country have been asked what the impact is of Obamacare. Three-quarters of those surveyed by the Chamber of Commerce said Obamacare makes it less likely for them to hire people, and perhaps most troubling of all Obamacare puts the federal government between you and your doctor. For all those reasons, it’s important for us to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

Romney acknowledged that the country needs healthcare reform, that all Americans need access to affordable care and he cited three areas of importance.

“No. 1, we have to make sure that people who want to keep their current health insurance will be able to do so,” Romney said. “Having 20 million, up to that number of people, lose the insurance they want is simply unacceptable.

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“No. 2, we’ve got to make sure that those people who have pre-existing conditions know that they will be able to be insured and that they will not lose insurance. We also have to insure that we do our very best to help each state in their effort to assure that every American has access to affordable health care and something that Obamacare does not do that must be done in real reform is helping lower the cost of health care and health insurance. It’s becoming prohibitively expensive.”

He ended with an appeal for help at the polls.

“If you want instead a course the founders envisioned, then join me in this effort help us,” Romney said. “Help us defeat Obamacare. Help us defeat the liberal agenda that makes government too big, too intrusive, and is killing jobs across this great country.”

©2012 Los Angeles Times

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