Norm Coleman, an adviser to presidential hopeful Mitt Romney whose advice was once described as “critical” by the candidate, believes that his boss — or any Republican — won’t be able to repeal Obamacare if they defeat Barack Obama.
"You will not repeal the act in its entirety, but you will see major changes, particularly if there is a Republican president," Coleman told BioCentury This Week in an interview that aired Sunday, according to The Hill
. "You can't whole-cloth throw it out. But you can substantially change what's been done."
The Romney campaign put out a statement to counter the sting of the former Minnesota senator’s comments, which appear to contradict Romney’s public statements.
"With all due respect to Sen. Coleman, he's wrong," snapped campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul, reports The Hill. "Gov. Romney can and will repeal Obamacare and is committed to doing so."
Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh poked fun at Coleman’s remarks Wednesday, imitating Romney as the candidate rails on about Obamacare in public appearance after public appearance.
“Romney's out there, the first thing he says at every debate, [imitation of Romney's voice] 'I'm gonna repeal Obamacare. I'm gonna get rid of it. It's the last thing we're gonna have, it's destructive. It will tear the country apart'," said Limbaugh, adding, “Every debate. Every campaign appearance. Every speech. He probably dreams it. ‘I'm gonna repeal Obamacare.’ Romney adviser: ‘No, we won't be able to repeal Obamacare. There's no way. You're never gonna be able to get rid of it in its entirety.’ "
Romney and all of the GOP presidential candidates have made the repeal of Obamacare a central election theme.
Coleman went on to say in the BioCentury interview that Obamacare “may collapse” if the Supreme Court, in a much-anticipated ruling later this year, strikes down the insurance requirement.
"If there's a Republican president, what you'll see is states getting waivers ... granted and then starting again, making sure that we lower costs, which this act hasn't done, while we provide better access," Coleman added.
In announcing Coleman’s selection as an adviser in September 2011, Romney said the one-term senator’s "advice will be critical as I lay out my vision for improving our economy at home and strengthening our partnerships around the world.”
The American Action Network, which is chaired by Coleman, advocates striking down the individual mandate and expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare.
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