If I were president, on Day One I would issue an executive order paving the way for Obamacare waivers to all 50 states. The executive order would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services and all relevant federal officials to return the maximum possible authority to the states to innovate and design health-care solutions that work best for them...Of course, the ultimate goal is to repeal Obamacare and replace it with free-market reforms that promote competition and lower health-care costs. But since an outright repeal would take time, an executive order is the first step in returning power to the states.Romney, whose path to the GOP nomination will by clogged with "toxic" fallout from his own plan's infamous mandates, also invokes the term "laboratories of democracy" as an implicit defense of the Obamacare-esque experiment he pushed at the state level:
As I have stated time and again, a one-size-fits-all national plan that raises taxes is simply not the answer. Under our federalist system, the states are “laboratories of democracy.” They should be free to experiment. By the way, what works in one state may not be the answer for another.
Expect to hear these sorts of appeals to federalism a lot from Romney and his surrogates over the next year.
UPDATE - Tim Pawlenty, who earlier this week announced the formation of a formal presidential exploratory committee, gets in on the action:
"One year ago today, President Obama signed into law the Federal government takeover of health care, one of the most flawed and misguided laws in modern history. Obamacare takes our health care system in the wrong direction, failing to reduce costs and improve quality. The law infringes on individuals' and states' rights by forcing individuals to purchase a good or service, which is why I joined a lawsuit calling the law unconstitutional. If courts do not do so first, as President, I would support the immediate repeal of Obamacare and replace it with market-based health care reforms."