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Obamacare Is Romneycare

When newly elected Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts attacked the Democrats healthcare plan during this week’s Republican address, Senior White House adviser David Axelrod said on ABC’s This Week:

“Let me note that Senator Brown comes from a state that has a health care format in his state that is similar to the one we’re trying to enact here. He voted for it and said he wouldn’t repeal it. So we’re just trying to give the people in America the same opportunities that the people in Massachusetts have.”

Visibly agitated when appearing on the same program, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said of Axelrod’s comments:

“The American people are getting tired of this crap. No way in the world is what they did in Massachusetts like what we’re about to do in Washington. To suggest that Scott Brown is basically campaigning against the bill in Washington that is like the one in Massachusetts is complete spin.”

Americans are indeed tired of lying politicians, but the only crap being put forth here is by Graham. And it’s not just Axelrod pointing out the similarities between the Democrats’ healthcare plan and Mitt Romney’s Republican model-everyone is.

Let’s start with the liberals, or as the popular blog Think Progress notes:

“In fact, the plan implemented by former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney in Massachusetts is very similar to the Democratic proposal. Both plans require people to purchase coverage and both provide affordability credits to those who can’t afford insurance. Both create insurance exchanges, both establish minimum creditable coverage standards for insurers, and both require employers to contribute towards reform.”

Making similar observations from a conservative perspective, The American Spectator’s Philip Klein writes:

“Politico’s Ben Smith asks, ‘At this point, how is current proposal substantially different from Romneycare?’ The answer is, it ain’t… if Obamacare passes, Romney will be left telling angry primary voters that the only real difference between the two plans is that he implemented his policies at the state level, while Obama did it through the federal government. It’s sort of like saying, ‘As governor, I raised state income taxes, but the thought of raising federal income taxes — that’s an outrage!’… as Smith notes, ‘in the end, Romney does seem to have helped set the model for the national plan.”

Hell, even neoconservatives can see the similarities, or as the headline read at former Bush speechwriter David Frum’s blog, FrumForum.com: “Romneycare Sure Looks Like Obamacare.” Writes Frum:

“(T)he federal plan bears a closer family resemblance than ever to Romney’s idea: regulated health insurance exchanges, mandates to buy insurance for those who can afford it, subsidies for those who cannot.”

So how can Graham claim that on healthcare, there’s “No way in the world is what they did in Massachusetts like what we’re about to do in Washington,” and yet so many from across the political spectrum are claiming just that?

Graham’s display of anger and ignorance on this issue says more about the Republican Party than healthcare, per se. A GOP that assails Obama’s foreign policy when it’s not much different from Bush’s, or criticizes Obama’s growth of government while pretending Bush didn’t do the same, or attacks the Democrats’ healthcare plan while defending a similar Republican plan, reveals a party that revels in partisanship but lacks any serious, conservative principle.

Consider this: One of conservatives’ greatest fears continues to be the government takeover of healthcare. On the surface, Graham’s anger is even being perceived as an example of the deep partisan divide in the healthcare debate. Yet notes Boston.com of the supposedly conservative Romney: “Romney demonstrates a greater confidence than many prominent Republicans in government’s ability to solve big problems. Even though he is critical of the Democrats’ health care plan, he says his experience adjusting the Massachusetts system has led him to share their goal of universal coverage and the belief that only government can expand the number of Americans who are insured.”

While today, Republicans rightly oppose Obama’s version of government healthcare, who’s to say that a President John McCain would not be “reaching across the aisle” to implement his own version, an idea the allegedly more conservative Romney has already embraced? When Graham said that Americans are “tired of this crap” he was bitterly defending the integrity of state run healthcare in Massachusetts, a big government program that tea party hero Scott Brown and talk radio favorite Mitt Romney also proudly defend as their own.

If the tea party people are to be believed, conservatives are hungry for a budget-cutting, government-slashing, Constitution-enforcing leader in the mold of Barry Goldwater. Yet when you look beneath their thin, partisan veneers, most of today’s Republican leadership isn’t substantially different from that of the Democratic Party, whether in the mold of “moderates” like Lindsey Graham or “conservatives” like Scott Brown and Mitt Romney. Would anyone really be surprised if a future President Romney teamed up with GOP senators Graham and Brown to implement their own national healthcare plan? And when Republicans eventually regain power, will anyone be surprised when they offer up the same, old big government crap they pretend to oppose today.

14 Comments (Open | Close)

14 Comments To "Obamacare Is Romneycare"

#1 Comment By Luke On March 16, 2010 @ 12:26 am

Read Mitt Romney’s wrote an Op-ed about health care… Read it here:

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The Answer is Unleashing Markets – Not Government!

#2 Comment By Andy On March 16, 2010 @ 12:34 am

Romney has to hate the south, there are tons of Southern Avengers located down there.

Americans are fed up with spins, they are fed up with spoiled,self-centered golden boys feeling they are owed the right to be POTUS!
They are fed up with the narcissist,snake oil salesmen feeling they are pulling the wool over the American people eyes.

Romney the Weather-Vane Candidate —
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President of the United States material Mitt isn’t, Romney cannot even get along with people.

Romney’s who warns the country of China as an up and coming military force in his new hot off the press book, when Romney is the man who tried to buy an American defense company in joint venture with a Chinese defense company, which would have helped China become stronger in military defense. Isn’t that what a traitor would do? That information is located on the blog above.

#3 Comment By Ann On March 16, 2010 @ 12:38 am

So if it is unleashing markets Twit, why was Mitt so proud of the Mass. health plan.

Sounds like another convenient Romney suit change.

People are tired of Mitts lies!

#4 Comment By Jim On March 16, 2010 @ 8:15 am

This post contradicts the last post I read from the Southern Avenger. Didn’t he just say that States had the power to limit our right to keep and bear arms based on the 10th amendment?

That is the key difference: the 10th amendment. By his logic, a state can deny us an unalienable right to self defense, but can’t require that we buy our own health insurance? I do not know if Romneycare violates the Massachusetts Constitution but it does not violate the US Constitution. Obamacare clearly violates the US Constitution. Moreover, Obamacare originally demanded a public option or government run health care and some members of congress are still trying to slip it in while Romneycare mandated everyone to pay for their own health insurance or redirected taxes dollars already spent on government healthcare to subsidize the poor’s privately purchased insurance. Romney said this about national healthcare:

“My guess is a lot of states will choose to adopt one or another of the measures we’ve put in place here. But most will give it a little time and watch to see what our experience is. That’s the great thing about having 50 states and the principle of federalism. Let us experiment ourselves. Let us learn from one another.”

We cannot have it both ways, which is what the Southern Avenger seems to be trying to do here. I never thought I would hear him rail against states’ rights…go figure.

#5 Comment By Camron Barth On March 16, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

Mitt Romney is the first to concede that the Massachusetts health insurance reform isn’t perfect, but this piece is too hard on him. Governor Romney had to work with a legislature that was overwhelmingly Democratic. Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state senate 30 to five! Romney’s veto threat was completely useless! Of course the reform cost more than he wanted, of course the legislature lacked interest in cost control.

Mitt Romney was the governor of Massachusetts – not its king.

Romney deserves credit for being one of the few Republicans who has demonstrated (1) that he is aware of the health insurance problem, and (2) a desire to do something about it.

#6 Comment By Jack Tracey On March 17, 2010 @ 8:19 am

I’m afraid Jim is correct in pointing out the contradiction. Mr Hunter, please respond.

I also find it unrealistic for anyone of any political persuasion to expect a politician to have never exercised any situational judgment and to have never been wrong– on the record– and then changed his or her mind– on the record. It reminds me of Colbert’s hilarious parody of the Bush Administration’s official definition of integrity: “He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change; this man’s beliefs never will.”

On the specifics of Romney’s record:
How does serving Massachusetts constituents in a manner consistent with their desires and their constitution indicate that he will not act with similar constraint at the Federal level?
A CEO is responsible to the law, the shareholders, and the employees. I don’t know of any evidence that he ever failed to fulfill any such commitments.

I will vote for Dr Paul again (if he runs), but this animus towards Romney seems a bit unfounded.

#7 Comment By Publius Cato On March 17, 2010 @ 9:08 am

Jack, Jim

I cant talk for Mr. Hunter, but I will say this, if federalism is the distinguishing factor in all of this, why dont the republicans just hammer away at that point. Let’s put the free market arguments on the back burner for the several states to debate and just oppose it on federalism grounds. But that would mean Bush was wrong to raid medical marijuana dispensaries in California and that the Supreme Court is ran by jackasses, mostly appointed by Republican presidents.

#8 Comment By Jack Hunter On March 17, 2010 @ 9:58 am

How did this column about the Republican establishments’ statist tendencies become a states’ rights commentary? Weird…

Of course Massachusetts or any other state can create their own healthcare system, ban guns, worship the devil, hold breakdancing competitions or anything else they like.

The point concerning Romneycare being Obamacare is that Republicans like Romney and Scott Brown (and presumably Lindsey Graham, McCain, etc.) think the Massachusetts state model could or should be implemented nationally, while denying that the two plans bear any resemblance.

The “conservative” Romney supports government healthcare and universal coverage at the national level, and constantly uses his Massachusetts plan as an example of his “leadership” on this issue. Read Romney’s book. Hell, read this:

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#9 Comment By Rob On March 17, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

Mr. Hunter,
You have totally misrepresented what Romney has said. While he has said he thinks we should get everyone insured, he has never said we should implement the Mass system everywhere. Your link to the Frumforum in no way establishes your argument. Romney has consistently, since the last election even, argued that states should be able to come up with their own systems as the “laboratories of democracy.” Further, if you don’t understand how this became a forum on states rights (police power of the states), you probably shouldn’t be writing about this.

#10 Comment By Jack Hunter On March 17, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

Rob,

I just finished Romney’s book. The man is just as much a technocrat as Obama. Romney simply does not have a conservative’s natural aversion to active government. While the governor has gone to not-so-great lengths to try to point out the supposed differences between Romneycare and Obamacare, the differences are minimal at best.

As for his national aspirations, when Boston.com reports: “Even though he is critical of the Democrats’ health care plan, he says his experience adjusting the Massachusetts system has led him to share their goal of universal coverage and the belief that only government can expand the number of Americans who are insured.”

And in 2007, during the campaign, McClatchy reported:

WASHINGTON — Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Friday will propose doing for the country what he did as governor of Massachusetts — helping the uninsured get health insurance — while also working to curb soaring health care costs even for those with coverage.

“We’re going to make health insurance affordable. We’re going to get on track to have every citizen insured. And we’re going to reduce the rate of growth in health care spending,” Romney said in an exclusive interview with McClatchy Newspapers previewing the proposal that he’ll unveil Friday in a speech to the Florida Medical Association.

With it, he hopes to capitalize on a signature accomplishment as governor and play it to his advantage in his race for the Republican presidential nomination. Neither of his top rivals — former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani or former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson — can boast of similar success on health care.

He also wants to stake a claim on a domestic issue raised far more frequently by Democratic voters and embraced more enthusiastically by Democratic candidates back to Harry Truman.”

Excuse me of I don’t trust the supposed and alleged finer points of Romney’s national healthcare plan(s). Mitt’s book did little to dissuade me that he wouldn’t be more of the same in terms of active, government involvement, and not just with healthcare, albeit under a Republican brand.

#11 Pingback By Right-Wing Links (March 18, 2010) On March 18, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

[…] Obamacare Is Romneycare […]

#12 Comment By TJCL On March 19, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

What was done in Massachusetts is not what is being done by Washington! First, One major difference between Romneycare and Obamacare is that Romneycare was a BIPARTISAN effort! No such thing in Obamaworld. The lower income people are subsidized in purchasing their own health insurance with the money that was being spent paying for free hospital care NOT by tax increases and Medicare cuts as will be done by Obama, Massachusetts did not set out to “control insurance” as stated by our VP today. This was a STATE plan, Romney has said from the beginning that this plan wasn’t a one size fits all plan and that STATES should be responsible for their own healthcare. Romney worked with the Heritage Foundation and others – showing he doesn’t see himself as the all knowing King like Obama does. There were seven items (including the abortion clause) that were vetoed by Romney and overridden by the DEMOCRATS. Massachusetts has nearly 100% of it’s people covered by private insurance – that was the main goal and seems to have been acheived. Get your facts straight before making claims that are untrue.

#13 Comment By James On March 20, 2010 @ 9:48 am

Thanks for that link Luke. It confirms how clueless Romney is. Not only does Romney not only understand the source of our healthcare problems but he doesn’t even understand the concept of “markets”. I knew he was a douce but I figured he’d understand business a little better than Pelosi. Guess not.

Camron… being aware of a problem and having a desire to do something about it is nothing. In fact, it’s actually a bad thing when you misdiagnose the problem and then choose a solution that expands the conditions that created the problem in the first place. You could defend Lincoln, Hitler or Stalin using the same quote and you’d be just as wrong.

Jack… I know many people from Mass (that were Romney’s “constituents”) that would disagree with you. Are you under the impression that no citizens in Mass want free markets? I can point you to many statements from Romney (many in his book) that, unless he is lying, show he plans to ignore the Constitution in many of the exact same ways Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama have.

Rob… look at the first comment from Luke. The op-ed is WRITTEN BY ROMNEY. Now, yes it’s possible he’s lying (he does that a lot) but you obviously are basing your opinion on what Romney says in soundbites. Dubya said we should have a “humble foreign policy” and Obama said we should be “fiscally responsible”. People judge politicians on what they do. Sheep judge politicians on what they say.

It’s hard for me to believe someone can defend Romney and be a Ron Paul supporter. I wonder if this post got linked on a Romney mailing list with a message telling Romney supporters to pretend they’re conservative and comment in his defense.

#14 Comment By James On March 20, 2010 @ 9:56 am

Thanks for that link Luke. It confirms how clueless Romney is. Not only does Romney not only understand the source of our healthcare problems but he doesn’t even understand the concept of “markets”. I knew he was a douche but I figured he’d understand markets a little better than Pelosi. Guess not.

Camron… being aware of a problem and having a desire to do something about it is nothing. In fact, it’s actually a bad thing when you misdiagnose the problem and then choose a solution that expands the conditions that created the problem in the first place. You could defend Lincoln, Hitler or Stalin using the same quote and you’d be just as wrong.

Jack… I know many people from Mass (that were Romney’s “constituents”) that would disagree with you. Are you under the impression that no citizens in Mass want free markets? I can point you to many statements from Romney (many in his book) that, unless he is lying, show he plans to ignore the Constitution in many of the exact same ways Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama have (not understanding it is not an excuse).

Rob… look at the first comment from Luke. The op-ed is WRITTEN BY ROMNEY. Now, yes it’s possible he’s lying (he does that a lot) but you obviously are basing your opinion on what Romney says in soundbites. Dubya said we should have a “humble foreign policy” and Obama said we should be “fiscally responsible”. People judge politicians on what they do. Sheep judge politicians on what they say.

It’s hard for me to believe someone can defend Romney and be a Ron Paul supporter. I wonder if this post got linked on a Romney mailing list with a message telling Romney supporters to pretend they’re conservative and comment in his defense.