Patterico's Pontifications

4/23/2012

L.A. Times: Romney’s Constitutional Health Care Plan Is Just Like Obama’s Unconstitutional Plan!

Filed under: 2012 Election,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 7:18 am



The L.A. Times tells us Romneycare is “similar” to Obamacare (only much, much scarier!):

Romney’s plan follows a lead set by President George W. Bush, who unsuccessfully pushed for a healthcare overhaul. It adopts proposals long championed by conservative healthcare experts.

It also sharply contrasts with Romney’s last foray into healthcare reform. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney successfully pushed a law that guaranteed coverage for all state residents and included a requirement that people buy insurance — an individual mandate similar to Obama’s.

Very similar . . . with one smalllll, tiny leetle difference: Romney’s plan was constitutional, while Obama’s is not. (That last statement is not just my opinion, by the way. It is also the opinion of somewhere between 4 and 5 Supreme Court justices!)

The difference between legal and (at least very arguably) illegal is not a distinction without a difference. It’s like saying: Joanne and Chester both take property from a home and keep it, therefore their actions are “similar” — without noting that Joanne is the homeowner, while Chester is a burglar.

Legal vs. illegal matters. Whether the federal government is overstepping its constitutional authority matters.

I guess this is too subtle a point to expect a newspaper reporter to understand, and therefore far too subtle for the general public. Which means that, for the electorate, Romneycare and Obamacare are really the same — meaning we have basically lost that issue for the election.

But if we wanted to try to take it back, the way to start would be to note the distinction that the L.A. Times refuses to tell you about.

P.S. The rest of the L.A. Times article simply tells you why Romney’s current plan — giving Americans a tax break to make their own choices — is “more revolutionary” and “potentially more disruptive” than Obamacare. Fisk away in the comments.

52 Responses to “L.A. Times: Romney’s Constitutional Health Care Plan Is Just Like Obama’s Unconstitutional Plan!”

  1. Not really.Because that is a state mandate.Not a federal.

    mark walter (c62c2f)

  2. Patterico is back on his beat.

    AZ Bob (1c9631)

  3. Capitalism is disruptive. And messy. Better to fall into the warm embrace of Mother Nanny State.

    JD (9e6048)

  4. nobody’s electing Romney for his health care prowess mostly they just want the rape to stop IO think

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  5. *I* think I mean

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  6. I learned in elementary school that we have a federal system. Too bad, the LA Times reporter forgot his elementary school civic lessons….

    RAZ (64cf73)

  7. How can they be similar? Obama had to take the subway to find fresh fruit, while Ann Romney just drove to the supermarket in her SUV with her dog riding on top.

    nk (875f57)

  8. While I know this is true, and I’ve heard others make the point, it really doesn’t impress me, for whatever reason. “Yeah, they’re the same, but Romney and all of the other governors can do this on the state level, but it can’t be done on a federal”.

    My response is, “Well, if that’s the only problem, why didn’t the opponents just say so and agree with Obama that this is how healthcare should be done, it just needs to be passed in 50 states one by one”?

    It seems to me there has been a lot said about the problems of government bureaucrats taking control, no matter whether it is state or fed.

    Maybe I’m missing something. (That happened on at least 2 occasions I can remember. 😉 )

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  9. Next, the LA Times will explain how Arizona’s immigration law makes you “show your papers” in a Nazi way, while Los Angeles’s road blocks just require you to show the documentation you are supposed to have in a very legal kind of way.

    MayBee (e3ac46)

  10. “healthcare” LA Times?
    no! what is this I hear that
    0bama eats dog?

    Colonel Haiku (d22b1f)

  11. does the Romney plan
    have death panels for doggies?
    bill of fare not fair!

    Colonel Haiku (d22b1f)

  12. the Romney mandate was for minimal catastrophic coverage not the fully mandated cadillac plans that ObamaCare would force on the healthy … the 2 mandates are apples and oranges in practice …

    JeffC (488234)

  13. Are you blasting the LAT for using the word ‘similar’? Similar is not synonymous with ‘the same’. The reporter is correct, there are similarities between the two mandates. And per the use of the word similar, there are differences. Big catch on your part.

    And it isn’t ‘Romneycare’ that the reporter is depicting as scary, at least not if ‘Romneycare is defined as being the Massachusetts law. The reporter is talking about Romney’s new proposals.

    steve (369bc6)

  14. Opposing ObamaCare is racist. Opposing RomneyCare is not.

    Big difference right there.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  15. It’s the DNC credo, daley: “…that’s different!” (insert petulant foot stomp).

    Who the heck was that fellow you were sparring with? Good Lord. Picking fights with you and nk and JD? Speaking of trifectas of trollishness.

    Simon Jester (57134c)

  16. Mr. steve speaking of similar the LA Times also plays propaganda whore games on costs

    The plan could swell the federal deficit; a similar plan backed by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) during the 2008 presidential campaign would have cost more than $1 trillion over 10 years, on par with the price tag for the Obama healthcare law.

    this is a lie and Noam N. Levey is a liar

    … and as far as being similar with Bush’s plan we are offered this nuggy nuggy nugget:

    When Bush offered his plan, he proposed to pay for it in part with more than $400 billion in new taxes on American workers and businesses.

    That’s very very vague, no? Especially for a program what was described contemporaneously this way by eminent dirty socialist CNN obamarape apologist Jeanne Sahadi:

    President Bush in his State of the Union address Tuesday laid out a plan intended to make healthcare more affordable, give everyone who buys insurance the same tax break and incentivize you to be more cost-conscious in how you spend your healthcare dollars.

    And all without increasing federal spending.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  17. “somewhere between 4 and 5 Supreme Court justices!”

    That says it all. 9 of 10 5th graders know it’s unconstitutional after first learning what the constitution actually reads. The other 5th grader is destined to repeat the 5th grade anyway.

    Those 4 or 5 Supreme Court Justices also saw explicit language in support of abortion and prohibiting the possession of guns by citizens.

    Are Supreme Court Justices any smarter than a 5th grader?

    dfbaskwill (ca54bb)

  18. I’m counting on the one who thinks guns are necessary for self-defense, consenting adult homosexuals should not have their bedroom door kicked in, and the death penalty should be a punishment only for murder.

    nk (875f57)

  19. “Who the heck was that fellow you were sparring with?”

    Simon – He’s been a persistent moron on the Zimmerman threads. He perseverates on an angle and doesn’t let go. In this case, some posts from PI lawyers and real estate folks. He’s a moron.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  20. Patterico! I shake my head in sorrow! You actually expect a Los Angeles Times reporter to know what he or she is talking about?

    That’s the triumph of hope over experience.
    The Los Angeles Times ceased to be a serious news organization in say 1919? It has a long history of being extreme on one side or the other–a right wing rag from inception until ~1970 or so–then Otis Chandler steered it hard left. After he got kicked out in ~1985 or so, the animals in the play pen just kicked the rudder harder left. Now the newspaper steams in circles. Actually in continually tightening circles as its editors and reporters aim for the subscription hole at the bottom of the porcelain throne. They are right on course to disappear–soon!

    Mike Myers (dc4fc0)

  21. The LA Times is similar to Muhammad Speaks (renamed the Muslim Journal).

    Both are house organs for their respective political constituencies, print yesterday’s nostrums, are largely unreliable, (except for the LAT’s crossword puzzle), and espouse racist views.

    And, consequently, both are similarly irrelevent.

    ropelight (27d918)

  22. The lefties really don’t understand federalism, the Constitution, or how the electoral college protects smaller states and regional interests from the over-reaching tyranny of the bigger, more populous urban states.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  23. The L.A. Times still is being published??

    Tsar Nicholas II (cb2d5b)

  24. Is anyone still reading the LA Times? How’s their pay wall going for them?

    Alex (15f526)

  25. My response is, “Well, if that’s the only problem, why didn’t the opponents just say so and agree with Obama that this is how healthcare should be done, it just needs to be passed in 50 states one by one”?

    Because you are confusing a Constitutional challenge with a political one. Just because a law is stupid does not make it unconstitutional. The mandate is a stupid law, regardless of whether Romney or Obama advocate it (although Romney-care’s is a lot less stupid because it is limited to catastrophic coverage, Obama’s isn’t).

    Obama’s is unconstitutional because the federal govt. enacted it, while Romney’s is a state law.

    Bored Lawyer (1cf033)

  26. I always thought the constitutional argument was the wrong way to debate this issue. It’s like a Christian and and atheist debating why it’s wrong to steal. Just saying “because te bible won’t allow it!” isn’t going to convince the atheist. Arguing that the constitution doesn’t allow it to a group of people who have nothing but contempt for the constitution isn’t going to convince anyone either.

    Just show them the math. It doesn’t work. It would be awesome if health care was free. It’d also be awesome if I woke up with a million dollars in my bank account. But I live in the real world where numbers don’t care who is sick or what color you are or if you have a vajayjay. It would be nice, but it is not possible.

    Ghost (f98166)

  27. The Democrats could not use the strategy of putting Obamacare into all 50 states one at a time since people would then be able to see the difference between the states that had implemented it and the states that did something more market oriented.

    They need it to all happen at once so people do not realize how badly they are being ****ed.

    Romneycare has not wrecked Massachusetts yet because it was a spectacularly well crafted law ….. for that kind of law. Unlike Obamacare, it wasn’t for cadillac health care, it was for catastrophic care. The cadillac aspect of Obamacare was an essential part of what the Left wanted. Remember that the real purpose of Obamacare is to make the society socialist, not to provide health care.

    Roland (5ff18d)

  28. why doesn’t Romney ever lay it out like that Mr. Roland?

    he needs to get his head in the game

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  29. “(That last statement is not just my opinion, by the way. It is also the opinion of somewhere between 4 and 5 Supreme Court justices!)

    – Patterico

    You want to talk about differences that matter? The difference between the opinion of 4 justices and the opinion of 5 justices is a difference that matters.

    Leviticus (870be5)

  30. ObamaCare has to be “legal”, if Big Newspaper has any chance of being bailed out by the Feds.

    AD-RtR/OS! (d100c2)

  31. AD, I thought the plan was to fob the disgraced and irrelevant debt ridden sorry old rag off on a gaggle of gullible employees in a slick Chicago style buy-out scam.

    ropelight (27d918)

  32. Quote: “Which means that, for the electorate, Romneycare and Obamacare are really the same — meaning we have basically lost that issue for the election.”

    Gosh, and there was only one candidate in the Republican primary that could have caused that effect. Naturally, he was the one picked. This race is already down the tubes in April, might as well concentrate on Congress.

    BR (764600)

  33. He’s a moron.
    Comment by daleyrocks — 4/23/2012 @ 8:37 am

    no he’s not… a hobo maybe, but there’s no way such idiocy would survive at Ace’s place.

    redc1c4, proud AoS moron (403dff)

  34. The major difference between the Massachusetts program and Obamacare is that many of its provisions were enacted by the Democrat controlled Massachusetts legislature over Romney’s veto.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  35. Why does it matter
    which tax pays for the health care?
    Everyone is screwed.

    IrateNate (c0bc16)

  36. I’ve had a change of heart.

    I’ve finally realized how beautiful Castro’s Paradise is.

    I just don’t understand why liberals remain in an “unfair” fascist, capitalist nation like America, when they have a utopian fantasy come-to-life available to them, just a mere ninety miles south of Florida.

    Cuba has free health care.
    Everyone born and raised there loves it—that’s why they haven’t had any defectors since 1959.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  37. Comment by ropelight — 4/23/2012 @ 1:46 pm

    Everyday, in their work-product, we see a demonstration of their gullibility;
    but could they really be that stupid?

    Yeah, it’s rhetorical.

    AD-RtR/OS! (d100c2)

  38. The difference between legal and (at least very arguably) illegal is not a distinction without a difference. It’s like saying: Joanne and Chester both take property from a home and keep it, therefore their actions are “similar” — without noting that Joanne is the homeowner, while Chester is a burglar

    The analogy I use for the insurance mandate is to a running back who complains that his 80-yard touchdown run was nullified just because he briefly stepped out of bounds.

    aunursa (c6d6d2)

  39. You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the paintings you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. At all times go after your heart.

    pokemon roms (20150e)

  40. Next week, my birdcage liner the LA Times will say that the Jones family moving from Iowa to Texas is no different than the Juarez family moving from Mexico to Texas—and the Times’ point of contention will be regarding why the Juarez family is labeled “illegal immigrants” whereas the Jones family is labled as “legal” and as American as Mom and Apple Pie.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  41. It’s the DNC credo, daley: “…that’s different!” (insert petulant foot stomp).

    Heh. I read that as: insert petulant food stamp…seemed to work, too.

    Cuba has free health care.
    Everyone born and raised there loves it—that’s why they haven’t had any defectors since 1959.

    Guess the health care isn’t that good after all…,

    In a case of life imitating art, a pair of young Cuban actors who were expected at the New York premiere of their film about defecting to the U.S. have disappeared after landing in Miami.

    The film “Una Noche” is about three young Cubans who decide to flee the country on a raft after one of them is accused of assault. The film follows the day they attempt to make it 90 miles across the ocean to Florida.

    All three of the film’s stars — Anailin de la Rua de la Torre, Javier Nunez Florian and Dariel Arrechaga — were expected to appear at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival for the premiere. But Torre and Florian, both 19, were nowhere to be found the night of the event.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  42. Romney care is partly paid for with federal $.

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  43. I just watched our Cairn Terrier go through her ritual of burying her dog biscuit on the carpet, using her nose as a spade to cover the biscuit with invisible soil.

    I could see one wanting to give her some hugs and affection, but eating her? Mr. President… you’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

    Colonel Haiku (d22b1f)

  44. Just what we need, a legal version of ObamaCare. Is Romney bent on making socialized medicine work?

    Pete (f1ad16)

  45. 1) I agree with MD in Philly up at comment 8. Whether it’s the state government suppressing my liberty or the federal government suppressing my liberty, it’s still someone suppressing my liberty. This is one of those things that no government at any level should do. It’s not a matter of federalism, but of individual liberty.

    2)To me, describe Romney’s current plan as revolutionary and disruptive is correct. Any plan that would make a major break between employment and health insurance is bound to be disruptive and revolutionary, given how linked the two are in our current system.

    JBS (45d34a)

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  47. ______________________________________________

    The L.A. Times tells us Romneycare is “similar” to Obamacare (only much, much scarier!):

    The irony is that this issue will make Romney seem less “rightwing” in the eyes of various liberals, while making him seem very squishy in the eyes of various conservatives.

    Moreover, some folks on the left, particularly younger ones, may resent any mandate forced upon them by the IRS at tax time. By contrast, some folks on the right will buy into the notion that personal responsibility — in terms of John Q Public walking into a hospital and not being allowed to be a freeloader — has to be forced upon the public, whether it likes it or not.

    There’s a lot of squish — way too much squish — in the area of “healthcare,” and much of it leans left.

    Mark (411533)

  48. “Romneycare has not wrecked Massachusetts yet because it was a spectacularly well crafted law ….. for that kind of law. Unlike Obamacare, it wasn’t for cadillac health care, it was for catastrophic care.”

    There were several comments on the thread above about Romneycare being for catastrophic coverage. I have no idea where that meme is coming from. As far as I know, it is completely, totally and utterly false. One reason it has cost more than anticipated is that Democrats larded it up with coverage mandates before implementation, but the idea that it is catastrophe only coverage is complete BS.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  49. “Any plan that would make a major break between employment and health insurance is bound to be disruptive and revolutionary, given how linked the two are in our current system.”

    JBS – Massachusetts implemented guaranteed issue health insurance well before Romney took office, which severs the tie between employment and insurance but does not solve the tax dichotomy. That helped explain why Massachusetts had among the highest health insurance rates in the country pre-Romneycare and also why only 8% of the state was uninsured. Other states have tried similar experiments on guaranteed issue with similar results.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

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