Obamacare vs. Romneycare

More

Romney's own health-care legislation was nearly identical to Obama's. So why has the president gotten so much more flak?

[optional image description]
Reuters

Now that it's become clear the Supreme Court will be issuing its ruling on the Affordable Care Act next month, let's try a little thought experiment:

Let's posit that President Obama never got around to introducing a health-care plan, and that therefore no one had gone on record opposing it. And let's further posit that a President Romney has introduced a health plan that is, in every particular, identical to the ACA actually passed under President Obama. "It's worked well for us in Massachusetts," the new president announces to a joint session of Congress, "and together we can make it work for the entire nation."

Does anyone who gives this a moment's serious thought honestly doubt it would be praised by Fox News and the editorial writers of The Wall Street Journal as a conservative, market-based solution to a long-festering problem? Is there anyone who believes it would fail to garner a sizable number of Republican votes in the House and Senate, if not an outright majority, along with substantial Democratic support? Can anyone possibly think it wouldn't be embraced enthusiastically by a majority of sitting Republican governors? Does anyone believe it would fail to pass constitutional muster in the unlikely event litigation took it all the way up to the Supreme Court?

No, there's only one reason Obama's plan has generated so much controversy and aroused such impassioned, not to say vitriolic, opposition. And there's only one reason why five Supreme Court justices may do a series of back flips and twist themselves into pretzel shapes in order to find that the individual mandate and a Medicaid expansion violate the Constitution. And that reason has nothing to do with the merits of the case. It's because the legislation was introduced by an African-American Democratic president with the name Barack Hussein Obama.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Erik Tarloff is a novelist, screenwriter, and journalist.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

From This Author

Just In