The Massachusetts health care law passed in 2006 and was signed into law by Mitt Romney. At the time it was touted as “….as a sign of his empathy for all people…” He Romney claims, “one hundred percent of the kids in our state had health insurance. I don’t think there’s anything that shows more empathy and care about the people of this country than that kind of record.” Showing his conservative compassion Romney said, “Overall am I proud of the fact that we did our best for our people and got people insured?” Romney said at a health care speech in Michigan in May 2011. “Absolutely.”
So, if universal health coverage for all Massachusetts citizens is so compassionate as to have an ex-republican governor proud of his work shouldn’t universal care for the entire country be very similar? The good news is that The Affordable Care Act, which goes into effect in 2014, is very similar to the Massachusetts law. Yet Republicans claim Obama Care will raise taxes, which it will do. The truth though is that penalties for not getting universal health care will be much less under Obama Care than under the Massachusetts version. “An adult over the age of 27 who makes more than 300 percent of the poverty line (about $37,000 a year) and chooses not to purchase health insurance would pay at least $695 in penalties under Obamacare. Under Romneycare, that same person would pay at least $1,530 in penalties.
Is everything about the Massachusetts health care law and Obama Care perfect?
Absolutely NOT! Nothing humans ever do is perfect, after all we are fallible humans and prone to imperfection. What seems so odd though is how all of a sudden republicans have turned on the very program some of them touted as “compassionate conservatism”.
Since the two programs are so similar it would appear the main reason for republican objection now is nothing more than who the Massachusetts Governor was at the time, versus, who the President is now. That is truly sad too!
In fact Newt Gingrich picked up on the idea of republicans opposing “Obama Care” because of who Obama is when he said, “I will bet you, for most of you, you go home in the next two weeks when your members of Congress are home, and you look them in the eye and you say, ‘What is your positive replacement for Obamacare?’ They will have zero answer.”
Gingrich continued, “…the problem on Republican culture that rewards obstruction and negativity instead of innovation and “being positive.” To a group of 200 republican donors Romney warned congressional Republicans against letting emotions drive their decisions.
Republicans are so determined to oppose anything Obama that they are willing to shut down the entire government to get rid of “Obama Care”. “I’m afraid that in the final analysis, Obamacare would get its funding, our party would suffer in the next elections, and the people of the nation would not be happy. I think there are better ways to remove Obamacare.”
If republicans want an example of how this constant opposition could turn out they need look no further than the government shutdown of 1995-1996. “When Clinton refused to cut the budget in the way Republicans wanted, Gingrich threatened to refuse to raise the debt limit, which would have caused the United States Treasury to suspend funding other portions of the government to avoid putting the country in default.”
“Clinton’s approval rating fell significantly during the shutdown. According to media commentators, this indicated that the general public blamed the President for the government shutdown. However, once it had ended his approval ratings rose to their highest since his election.” “The shutdown has also been cited as having a role in Clinton’s successful re-election in 1996.”
It would seem, therefore, that republicans are foregoing the opportunity to learn something from their past mistakes. Instead, they are preparing to repeat those same actions, while expecting different results. Let’s see how that one turns out!