T. S. Eliot once said that “immature poets imitate, mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different." This quote is equally applicable to politicians, especially in light of the national debate on the similarities and differences between Barak Obama and Mitt Romney's healthcare plan.
Democrats are starting to realize that Obama doesn't know what he's doing as President of The United States. One of the clearest signs of Obama's inexperience is his creation his universal health care plan. The creation and passage of ObamaCare is his only project that he can truly call his own. It is his only major legislation that he's been able to pass in Congress. ObamaCare is what historians will use to judge Obama's competency as the 44th President of the United States. The President claims that he used Mitt Romney's plan as a template in creating his nationalized health care plan. It is clear that Obama and his administration did not understand what they were doing when they attempted to replicate Romney's plan on a national level.
A relevant analogy is the difference between a licensed and unlicensed doctor who performs a surgery on a patient. There is a real difference in the skill, knowledge and experience between them. An inexperienced person who attempts to replicate or imitate a task or project done by an experienced person will always end up making major errors because they did not seek to take the time to obtain the necessary knowledge needed to successfully accomplish the task.
There is a clear difference between RomneyCare and ObamaCare. One health care program was created by a man who has plenty of experience in both the private and public sector where he worked as a businessman before becoming the governor of Massachusetts. The other health care program was created by a man who used to be a community organizer, law professor and a senator for only three years prior to becoming the 44th President of the United States.
If Obama really used RomneyCare as the template for ObamaCare, he didn't pick it apart to see how it works. Inexperienced people are too much of a hurry to take the necessary steps, they just want the final product. What they never learn is that the final product will always be inferior to the thing they are copying because they never take the time to understand how it all works.
Let me explain the various ways Obama's inexperience shows that either failed to understand RomneyCare or didn't use it at all.
Understanding The Origins
Romney, like a good poet and politician, stole a great idea and made it into something better. Mitt Romney got his idea for RomneyCare after hearing the Heritage Foundation propose the idea of individual mandates as a conservative alternative to Hillary Clinton's attempt to nationalize the United State's health care program in the 1990s. Conservative think tanks and politicians opposed the idea of a universal health care. They wanted individuals to be responsible for their own health care, not the government.
Had Obama studied RomneyCare, he would have known where Mitt stole the idea from. He would learned about why Mitt was fond of the idea enough to swipe it as his own when he was governor of Massachusetts and that Mitt opposed HillaryCare for the same reasons he would later oppose ObamaCare.
If Obama is going to steal or imitate an idea from Mitt, he should learn where Mitt got his ideas from. If he had done his homework and understood the origins of where Mitt got his idea, he would not have created a federal heath care program since the origins of RomneyCare doesn't come from Mitt but conservatives who opposed HillaryCare.
Laying the Foundation
Before any project is to be done, you must lay the proper foundation. In fact, laying the foundation is more important than erecting the structure or program itself. Without the proper foundation, the project will never be successful because the surface that is upholding the rest of the structure is defective in some way or another.
An experienced leader knows that the laying down the proper foundations for a health care program requires that he first determine if the government is financially stable enough to undertake the project to see if he can do it. An inexperienced person will disregard the cost and simply go ahead with the project.
Before Romney unveiled RomneyCare to Massachusetts, he first had to make sure that the state was financially stable enough launch his ambitious health care plan due to the fact that when Mitt entered into office in 2003, he was a left with a massive deficit of approximately $3 billion. It took 2 years for Mitt Romney to put Massachusetts back into financial health. By 2005, Mitt Romney had a budget surplus of $1 billion. Having a budget surplus of $1 billion in 2005 allowed Mitt Romney to confidently to unveil his health care plan in 2006.When Mitt Romney introduced his health care plan on Beacon Hill, he made sure that his proposal wouldn't undermine all his hard work of whipping the state into financial shape. Thus, when his plan was presented, it was estimated to cost less than 1.5% of the state budget. By the time he left office in 2007, he left the state had a $ 2 billion surplus.
In contrast, President Obama did not work to make sure that America was in good financial shape before enacting ObamaCare. He simple went full speed ahead with his health care plan. ObamaCare was passed in Congress in March, the national debt was approximately $221 billion. Unemployment was 9.7%. Gallop reported that underemployment was at 20%. America's Triple A credit rating was under serious threat of being downgraded. Even more astonishing is the fact that after the passage of ObamaCare, it was estimated to cost the nation 2 trillion dollars.
Clearly, Obama did not use RomneyCare as a template. If he did, he would have followed Mitt Romney by getting the US economy in financial shape before implementing ObamaCare. Laying the foundation is crucial for the success of the program and for the state or country you lead.However, Obama has done it the other way around: ObamaCare first and now he's attempting to fix the U.S. economy. Like many poor imitators before him, Obama was much of a hurry to be bothered in understanding the details of RomneyCare. He was simply impatient and wanted get it through Congress.
If Obama really used RomneyCare has a template, he wouldn't have created a 2,000 page legislative and bureaucratic monstrosity seen as represented in the chart below:
In contrast, RomneyCare is a slim and simple 70 pages long. A simple side by comparison demonstrates this fundamental difference between the two health care plans as outlined in this picture below:
Had Obama really used Mitt Romney's health care plan as a template, he would have noted the small size of the former Governor's health care plan. He would also have paid attention to the simplicity of Mitt's plan. Its clear that either Obama ignored these facts or he didn't understand how important they are in the overall scheme of Mitt's plan.
Another strong piece of evidence that Obama didn't use RomneyCare at a template or made a poor attempt to imitate is the failure to understand the intent behind RomneyCare. Listen to Mitt Romney explains the intent of RomneyCare during his interview with Sean Hannity beginning at 4:30 time mark of the clip below:
As stated by Mitt in the interview, the intent of Romney's health care plan was to introduce free market principles into the state's health care system. Make it work more like a market.
In contrast, the intent of ObamaCare was to grow the size of the goverment. Listen to Obama's intent behind his health care plan in his interview with John Stewart on the Daily Show. If you don't want to watch the entire thing, go to approximately the 8 minute mark and listen. Watch the video below:
As the President stated himself, the "change" in the nation's health care program was to simply make it a framework that will allow for future growth of the federal government. His example of Social Security is used to drive this point home. Social Security was initially sold as support for widows and orphanages but later the "structure" of this program blossomed into a massive entitlement program. He points out that the same is true for every progressive piece of legislation, which includes ObamaCare, in which it started out small but it was never intended to be small. It was designed to allow them to make further "progress" which is another way of saying expanding the government. The implication that Obama is making is that ObamaCare will eventually grow into a single payer program over time.
This isn't the first time Obama has admitted that he wants a single-payer system:
If you couldn't clearly hear what he said in the above clip, here's the what Obama said when he was running for President:
If you couldn't clearly hear what he said in the above clip, here's the what Obama said when he was running for President:
“I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.”
Perhaps the biggest evidence that Obama didn't use RomneyCare as a template for ObamaCare is that he failed to understand how Mitt's health care plan actually works. In Massachusetts, everyone is covered through the private sector. They are required to purchase their own health care plan with their own money. Even in instances where an individual relies on the state for assistance in health care, insurance coverage is paid by the state to a private company. Furthermore, the only federal involvement in Mitt’s entire health care plan is that RomneyCare takes Medicaid funds and state money that was normally applied for emergency rooms and simply redirected that money to allow the poor to buy private health insurance so that tax payers are not footing the bill for those people who are with out insurance.
In contrast, ObamaCare provides coverage to the citizens via the Unites States Government. As you remember, it was Obama and the Democratic party who wanted the program to be a single payer program during the congressional debates prior to the passage of ObamaCare. Even though the single payer program didn't happen, Obama was able to get Congress to approve government provided universal health care that would unfold in stages over a number of years. That's how "progress" towards bigger government works. It works piece by piece, increment by increment and years by years. RomneyCare does none of that.
Perahaps the biggest lesson that Obama failed to learn from RomneyCare is that it was never designed to be replicated on a national level. Mitt Romney explains that Obama missed that point entirely:
"If what was done at the state level, they applied at the federal level, they made a mistake. It was not designed for the nation."
Like an inexperienced and unlicensed doctor who fails to get the adequate medical training, fails to prepare for surgery by skipping the process of scrubbing himself before surgery and finally botching the surgery, Obama failed to learn the lessons of RomneyCare from inception to implementation and miserably failed to make the needed corrections in our nation's health care. Its clear he doesn't know what he's doing with regards with health care.
Rather than being a skilled politician who takes his political rival's ideas and makes it into something better or something different, he defaced it. There are too many essential and crucial details in Mitt's plan that Obama either ignored or overlooked. Just as an illegal doctor is in hurry to get the surgery on his innocent patient over with so that he won't be caught committing medical malpractice, Obama was too much in a hurry to pass his progressive piece of legislation without understanding any aspect of Romney's plan.
ObamaCare is not even an immature imitation of RomneyCare. Obama doesn't follow Mitt's plan at all at any stage. Not in the getting the country in financial shape before proposing such a plan, not in legislative intent or in the actual implementation. Why? Lets not forget that ObamaCare isn't really Obama's idea. The legislation didn't come from the White House but Congress. Essentially, Obama let Congress create, draft and pass the bill. All he had to do was sign it. Which is essentially akin to allowing the illegal doctor's secretary peform the actual surgery. I don't think the Democratic Congress who wrote the bill looked at RomenyCare either.
Despite Obama's claim he used RomneyCare as a template for his health care plan, I don't believe Obama (or the Democrats in Congress) because the they never followed any aspect of Mitt's plan.