Thursday, February 3, 2011

Obama Was Against RomneyCare Before He Was In Support For It

Recently, Judge Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, ruled that ObamaCare was unconstitutional in its entirety. A lot of people are making a big deal about footnote #30 in Judge Roger's Vinson's ruling because they think that the Judge himself is insinuating that Massachusetts residents are worse off under RomneyCare.

For example, the bloggers over at Cubachi are quite excited by footnote #30 because they either mistakenly or intentionally want to believe that the judge had condemned RomneyCare in his judicial holding:
In fact, he pointed to the similar individual mandate in Massachusetts — which was imposed under the state’s police power, a power the federal government does not have — and opined that the mandate there left some residents “worse off” than they had been before.
If you actually read footnote #30, you'll see it wasn't Judge Vinson who was "criticising" RomneyCare but Barak Obama. Lets look at the entire foot note #30 closely: 
"On this point, it should be emphasized that while the individual mandate was clearly “necessary and essential” to the Act as drafted, it is not “necessary and essential” to health care reform in general. It is undisputed that there are various other (Constitutional) ways to accomplish what Congress wanted to do. 
Indeed, I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that "if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house.” See Interview on CNN’s American Morning, Feb. 5, 2008, transcript available at: 
In fact, he pointed to the similar individual mandate in Massachusetts --- which was imposed under the state’s police power, a power the federal government does not have --- and opined that the mandate there left some residents “worse off” than they had been before. See Christopher Lee, Simple Question Defines Complex Health Debate, Washington Post, Feb. 24, 2008, at A10 (quoting Senator Obama as saying: "In some cases, there are people [in Massachusetts] who are paying fines and still can't afford [health insurance], so now they're worse off than they were . . . They don't have health insurance, and they're paying a fine . . .”)."
The footnote clearly shows that it wasn't Judge Vinson who was criticizing RomneyCare. It was Barak Obama. Judge Vinson was simply quoting statements Barak Obama made during the 2008 elections from a CNN article and Washington Post article. In fact, here's a video clip of Obama making this point on the Ellen Degeneres show: 

Many people are missing the point that Judge Vinson is making. The judge was simply pointing out the fact that Barak Obama was flip flopping on the issue of individual mandates and the constitutionality of it under the Commerce clause. He was against the individual mandate during the 2008 Presidential primaries but now supports the individual mandate as President. He was against using the Commerce Clause to enforce the individual mandate and now President Obama is all for it.

Footnote #30 is extraordinary for another reason. Not only did the Judge show that Obama flip flopped on individual mandates and the use of the Commerce clause to making the individual mandate work, he's also showing that Obama has flipped flopped on RomneyCare.

Obama was against RomneyCare in the 2008 primaries but upon becoming President, Obama is using the very program he criticized as a candidate as a model for his health care program and now has attorneys trying to defend it in court.

If Judge Visnson was trying to insinuate anything here, its that Obama has been and continues to be a flip flopper on the entire issue of health care reform, including his position on RomneyCare.


  1. One of the points that Mr. Romney made repeatedly in the past is that everyone should pay something for healthcare because the courts have ruled that everyone is entitled to show up at any emergency room and receive healthcare. To some extent, we've had socialized medicine for a long time in this country because we all pay for medical services provided to those who cannot or will not provide for their own needs. Politically, emphasizing that point is no longer popular even in conservative circles because Obamacare picked up the same mandate, but that part of "Romneycare" still makes some sense to me.

    In a similar way, Mr. Romney has said that everyone needs to pay a federal income tax at some level because everyone needs to have a stake in understanding that every program has a cost. I agree with that point of view. Much of our problem today in cutting spending is that so many voters are paying no income tax but still get to vote for the legislators who make decisions about taxing and spending. Of course these voters don't worry about too much spending because they aren't the ones who pay for the spending. That's just not a popular point to make, and Mr. Romney has backed away from making that point a little bit.


  2. That's great information Jared. Thank you for doing the research and sharing that.