Game rules: No trash talks. No distractions. No blames. Only numbers and facts are given.
So, let us start the comparisons and contrasts on major points between the two health plans:
- First and foremost is that both RomneyCare and ObamaCare have the individual mandate—forcing everyone to buy insurance or pay some sort of penalty. This requirement, of course, has been the center of constitutionality debate. However, the difference is that states legislation can require individual to buy insurance—an example would be auto insurance requirement—where as federal government should not be able to do so due to its limited powers. Although the ruling from the Supreme Court is still pending, most legal experts feel there will be enough 5 Justices to rule the mandate is unconstitutional.
- Pre-existing conditions: both RomneyCare and ObamaCare require insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. Insurers in MA, however, can limit coverage of certain pre-existing conditions to only six months.
- RomneyCare has been successful in one of its biggest goals—coverage for the uninsured—with over 98% of state residents being insured after 6 years. On the other hand, according to a projection by CBO, ObamaCare will increase the insured population from 82% in 2012 to 93% in 2022.
- Cost: according to a Massachusetts government report, the cost for RomneyCare was a little more than 1% of its entire annual budget in 2011. ObamaCare is projected to cost over $1.76 trillion over the next decade.
- Public support: a latest WBUR poll (released 2/15/2012) showed that 62% of Massachusetts residents support RomneyCare while 33% oppose it. ObamaCare, based on the latest Rasmussen Reports poll (dated 3/31/2012), only 40% oppose its repeal while 54% favor repeal.
- Legislature support: RomneyCare was passed by a bipartisan margin of 154-2 in the House of Representatives and by 37-0 in the Senate. ObamaCare was passed by margin of 60-39 in the U.S. Senate—all for votes came from Democrats—and by a vote of 219-212 in the U.S. House of Representatives—again all for votes came from Democrats, with 34 responsible Democrats voted against it. RomneyCare is a 70 page bill that was read by those who passed it. ObamaCare is a 2700 page bill that no Congressmen, no Congresswomen nor Senators read before voting on it. Nancy Pelosi put it best in her speech before ObamaCare was passed, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.“
Mitt Romney has promised that the first thing President Romney would do…was to repeal ObamaCare. And then he would work with individual states to pass their own health care plan. Why “RomneyCare” at each state is better than ObamaCare at the national level?
Justice Scalia summed it best, “Government is supposed to be a government of limited powers. What is left if the government can do this? What can it not do?”