Obama, Romney Share Similarities On Health Care Statutes

By Derek Evans, Apprentice
The Gilbert Gumption

     Everyone knows that President Barack Obama is a Democrat and his opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s a Republican. These two men have different political ideologies, but they aren’t as divergent as you might imagine. This might surprise some, but when it comes to healthcare they have similar healthcare – which is likely to be an important issue come November.

Both support legislation that some have dubbed “universal healthcare.” In 2010, Mr. Obama singed the Affordable Care Act into law. [Read more about the law at U.S. Department of Health & Human Services‘s website – http://1.usa.gov/NeNrvG]. The GOP, who are at least publicly against the notion of universal healthcare, decided to vilify the new law by nicknaming it “Obamacare.”

The nickname stuck and, with the president himself embracing the term. In 2006, Mr. Romney signed into law a piece of healthcare legislation similarly referred to as “Romneycare.” [To see the entire document, visit the State of Massachusetts’s website – http://1.usa.gov/MREaqz].

While there are similarities between these two pieces of legislation. Both laws, however, have some prominent differences. According to an eye doctor  in Colorado, Ben’s blog [http://bit.ly/P6O2ku] “Romneycare” was only 70 pages, while Obamacare was more than 2,000 pages.

Romney vetoed portions of the bill, which is known as a line-item veto. Several states allow their governor to utilize a line-item veto. The president, however cannot.

Congress passed The Line Item Veto Act of 1996, but the U.S. Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional in Clinton v. New York City, (1998), because they considered it to be a violation of Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution. The Constitution vests Congress with the power to craft legislation; the president can sign, or refuse to sign, only the entire packaged bill. [Source/Read more: http://anse.rs/NpdjRY]

In the late 1990’s, former President Bill Clinton tried to use a line-item veto. The Supreme Court ruled federal legislators could not use a line-item veto. According to Ben’s blog [http://bit.ly/P6O2ku] “Romneycare” didn’t raise taxes, while “Obamacare” does. The website appears to display a bias towards Romney and his signature legislature, which means his assertions should be checked against a more reliable source.

Romney has made an effort to distance himself from the term “Romneycare” and its implication that the two laws are similar. While there are differences, the principal idea behind both statutes share many similarities.

     For those interested in federal politics, this mere similarity may be insignificant, but the effet it may have on the election could prove interesting.