Obamacare Was Invented By Nixon

“Flip-flop, hippety-hop, offa your rocker and over the top, life’s a fiction and the world’s a lie, so put on some Creedence and let’s get high.” —Stephen King, The Drawing of the Three

In A Nutshell

The Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”) is one of the most divisive policies ever pushed through by an American president. Designed to ensure everyone is insured in the event of illness or injury, it’s sent the Republican Party mad with rage—with prominent conservatives calling it “the end of freedom.” Yet the concept of Obamacare was originally proposed by Nixon Republicans in the 1970s, and fully supported by the GOP while Democrats campaigned against it.

The Whole Bushel

Depending on where you get your news from, Obamacare is either a nice idea badly implemented, or a terrible idea that will strip away the freedom and wealth of ordinary Americans. For those on the right, it’s become the boogeyman of the Obama administration—a policy so inimical to conservative values that Republicans actually broke the government to stop its implementation. But 40 years ago, things were very different. Forty years ago, it was Republicans who were trying to push a near-identical bill through while Democrats loudly and bitterly railed against it.

In 1974, Richard Nixon and his inner circle revealed their plans for a bill that would provide healthcare to all Americans via a system of employer-sponsored insurance. Large-and-medium sized employers would have to provide insurance to their workers or pay a penalty, while small employers and low-income citizens would receive a subsidy. At the same time Medicare and Medicaid would be expanded; all concepts that Obama later “borrowed” for his Affordable Care Act. Looking at the two proposals now, they’re not just similar: They’re identical. And Nixon’s bill was hugely popular with fellow Republicans. This was helping the poor, conservative-style, and everyone expected it to sail through into law.

Of course, that’s not what happened. Horrified that the bill wasn’t liberal enough (or just looking to do some petty point-scoring), Democrats torpedoed it and affordable healthcare vanished for the next 40 years. Fast-forward to today and the same Republican Party that proudly created the bill is howling at its implementation, while the Democrats who once campaigned bitterly against it are now its biggest champions. If anyone’s still looking for final proof that Western politics has descended into nothing more than inane tribalism and petty point scoring, this is surely it.

Show Me The Proof

Salon: Nixon proposed today’s Affordable Care Act
CNN: Obama and Romney health plans: Both borrowed from Richard Nixon

  • Ray

    It doesn’t surprise me that morris twisted the facts so that they support his agenda. The thing that surprises me is that anyone would pay him to do it.

    • mo

      It doesn’t surprise me that no one pays you to write anything.

      • Ray

        I’m not a writer.

        • mo

          Then quit writing comments.

          • Ray


  • Politics. People. Unbelievable.
    This Obama-Nixon healthcare link was mentioned and explored in many European media during the
    whole shutdown-circus (spell check suggests ‘short-circuiting’). You’d think that if Nixon and Obama are enthusiastic about the same plan, that most Americans could follow. Of course, there must be lots of tiny details not mentioned here, that will justify the continuation of division and stagnation.

    • inconspicuous detective

      dude, don’t be fooled. people also point out “hey mittens for kittens romney used the same idea in massachusetts!”

      what they fail to realize is i don’t care who the hell thought the plan up a failure is a failure — and personally socialized medicine is a GOOD IDEA in my opinion, but this is socialized medicine you have to purchase at a cost roughly equivalent to or greater than monthly car insurance payments.

      soon, you’ll see the premiums go even higher since not one young person gives a damn to sign up for obamacare.

      • When a plan is bad, it’s bad. I understand. It shouldn’t matter if it was thought of by a democrat or by a republican. If it’s the same plan, it can’t be bad one way around and good the other. Over here, we are moving (kicking and screaming) more towards the American system.

        • inconspicuous detective

          where is here?

          also, avoid the american system. we’re moving (rather, ramming into everything in a dark room) toward socialized medicine.

          • The Netherworlds, where we follow a pied piper back to the nineteen twenties, honing our criticism of said piper as we continue walking.

          • SensiblePerson

            In Sweden we’re only proud of our wonderful, (almost) 500 year-old country

          • Hadeskabir

            Pfft, 500 year-old country. This year Portugal will be 871 years old.

          • SensiblePerson

            Really? Amazing! Your country is about 371 years older than mine!

      • Chaos

        I do not fully understand this Obamacare thing and I have not en-devoured to actively seek more information as it does not really affect me in Australia lol I was initially under the impression that it was a form of universal healthcare but from the discord I am now sure it’s not. Here in Oz we have Medicare, it is free healthcare for any and all but we also have private health insurance for those that want it. Until recently this was good but demands on the healthcare system was huge and instead of building new hospitals and such, the government decided that anyone who did not have some level of private healthcare would upon turning 31yrs old would be penalized for every year after the age of 31 by 2% surcharge when and if they did decide to get private healthcare so if you were 40yrs old and decided to get private h/c you would have a 20% extra cost(as it rounds down to age 30) this would continue until you are 65, this has now been raised to 70 inline with the raise in the legal retirement age. Then, once the private h/c companies had their hooks in every single year since they have raised the premiums by 10-15% which mind you has to be and IS approved by the government. While I do not know the details of Obamacare this would to me indicate that your assessment of what will happen in the future with Obamacare to be more than possible and even likely. Here if you were one of those who took out private h/c on or before the age limit and can now no longer afford it, were you to join again sometime in the future you will incur the 2% surcharge just as if you had never had it at all. Private h/c here is by no means a full insurance cover either, I know a family friend who recently had her hips replaced it cost her $18,000 on top of her normal payments she has made for years, so the companies and healthcare system is double or even triple dipping and the ironic thing is, that a doctor can perform surgery in a public hospital through the public system and then in the same day and same hospital, they perform private h/c work while private hospitals ONLY do work for private patients, we did not get any new hospitals, any new staff, just a new trail of paper work for the bureaucracy to bend us over with

        • mo

          You didn’t look it up or know nothing about it, yet you’ll speak about it like you are an expert. Now you are being habidaskir

          • Chaos

            I think you are wrong mo, I admitted I know little about it, I then went on to explain how the health care system I am used to did work, how it changed and how it further changed once its new format had been established, which tied into inconspicuous detectives’ comment pertaining to his/her belief that once Obamacare was installed premiums would rise and continue to do so. I did this as a way to relate what I know of my countries healthcare system in the hopes that someone(obviously not you) would explain a little about Obamacare so that I could gain some understanding and then I could use that information to compare to how our system operates.

            Had you read my whole post(I doubt you did), you might have grasped that, instead of flying off with some (what I assume to be an) insult about some other poster who I give even less sh*ts about than you

    • Culture Vulture

      Part of the problem is that not a whole lot of Americans are really happy with Nixon. I brought the idea mentioned in the article up to some of my conservative friends and the standard response was usually something like: “Well it was Nixon, of course he came up with bad ideas. He lied to the American people. He wasn’t a true Republican.” See now if this was an idea that Reagan had brought up then the current conservatives would be more willing to accept it. Nobody wants to be a Nixon supporter, even now.

  • Obamacare was invented by nixon? Look even if it was and it wasnt. Obama accepted it and let it run. You might have something in your hand (like a gun) but if you “decide” to use it. you are at fault not the originator. Period.

  • Al Sharpton

    wish i could down vote this entire pile of shit your trying to push as info.

  • Hadeskabir

    How about the USA stops all of this nonsense and implements Universal Healthcare? Lack of Universal Health Care puts U.S. in Non-Compliance with International Law.

    Article 25 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights Says All Have the Right to ‘Adequate Medical Care and Necessary Social Services,’ but America is the only Developed Country in the world without a Universal Health-Care System, which puts millions of Americans at risk of poor health and financial ruin because they cannot afford private Health Insurance.

    • inconspicuous detective

      > thinks we give a damn about the UN

      we are the UN hadeskabir. without america you guys are just an awkward broken mirror attempt at the EU with a few other nations there (who probably aren’t if we aren’t, such as russia). article 25 of the newspaper is more important to americans, and this isn’t meant to offend but to show you what you’re up against.

      • Hadeskabir

        That’s not important, what’s important is the lack of will Americans have in this issue. You should be fighting for a Universal Health-Care System, it’s a human right to to have proper medical care, so the USA ignores one of the most important rights of its citizens.

        • inconspicuous detective

          read my comment above. i agree with the idea of universal healthcare. it could EASILY be done by expanding medicaid to everyone since it already IS an existing form of socialized medicine in the country (albeit on a small scale). the problem is this stupid arse attempt at implimenting a law that makes ZERO sense, offering you a very weak penalty (a tax, and no it’s not constitutional no matter how the supreme court rules it — i’ll just leave the fact that they also ruled separate but equal totally fine for a while right here to anyone who doubts they can be wrong) or premiums that go anywhere from $180 – $400+ for coverage.

          many people, every 4 – 6 out of 10 don’t qualify for subsidies and end up having to pay out of pocket costs for things like hospital stays at $2,000 and up (in at least one case $12,000). it’s fucking insane. and on the matter of who needs to sign up…18 – 34 year olds. the healthy and young, of which 2.2 million (currently 24%) out of the 34% needed have signed up, which means premiums will be EVEN HIGHER than they are now, which i just explained that they’re too friggin’ high.

          right now, articles like this one are damage control, but the damage is done. not only did 5 million people lose insurance on a broken promise, EVERY SINGLE BAD THING predicted to come with this law’s implimentation has come to fruition, including loss of insurance, exceedingly high costs of healthcare, and employment demotions from full to part time so companies can avoid having to pay for healthcare for their workers. those same workers are the people slammed by the premiums because they don’t qualify for subsidies; a result of the fact that they work for a living.

          again, i have no problem with socialized medicine.

          i have a problem with what the fuck ever you call this form of socialized medicine.

          • Hadeskabir

            I agree that the ObamaCare is a failed attempt at socialized medicine, but your country really needs to find something better. It’s outrageous that in this day and age, the USA still doesn’t have a proper Universal Healthcare to take care of its citizens. Relying on insurances for everything is some kind of capitalist nightmare.

          • inconspicuous detective

            “Relying on insurances for everything is some kind of capitalist nightmare.”

            everything is in america, even (especially) voting. already campaigning is starting — not actual campaigns of course but media selected officials. chris christie and hilary clinton (for the love of god she had better not win or there will be a revolution for the second time in this nation’s history, i swear it).

          • Tim Johnson

            The concept of insurance has been around for 1000 years and it works fine. What doesn’t work is the way it is regulated and policed by the government, and the government has allowed the bad elements of the insurance industry to lobby for laws that favor them.

        • uglyman2000

          The reason the democrats were so against the Republican healthcare proposal in the 1970’s is because Ted “Chappaquiddick” Kennedy (admittedly) sabotaged the bill because he didn’t want the Republicans to pass a health care law. The Democrats used partisan politics to destroy a Republican bill and that was the end on any health care bill till 2009.
          Obamacare is wrong because it’s forcing people to pay for something they don’t want or need. While I was in my 20’s I never went to the doctor and never needed health insurance so why would I have paid for something I didn’t want or need? Well, Obama and the democrats don’t care what you want or need, all they see is the potential money you have and how they can take it. For example, I have a “Cafeteria Plan”. I set aside a certain amount of pre-tax money to be used to pay for prescriptions every year. It used to be unlimited and some businesses usually set a limit, mine was $5000 per year. Well, Obamacare came along and almost destroyed the plan. First, they got rid of over-the-counter drugs. I used to could claim Nyquil, not anymore thanks to Obama. Next they lowered the amount of pre-tax money down to $2500. I was planning on getting some eye surgery that was going to cost about $5000. I was going to claim it all with my Cafeteria Plan, but now I can’t unless I just get one eye done. You see, the democrats didn’t care about how much money I could save, all they saw was that the Feds weren’t getting enough tax dollars, so they reduced my ability to save.
          You see, all a democrats cares about is how much they can tax people. Obamacare is bad for America because it was poorly written by stupid people.
          End of discussion.

          • Culture Vulture

            I just bought Nyquil over the counter the other day… Maybe your store wasn’t stocking it the day you tried to buy it?

          • Hadeskabir

            If you lived in a country with socialized medicine you wouldn’t have to worry about not having money for your eyes surgery.

        • Ray

          Then you had better just stay in your third world country where you can’t even get clean drinking water.

          • Hadeskabir

            My “third world country” existed hundreds of years before the USA was even a thing and we have clean drinking water since almost 2000 years ago, when your ancestors were probably drinking from a muddy puddle, my ancestors were drinking clean water from Aqueducts.

          • Ray

            Your third world poverty stricken country did exist before the US, that doesn’t make it better. Your water quality is just above drinking directly from a toilet too. You should be happy with that. I think you’re just jealous of all the first world countries. That’s why you let Britain treat you like their bitches.

        • mo

          Dont you ever get tired of being an annoying know it all asshole? What the fyck would you possibly know about America? Go back to pottygull

          • Hadeskabir

            Don’t you ever get tired of being such a douchebag? I guess not.

    • Passin’ Through

      The US does have “Adequate Medical Care and Necessary Social Services”. If someone does not have health insurance, they will still be treated by any hospital. They cannot be turned away. The problem is that this passes the cost of the treatment to those who pay taxes. Obamacare just cuts out the middle part and makes those who can afford health care pay more taxes and higher premiums so that those who don’t want/can’t afford/don’t want to pay for health care can have it.

      I know there is extreme poverty in the world, but it isn’t here in the states. Anyone who wants health care can get a job and purchase it. Education is free and mandatory here until a certain point and a high school degree goes a long way toward getting health care. There is a small segment of the population that must rely on the government for health care but those people are already taken care of. Obamacare is meant to bring the next lowest segment into “affordable health care” but when those people realize that they still have to pay for it, they decide not to and are charged a penalty in the form of a tax.

      It’s a very poor system whether it was Nixon or Obama.

      • Hadeskabir

        In Europe most countries have socialized healthcare and some of those countries have a higher standard of life than the USA. I assure you that socialized healthcare isn’t the boogeyman that Americans imagine it to be. If everyone pays their taxes no one would need health insurance ever again. I’m not talking about ObamaCare, I’m saying that the USA should follow the steps of the European Healthcare System.

        • Passin’ Through

          It’s not a boogeyman, we just don’t want it. The majority of Americans are in favor of private health care because we like to choose what we pay for and what we don’t. And, we like to keep the majority of what we earn. Keeping taxes low allows people to have more money in their pocket and therefore more spending power. If they choose to spend that money on private health care, there will be competition amongst the providers and competition drives prices down and quality up. Artificially supplying healthcare means lower standard of care or higher prices for the same level of care. It’s an economic principal, not a human rights issue.

          For instance, in Canada, many specialist doctors and surgeons are bogged down and can’t see patients for weeks or even months. Many of these people come to the US for immediate, high quality care.

          • Exiled Phoenix

            I believe you’re wrong on your numbers. Ole boy Mitt “the mormon” Romney was defeated with his revoking The Affordable Care Act agenda. My premiums have gone up a bit, still voted for Pres. Obama twice. I don’t trust the right or their religious dogma backers.

          • Passin’ Through

            I’m not a rightist either. Health care is about fiscal policy which should have nothing to do with religious wackos. But the numbers do say that the majority of Americans don’t want Obamacare/socialized health care. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/23/cnn-poll-heath-care-law-support-drops-to-all-time-low/

            Plus, in another comment I added that a large portion of Americans thought Obamacare was going to be free (via taxes) and not an out of pocket expense. They didn’t realize they were going to have to pay for it. I do wonder if that would have changed the results.

          • Exiled Phoenix

            Maybe the results would have differed. I’m happy they didn’t though, would’ve been bad for the U.S.A. to have one of those cult members in the highest office in the land…

      • Renee Jacobs

        I disagree slightly with you. Before I married my husband, I didn’t qualify for medicaid. And I was on welfare. I am disabled and fighting for my ssi for 3 1/2 years now. Before I met my husband I was barely working and living with other people. Yes I can go to a doctor but not afford medications. And hospital charity programs don’t cover the doctor so I had bills from that too. Now I’m a stay at home wife, I have medical through my husband’s job. I can finally get my medicine, however we still get bills because the insurance doesn’t cover it all. We make 300 to much to get food stamps. I still have to pay part of my medicine. We are so broke it’s not funny. But we manage. My hospital bills get paid..

    • LeAnn

      If doctors/hospitals charged prices people could pay, there would be no need for insurance. Insurance is a racket

    • Tim Johnson

      Because its the liberals who will draft the law, and they screw up everything they touch. They’ve highly taxed every city, and yet every inner city in America is a hell hole.

  • brandon stout

    The author fails to realize it is not the same republican party. The GOP changed dramatically in the 1980s with Reagan and his small government involvement concepts. Nixon would be a democrat if he were around today, he was very liberal by current definition of his views.

    • Marjorie William

      There is a small segment of the population that must rely on the government for health care but those people are already taken care of.

  • Chaos

    It’s interesting because by all accounts the reason that the US went to war against Iraq(the 2nd time) and now (suspected to) seek war with Iran is because of Nixon and the deal that was made then with the UN making the US$ the currency by which all others would be gauged which affected oil prices and ensuring the would be sold worldwide by the US standard. In short after Desert Storm Iraq due to sanctions was having a hard time, they requested from the UN that they could have a different gold standard(the name of it escapes me) this was approved which really pissed off the US, hence the 2nd invasion by US forces under the guise of WMD’s(which were never found) but it was too late and with the US in control of Iraq, the country went back to the US gold standard as it is now. How does this relate to Iran? Iran is the ONLY nation in the entire world now who does not follow the US$ gold standard and they have crap loads of oil.

    Is it true? Who can say, but the possibility is there. It just makes for an interesting nuance about Nixons regime and its lasting effects on US policy that ties in with this article. One has to admit though that it seems these days regardless of which party you support or who is in power, politicians are running their own agendas with great vigor and listening less and less to what the people want and are far less concerned about what people will do and say about it.

  • Canmon

    The Nixon proposal did not have an individual mandate, which is the cornerstone of the plan and the cause of much of the Republican opposition.

  • The Ou7law

    Nixon was a terrible president, I now see whose shoes Obama is following in

    • Tim Johnson

      He was also a liberal republican. He started the EPA.

  • Scott

    Well, every political party in every government around the world has one thing in common: They’re all power-hungry assholes at heart.

  • Passin’ Through

    I saw a report (I can’t find it and I know that hurts credibility) that says that a large portion of the US didn’t realize that they would still have to pay for health care once Obamacare was in place. The article assumed that many people supported Obama during the election because they thought they were going to get free health care.

    In hindsight, I wonder if this would have changed the election results.

  • LeAnn

    The not-so-Affordable Care Act was passed in the dead of night on a weekend against the will of a majority of constituents. The Speaker of the House of Representatives asserted that legislators must pass the bill to know what is in it instead of logically reading it ahead of passing the law. It is a moronic law that had a moronic beginning. People thought the goverment was going to GIVE them healthcare. Now that they realize they are being forced to buy it (a la automobile insurance in many states), they are balking at the high premiums. The whole thing really puts the dim in “Dim”ocrats

  • Brother John

    Got some news for you, Morris: One, the notion of “universal” health care long predates Nixon. Two, the bill was NOT “[d]esigned to ensure everyone is insured in the event of illness or injury.” It is, in fact, designed to cause chaos, disorder, and disarray throughout the industry, bankrupt insurance companies, cause paralysis in the medical industry, and instigate a clamor for the federal government to “step in” and “stop the madness.” So far, so good. By the end of 2014, there will be a lot more chaos.

    But don’t try to tell me “Nixon = GOP” therefore “GOP = support for Obamacare.” Everywhere I look, I hear this ridiculous argument. Nixon’s accomplishments in the foreign policy realm were superior. His domestic policy, however, was disastrous from start to finish.

  • George

    Lol. Liberals are trying everything they can to distance themselves from Obamacare now. You know what was a Democrat idea? Segregation. Also women not having any rights. And idea touted 45 years ago means nothing. Different time, different place. Healthcare costs weren’t nearly as bad then as they are now. I am against Obamacare for one reason and one reason only. We can’t afford it right now.

    • George

      Also Nixon was a horrible president. If he advocated something, we should immediately run the other way.

      • Hawkeye72

        Actually he was the best foreign affairs president we have ever had. And that’s what the federal government should be concentrating on and stay away from health care and other domestic policy.

  • dsrgreg

    FUCK OBAMA!!!!



  • Hawkeye72

    This is so obvious,it’s laughable. It’s all Nixon’s fault. Not only that, Millard Fillmore hacked into the Obamacare website and messed it up.

    • If its so obvious then why not show some credibility?

      • Hawkeye72

        Your comment makes zero sense.

  • Andy West

    Obamacares alright!

    • Lisa 39

      That was great! Funny and true!




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