Robin Smith: Obama's failing presidential legacy

Robin Smith: Obama's failing presidential legacy

November 4th, 2013 Robin Smith in Opinion Columns

Robin Smith

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

As a sophomore studying at the University of Tennessee, I had a microbiology lab that met in an old building on the infamous Hill in Knoxville. While the class met for lecture, the lab was a separate grade that would demonstrate mastery of all the content studied.

In the microbiology lab, it was clear from Day One that there would be grades for quizzes and for certain required lab reports. But the determination of whether one passed or failed the lab hinged upon a final exam where a pathogen was randomly assigned, cultured, studied and written up in a report. The assignment required applying all the aspects of classroom study and lab work.

It caused pressure, of course, but there was no surprise. Whether it was the first day or the final day of the exam, when I was blindly assigned staphylococcus aureus, I was fully aware that my grade would reflect the ability to assimilate material from the lecture hall and the written text into an accurate recognition and report of an unknown pathogen in the lab.

On March 23, 2010, after rancor and partisan differences, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law with only Democrats voting for the legislation that was creatively edited and amended through Senate reconciliation passing on Christmas Eve, 2009.

Three years and seven months ago, there was an absolute awareness that with the ink placed upon the embossed stationery by President Barack Obama, this law was in motion. Yes, there were ideas and attempts to slow and stall this law due to its incredible reach into 20 percent of our nation's economy.

But, the absolute known reality was this law had been signed, money was budgeted and there would be a series of dates, as specified by law, that the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, would become an active federally controlled health care program.

Then, on Oct. 1, 2013, the launch of the ACA was scheduled and in progress. But, due to political miscalculations -- and proof that government bureaucrats do not operate within the same sphere of deadlines, measured metrics and results -- the computer sign-up process was deemed a failure.

Finally, bipartisan agreement on something: There's a huge difference between an existing program and a functional system.

The congressional hearings have been conducted with finger-pointing like never before. Millions of cancellation notices ending coverage by year's end, according to NBC News, as expected by the Obama administration, are now in hands of individuals despite the lie, "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan."

Instead, some individuals and families have dramatic problems with their insurance who didn't just a few weeks ago.

Yeah, my microbiology teacher's assistant at UT would've recognized quickly the Obama administration's inability to produce a predicted end-result in the lab of life.

Like many other lab peers, after studying and preparation, I successfully identified my assigned pathogen: staph aureus, a facultative anaerobic, gram positive coccal bacterium.

The Obama Administration has failed in preparing for and implementing its self-proclaimed prized legislation. And there is no mistaking how to label and identify this cultured mess growing before our eyes.

Proven science reproduces the same result and does so in this case. Government control of health care is not the answer. Lying and incompetence does not a leader make.

Robin Smith served as chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party, 2007 to 2009. She is a partner at the SmithWaterhouse Strategies business development and strategic planning firm and serves on Tennessee's Economic Council on Women.