Often times, a journalist is both reporter and analyst, having to explain the significance of a story. This is partially in order to justify the story being a story, and partially in order to expand on the journalist’s profile as an “expert.”

That’s why reporters are given beats – specific areas of coverage. It’s because their bosses want them only focused on that and going in-depth in a certain area, rather than them doing too much and losing focus.

But, every now and then, there is a reporter who tries to play analyst without realizing what in God’s name they are talking about. It may surprise you to find out than an example of that would be an NPR reporter, and it may further surprise you to find out this reporter was attacking a GOP plan.

Brace yourselves, lads.

That’s right, folks. Obamacare, which seeks to force everyone in the nation, regardless of what state they are in, to buy health insurance, is a shining example of federalism.

That’s… That’s not how this works, Domenico.

They would have to use a state or federal exchanges because they have to. Not necessarily because they want to, dude.

Anyway, David Harsanyi, a senior editor at The Federalist, rightly calls out this tweet thread for the dumb, dumb analysis that it is.

There is nothing “federalist” about Obamacare. It is a federal mandate on everyone. The only choice is whether or not states created their own exchange. People still have to do it, and the state doesn’t manage the exchange, because the federal government’s rules and regulations force insurance companies to sell certain things and not sell other certain things.

That’s why Graham-Cassidy, while not perfect, is at least infinitely more federalist than Obamacare because it gives a chunk of money to the states and lets the states choose what to do. It also removes the individual and employer mandates, allowing people the choice of whether or not to go insured at all.

The failure of Graham-Cassidy is that the regulatory structure of Obamacare is otherwise largely unchanged, still limiting what insurance companies can sell and cover, but it is a start for the moment.

But this NPR reporter has made a fool of himself in attempting to defend something in a category in which it is indefensible. You simply cannot call Obamacare federalist. It is a top-down mandate on everyone, regardless of what state they are in. That is the opposite of federalism, and the opposite of what the original federalists sought.