WASHINGTON – Republicans were for President Barack Obama's requirement that Americans get health insurance before they were against it.
The obligation in the new health care law is a Republican idea that's been around at least two decades. It was once trumpeted as an alternative to Bill and Hillary Clinton's failed health care overhaul in the 1990s. These days, Republicans call it government overreach.
Mitt Romney, weighing another run for the GOP presidential nomination, signed such a requirement into law at the state level as Massachusetts governor in 2006. At the time, Romney defended it as "a personal responsibility principle" and Massachusetts' newest GOP senator, Scott Brown, backed it. Romney now says Obama's plan is a federal takeover that bears little resemblance to what he did as governor and should be repealed.
I need to check the archives, but I think that old "alternative" to Hillarycare at the time was a Nancy Kassembaumn bill. Romney is a rather liberal republican on several issues, which is one of the reasons why he did not win the nomination in 2008.
In the early 1970s, President Richard Nixon favored a mandate that employers provide insurance. In the 1990s, the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, embraced an individual requirement. Not anymore.
"The idea of an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer was a Republican idea," said health economist Mark Pauly of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. In 1991, he published a paper that explained how a mandate could be combined with tax credits — two ideas that are now part of Obama's law. Pauly's paper was well-received — by the George H.W. Bush administration.
Nixon was very liberal on domestic issues. Affirmative Action. Price freezes. George HW Bush raised taxes and was against "Reaganomics." That's not conservatism. Conservatism is about LESS GOVERNMENT.
Because those people supported, the AP thinks they speak for all or even most Republicans. I don't think so. Individual mandates did not become law for a reason. It was and is a damn bad idea. I don't care if you are Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. I did not vote for either of them.