Did Romney support a federal health-care mandate in 1994?

posted at 4:16 pm on May 11, 2011 by Allahpundit

Eh. It’s one line from an old New Republic story referencing a Republican bill that didn’t even pass, so who knows how much Romney knew about it at the time. Did he realize there was a mandate in it? If he did, was the mandate one of the things he had reservations about? Here’s the full excerpt via Dave Weigel:

The question about Romney is where he would stand in Congress’s internecine battles. Would he side with Republicans such as John Chafee who have tried to develop constructive alternatives to Democratic legislation or with Republicans such as Phil Gramm and Newt Gingrich who have been willing to paralyze Congress for the sake of embarrassing the Clinton administration? Romney has indicated that he would side with the moderate wing. He endorsed the crime bill and refused to back Gingrich’s jejune “Contract with America.” He told me he would have backed Chafee’s health care bill. “I’m willing to vote for things that I am not wild with,” he said.

Assuming Romney knew that Chafee’s bill included a mandate, his willingness to support it at the time undermines his studious ass-covering of late in distinguishing between state mandates a la RomneyCare, which of course are fine, and federal mandates, which are unconstitutional. But then, Romney circa 1994 was still more than a decade away from changing his mind about abortion. It’s no secret that he was more of a centrist when he ran against Ted Kennedy for Senate; if you’re willing to accept his pro-life conversion later, then in theory you’re willing to accept his evolution on the question of whether a national health-insurance mandate is constitutionally copacetic.

Lefty Greg Sargent digs up another, far more recent quote from Romney about the mandate:

ROMNEY: I’m a federalist. I don’t believe in applying what works in one state to all states if different states have different circumstances…Now, I happen to like what we did. I think it’s a good model for other states. Maybe not every state but most, and so what I’d do at the federal level is give every state the same kind of flexibility we got from the federal government as well as some carrots and sticks to actually get all their citizens insured. And I think a lot of states will choose what we did. I wouldn’t tell them they have to do our plan…

MR. RUSSERT: So if a state chose a mandate, it wouldn’t bother you?

MR. ROMNEY: I’d think it’s a terrific idea. I think you’re going to find when it’s all said and done, after all these states that are the laboratories of democracy, get their chance to try their own plans, but those who follow the path that we pursued will find it’s the best path, and we’ll end up with a nation that’s taken a mandate approach.

That’s from the December 16, 2007 broadcast of “Meet the Press,” shortly before the GOP primaries began. So he was against federal mandates — and openly in favor of state ones — even then, despite the fact that it wasn’t a radioactive issue on the right at the time. In fact, as many of you will no doubt vividly remember, he was sufficiently unabashed in his support of mandates in principle to have copped to it in an ABC primary debate; skip ahead to around 0:40 of the clip below to relive the precious memory. All of which is to say that this sort of thing is already priced into his political stock. If you don’t trust him today because he was to the left of Scott Brown in 1994, then his tepid support for Chafee’s bill at the time will only confirm your inclination. If you’ve already forgiven him for his pro-choice ways at the time and his cheerleading for state mandates during the last campaign, then his position on Chafee’s bill probably won’t trouble you. This is Romney’s problem in a nutshell, at least with the base — people’s minds are already made up, one way or another. If he wins the nomination, it’ll be by appealing to Republicans who are less ideologically invested than the grassroots and who are thus unlikely to care what he thought of an obscure bill that collapsed 17 years ago.

Incidentally, he’s got a sneak preview of tomorrow’s big speech posted at USA Today this afternoon. At one point he writes, “Some states might pass a plan like the one we did in Massachusetts, while others will choose an altogether different route” — but nowhere in the piece is the M-word mentioned. Compare that to the quote from 2007 that Sargent is highlighting today.


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Romney has supported and been against most everything…so yes and no, he was before he wasn’t, or wasn’t before he was…

right2bright on May 11, 2011 at 4:18 PM

He will not get my vote.

As far as I’m concerned now, he’s nothing but an Obama parrot. He may not do as much damage as quickly as Obama has, but his liberalism will shine thru soon enough.

capejasmine on May 11, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Not too bright does it again. Posts nonsense.

So we have another Allahpundit post trashing Mitt Romney. Imagine that?

Eichendorff on May 11, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Conservative Samzit & Sheryl are going to get Carpal Tunnel in just this thread trying to defend Mittens.

portlandon on May 11, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Per cnsnews, concerning a New Hampshire debate on Jan. 6, 2008::

Debate moderator Charles Gibson of ABC News: “But Gov. Romney’s system has mandates in Massachusetts, although you backed away from mandates on a national basis.”

Romney: “No, no, I like mandates. The mandates work.”

GOP contender Fred Thompson: “I beg your pardon? I didn’t know you were going to admit that. You like mandates.”

Romney: “Oh, absolutely. Let me tell you what kind of mandates I like, Fred, which is this. If it weren’t –“

Thompson: “The ones you come up with. Bingo”

kingsjester on May 11, 2011 at 4:20 PM

My goodness.

The fun is just beginning.

Brian1972 on May 11, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Not too bright does it again. Posts nonsense.

So we have another Allahpundit post trashing Mitt Romney. Imagine that?

Eichendorff on May 11, 2011 at 4:20 PM

So there are hardcore Romney supporters lurking among our readers. Welcome, Eichendorff. And thanks for your incisive, well-considered rebuttal. You’ve given me much to think about.

Allahpundit on May 11, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Romney’s a cipher. He has no real positions. He simply gauges responses and act’s accordingly. If responses pull a 180 then so does he. He’s useless. He just wants to be chief bureaucrat.

Rocks on May 11, 2011 at 4:23 PM

I like mandates.
–mitt Willard, 2008
’nuff said

james23 on May 11, 2011 at 4:23 PM

kingsjester on May 11, 2011 at 4:20 PM

That’s the segment in the video I posted.

Allahpundit on May 11, 2011 at 4:23 PM

If he wins the nomination, it’ll be by appealing to Republicans who are less ideologically invested than the grassroots and who are thus unlikely to care what he thought of an obscure bill that collapsed 17 years ago.

Lots of luck with that strategery. Obamacare is gonna be one of the biggest issues going into 2012 and Romneycare is just too similar for Mittens to escape its shadow.

Doughboy on May 11, 2011 at 4:24 PM

Come on who here doesnt think that if he wins the Presidency that Mitt won’t open the treasury to anyone to get re elected ?

William Amos on May 11, 2011 at 4:25 PM

ROMNEY: I’m a federalist. I don’t believe in applying what works in one state to all

What, exactly, does he think ‘federalist’ means?

states

MR. RUSSERT: So if a state chose a mandate, it wouldn’t bother you?
MR. ROMNEY: I’d think it’s a terrific idea.

Say goodnight, Mittens.

cynccook on May 11, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Not too bright does it again. Posts nonsense.

So we have another Allahpundit post trashing Mitt Romney. Imagine that?

Eichendorff on May 11, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Can you tell me a subject that he hasn’t flip-flopped on?

Stem Cell Research
Assault weapons ban
Minimum Wage
Gay Marriage
DADT
Abortion
Campaign finance
Amnesty

Anything?

sharrukin on May 11, 2011 at 4:27 PM

We will hang this around Romney’s neck and it will have a lot to do with him losing. Well, we’re going to have to hang his support of individual insurance mandates around his neck. We’re going to hang him with that, so to speak, metaphorically.

steebo77 on May 11, 2011 at 4:27 PM

“RomneyCare is my greatest Accomplishment, and the one I am most proud of.”

-Mitt Romney, 2008.

portlandon on May 11, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Come on who here doesnt think that if he wins the Presidency that Mitt won’t open the treasury to anyone to get re elected ?

William Amos on May 11, 2011 at 4:25 PM

I don’t know that he would, but I don’t know that he wouldn’t- and that’s the problem I have with him.

Hollowpoint on May 11, 2011 at 4:27 PM

You’ve given me much to think about.

Allahpundit on May 11, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Heh Im trying to figure out who dislikes you the most Allah. Is it the Romneyites ? The Paulers ? the Palinistas ?

Just wait till the Huckabum people start on ya.

William Amos on May 11, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Romney has indicated that he would side with the moderate wing.

Shocka.

pseudoforce on May 11, 2011 at 4:28 PM

So there are hardcore Romney supporters lurking among our readers. Welcome, Eichendorff. And thanks for your incisive, well-considered rebuttal. You’ve given me much to think about.

Allahpundit on May 11, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Hey, those Mormons have to stick together…

cynccook on May 11, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Romney: “No, no, I like mandates. The mandates work.”

GOP contender Fred Thompson: “I beg your pardon? I didn’t know you were going to admit that. You like mandates.”

Romney: “Oh, absolutely. Let me tell you what kind of mandates I like, Fred, which is this. If it weren’t –“

Thompson: “The ones you come up with. Bingo”

It’s like the Jelly Of The Month club ….. the gift that keeps on giving.

Jerome Horwitz on May 11, 2011 at 4:29 PM

These wormy politicians are like a dried cow pie . . . they don’t stink until you step on them and what’s inside is exposed.

rplat on May 11, 2011 at 4:29 PM

But but but I thought Hunstman and Daniels had already taken the establishment mantle from Romney? Why even continue to discuss him?

davek70 on May 11, 2011 at 4:29 PM

My apologies, AP.

kingsjester on May 11, 2011 at 4:29 PM

Not too bright does it again. Posts nonsense.

So we have another Allahpundit post trashing Mitt Romney. Imagine that?

Eichendorff on May 11, 2011 at 4:20 PM

I could have sworn the first time I (very quickly) read your comment that “not too bright” was in reference to Romney. That would have made more sense than what you actually wrote.

steebo77 on May 11, 2011 at 4:30 PM

“Romney only gave the people what they wanted. It’s not his fault. He speaks French, and is a brilliant businessmen. Leave Mitt Alone!”

-Romney Apologists

portlandon on May 11, 2011 at 4:31 PM

There were other Repubs and even conservative think tanks that considered insurance mandates in the 1990′s. Fortunately they’ve since came to their senses.

Unfortunately, however, 15 years later the Dems went full speed ahead with Obamacare, despite the horrific records of similar state-level plans in Massachusetts, Tennessee and Hawaii.

visions on May 11, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Per cnsnews, concerning a New Hampshire debate on Jan. 6, 2008::

Debate moderator Charles Gibson of ABC News: “But Gov. Romney’s system has mandates in Massachusetts, although you backed away from mandates on a national basis.”

Romney: “No, no, I like mandates. The mandates work.”

GOP contender Fred Thompson: “I beg your pardon? I didn’t know you were going to admit that. You like mandates.”

Romney: “Oh, absolutely. Let me tell you what kind of mandates I like, Fred, which is this. If it weren’t –“

Thompson: “The ones you come up with. Bingo”

kingsjester on May 11, 2011 at 4:20 PM

LOL…and this is the frontrunner against Obama. ObamaCare would be totally off the table as a campaign issue.

pseudoforce on May 11, 2011 at 4:33 PM

And yet, in an April 19. 2010 interview with Newsweek’s Andrew Romano, he said, when asked:

Were you saying that you supported federal mandates then, even though you say you don’t now?

No. We created an incentive for people to get insurance at the state level. Our plan is a state plan. I oppose a federal plan for purposes of federalism. It would be like saying, a father has spanked his son. Do you think that the federal government should be allowed to spank children?

So people are misinterpreting that quote?

I do not favor the federal mandates that are part of Obamacare.

When is a mandate, not a mandate?

By the way, the video is blocked where I am right now, AP. Again, my apologies.

kingsjester on May 11, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Hey, those Mormons have to stick together…

cynccook on May 11, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Uh-oh. You said the “M” word.

Run for it!

portlandon on May 11, 2011 at 4:34 PM

So there are hardcore Romney supporters lurking among our readers. Welcome, Eichendorff. And thanks for your incisive, well-considered rebuttal. You’ve given me much to think about.

Allahpundit on May 11, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Zing! I have to say Allah, you and I don’t always see eye to eye, and I’ve been very critical of you before. Still, I’m glad you’re around and hope you stay around.

Just wait till the Huckabum people start on ya.

William Amos on May 11, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Have we proven the existence of these “hardcore” Huckabe supporters yet?

Pattosensei on May 11, 2011 at 4:35 PM

“Huntsman only gave the people what they wanted. It’s not his fault. He speaks Chinese, and is a brilliant businessmen. Leave Huntsman Alone!”

-Romney Apologists for Huntsman

portlandon on May 11, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Oh you KNOW I had to do that!

upinak on May 11, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Have we proven the existence of these “hardcore” Huckabe supporters yet?

Pattosensei on May 11, 2011 at 4:35 PM

there is nothing hard or core about Huck… unless we are talking criminals he let lose.

upinak on May 11, 2011 at 4:37 PM

It would be like saying, a father has spanked his son. Do you think that the federal government should be allowed to spank children?

So people are misinterpreting that quote?

I do not favor the federal mandates that are part of Obamacare.

When is a mandate, not a mandate?

By the way, the video is blocked where I am right now, AP. Again, my apologies.

kingsjester on May 11, 2011 at 4:33 PM

So he’s equating a state mandate with a spanking and saying it’s a good thing? LOL

pseudoforce on May 11, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Did Romney support a federal health-care mandate in 1994?

Wouldn’t be a bit surprised.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 11, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Oh you KNOW I had to do that!

upinak on May 11, 2011 at 4:35 PM

LOL. It works!

How have you been?

portlandon on May 11, 2011 at 4:43 PM

So he’s equating a state mandate with a spanking and saying it’s a good thing? LOL

pseudoforce on May 11, 2011 at 4:39 PM

He’s also casting himself as the Bay State’s father (making him a Mass Daddy?).

steebo77 on May 11, 2011 at 4:44 PM

there is nothing hard or core about Huck… unless we are talking criminals he let lose.

upinak on May 11, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Two words:

Maurice

Clemmons

=

Three dead police officers.

gryphon202 on May 11, 2011 at 4:44 PM

And people were laughing about Obama thinking he can take Texas. Give us this New England mushy mouth, throw in a Tea Party third party, sprinkle Ron Raul :

Obama takes Texas.

Marcus on May 11, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Jeebus, the Anybody But Palin crowd have been out in full force trying to write her post-mortems because they know just how toxic these clowns actually are in a real political enviroment,

None of them can draw a distinction’s worth of difference to Obama.

victor82 on May 11, 2011 at 4:47 PM

So he’s equating a state mandate with a spanking and saying it’s a good thing? LOL

pseudoforce on May 11, 2011 at 4:39 PM

He’s also casting himself as the Bay State’s father (making him a Mass Daddy?).

steebo77 on May 11, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Heh…I get the feeling that Romney’s going to implode. Palin’s supposed to be the train wreck, but Romney can’t take even a smidgen of the limelight without wilting.

pseudoforce on May 11, 2011 at 4:47 PM

My mind is made up because he is exactly the type of statist who knows better than I do what I need to be happy and live a good life. And he’s willing to use the power of the state to make me do so.

Idiot.

Aquateen Hungerforce on May 11, 2011 at 4:48 PM

WE THE PEOPLE had better not settle for an “Also Ran”.

We must have somebody NEW from as FAR right as possible.

Not the whinny Ron Paul, hate to say it but not Sarah either. Not Gingrich, Not Rudy………no MSM picks…..

New, like HERMAN CAIN new.
New, like Mitch Daniels new.

OR somebody that doesn’t really want the job.

RealMc on May 11, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Not Dave Weigel again! LOL Has WaPo bought HA? I’m not going to comment on Weigel’s latest sojourn into advising us on whom the nominee should be and what his/her stances were or are. AP, is this just an excuse to have a Mitt post? (Just friendly funing with ya).

JimP on May 11, 2011 at 4:51 PM

I was just driving and thinking about the arguments against the mandate’s constitutionality, and I don’t think I have seen this argument before:

The government’s argument is that a mandate is constitutional because 1) not buying insurance is economic activity because of the free rider problem — those who do not buy insurance are just going to present themselves to the emergency clinic for free care and the everyone else will get stuck with the bill (thus its economic activity); 2) its necessary and proper, because the free rider problem would make the other insurance regulations economically impossible.

All their arguments rely on the free rider problem — the problem created by uninsured patients showing up at a hospital and expecting free care that they cannot otherwise afford.

That is the biggest bootstrap argument I have ever heard. There is no constitutional right to that free care (not yet at least). Because we are a compassionate people, we have laws that require hospitals to provide emergency care until a patient is stable, etc., and because we are a compassionate people, we have county hospitals that provide for the indigent. However, those sources of care are not constitutionally mandated. We could just as easily pass a law doing away with that free care. I am not advocating that we do so. I’m just pointing that the circumstances that have created the justification for a broad expansion of the government’s purported powers under the Constitution is a mere law. A mere law cannot amend the constitution, but that is exactly what the government is arguing. — We passed a law that created the free rider problem, therefore the constitutional powers of the government needs to be expanded to deal with the problem created by our law.

tommylotto on May 11, 2011 at 4:52 PM

there is nothing hard or core about Huck… unless we are talking criminals he let lose.

upinak on May 11, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Or, I’d wager, the contents of his sons’ hard drives.

cynccook on May 11, 2011 at 4:53 PM

If good ol’ Flip Flopney’s still in it when the Ohio primary rolls around, I’ll vote against him. I’d sooner write in Bill the Cat than vote for Mittens.

OhioCoastie on May 11, 2011 at 4:53 PM

How have you been?

portlandon on May 11, 2011 at 4:43 PM

rock’n and roll’n.

upinak on May 11, 2011 at 4:54 PM

So there are hardcore Romney supporters lurking among our readers. Welcome, Eichendorff. And thanks for your incisive, well-considered rebuttal. You’ve given me much to think about.

Allahpundit on May 11, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Stone him! Stone him!

BobMbx on May 11, 2011 at 4:54 PM

oh and Huck……never. evah.

RealMc on May 11, 2011 at 4:54 PM

If good ol’ Flip Flopney’s still in it when the Ohio primary rolls around, I’ll vote against him. I’d sooner write in Bill the Cat than vote for Mittens.

OhioCoastie on May 11, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Where in Ohio? I’m in Akron.

cynccook on May 11, 2011 at 4:55 PM

When is a mandate, not a mandate?

By the way, the video is blocked where I am right now, AP. Again, my apologies.

kingsjester on May 11, 2011 at 4:33 PM

State mandates are not mandate mandates.

BobMbx on May 11, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Can you tell me a subject that he hasn’t flip-flopped on?

Well, we don’t know if he’s gotten between MO and a tamale yet, so we can’t say if he supported tamales before he didn’t.

BobMbx on May 11, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Here’s the full excerpt via Dave Weigel:

STOP. IT.

I dislike Mr. RomneyCare as much as anyone, but can we please stop pretending Dave “Journolist” Weigel is a legitimate source for anything? The guy is a far-left hack.

Norwegian on May 11, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Have we proven the existence of these “hardcore” Huckabe supporters yet?

Pattosensei on May 11, 2011 at 4:35 PM

If he decides to run, they’ll show up. There were more than a couple last election cycle. To hear them tell it, a vote against Huckster was a vote against God himself.

Among the Romneybots, Mormons were his biggest defenders followed by the Northeast types.

And no, I don’t have anything against Mormons or hold it against Romney. Just making an observation.

Hollowpoint on May 11, 2011 at 4:59 PM

MR. RUSSERT: So if a state chose a mandate, it wouldn’t bother you?
MR. ROMNEY: I’d think it’s a terrific idea.

What about this state mandate:

Whites only.

Hmmm?

BobMbx on May 11, 2011 at 5:00 PM

bye bye Mitt. Now the push by the establishment for mitch makes eprfect sense…..

unseen on May 11, 2011 at 5:15 PM

people’s minds are already made up, one way or another

Yep.

He’s got a shot but there is a segment that simply will not ever listen to a word he says. Huckbee picked a label and it stuck. Now that I’ve seen exactly what people mean by Mitch and Tim not having charisma… I am really in a quandry. Huntsman looks promising. But, funny thing, the exact same people who claim their dislike of Romney is ideological say the same things about Huntsman! Although their records as governors and resumes are completely different! Funny thing that.

petunia on May 11, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Romney has supported and been against most everything…so yes and no, he was before he wasn’t, or wasn’t before he was…

right2bright on May 11, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Just like Our Lady Of the Perpetual Whinning and any other polititian on the earth.

Falz on May 11, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Isn’t Mitt’s 15 minutes up yet. He accomplished nothing, he lost in 08, he had been in hiding since 2008 on about every issue. He has no core beliefs. why are we talking about this unserious unelectable politician?

unseen on May 11, 2011 at 5:18 PM

He has no core beliefs.

unseen on May 11, 2011 at 5:18 PM

According to Huckabee, Romney does have one core belief: Jesus and Satan are brothers.

steebo77 on May 11, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Just like Our Lady Of the Perpetual Whinning and any other polititian on the earth.

Falz on May 11, 2011 at 5:15 PM

You can trash Palin as much as you like, it still won’t make Romney any more electable.

pseudoforce on May 11, 2011 at 5:27 PM

According to Huckabee, Romney does have one core belief: Jesus and Satan are brothers.

steebo77 on May 11, 2011 at 5:21 PM

well ther eis that….I guess

unseen on May 11, 2011 at 5:34 PM

This illustrates one point–the Democrats are panicking! Dredging up nearly two decades to find some hint of reversal in Romney’s background.

I’m surprised they didn’t hold back this stuff and unleash it as the “October surprise”. The Democrats are predictable and funny.

Lori on May 11, 2011 at 5:35 PM

You can trash Palin as much as you like, it still won’t make Romney any more electable.

pseudoforce on May 11, 2011 at 5:27 PM

http://legalinsurrection.blogspot.com/2011/05/zero-tolerance-for-cheap-shots-at-palin.html

unseen on May 11, 2011 at 5:36 PM

I don’t hate Mitt.

If he’s the nominee, I’ll vote for him.

I think he could beat Obowma.

That said, I was troubled again by the following.

During one of the Iowa GOP debates (remember the school-marm PBS moderator?).

When Teh Fred! refused to raise his hand?

The question was about man-made global warming, who believed it was true, raise your hand.

Before Teh Fred! gave his classic answer, Mitt’s had was up.

Sigh.

aquaviva on May 11, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Just like Ron Paul, The Donald and Gingrich, if Romney isn’t smart enough to realize he has no chance, then he isn’t smart enough to be POTUS.

That fact doesn’t mean he won’t win the nomination, of course. But politics-as-usual won’t win against Obama. We don’t need a nominee who’s never made a mistake (duh), but we need a straight shooter, someone we can trust. And Romney ain’t it.

As contrast, look at how Pawlenty ‘fessed up to C&T. He says straight out he made a mistake. Not that I’m wild about Pawlenty, but at least he doesn’t leave a trail of slime wherever he goes, like Romney, Gingrich and Huckabee.

Splashman on May 11, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Maybe not every state but most, and so what I’d do at the federal level is give every state the same kind of flexibility we got from the federal government as well as some carrots and sticks to actually get all their citizens insured. And I think a lot of states will choose what we did. I wouldn’t tell them they have to do our plan…

When it’s all said and done, all he cares is that all citizens must be insured. As he admits, it is the Federal Govt, with a combo of sticks and carrots (nevermind the free market), that will ensure that everyone is insured. Doesn’t matter how this is framed, it’s still a mandate.

Sorry. Stick. A. Fork. In. Mitt

AH_C on May 11, 2011 at 5:55 PM

Mitt represents everything that is wrong with our politcal system that Obama doesn’t.

unseen on May 11, 2011 at 5:59 PM

@tommylotto

Because we are a compassionate people, we have laws that require hospitals to provide emergency care until a patient is stable, etc., and because we are a compassionate people, we have county hospitals that provide for the indigent. However, those sources of care are not constitutionally mandated.

Agreed.

We could just as easily pass a law doing away with that free care.

Except, this conclusion does not follow your premise that America is compassionate and thus provides the free care. It is exactly because we are a compassionate people that we are not going to elect someone for president who proposes anything remotely like “doing away with that free care.”

Now that I think about it, I’ve yet to hear a conservative alternative to Romney’s solution to this free rider problem (mandate health insurance, ensuring that you don’t force others to pay for your care via taxes).

BocaJuniors on May 11, 2011 at 6:02 PM

Not Dave Weigel again! LOL Has WaPo bought HA? I’m not going to comment on Weigel’s latest sojourn into advising us on whom the nominee should be and what his/her stances were or are. AP, is this just an excuse to have a Mitt post? (Just friendly funing with ya).
JimP on May 11, 2011 at 4:51 PM

No… Ed and Allah are friends with Weasel er Weigel… After his disgraceful exit from WaPo for being a fraud, you’d think they’d know better. I could care less about that guy and much less what he has to say.

Isn’t there anyone who can advise Romney that maybe he should just say that it was a mistake to sign Romneycare into law since as he has stated… what he signed isn’t what he agreed to? Then again there is that famous picture of the signing… Forget it… Romney’s toast!

CCRWM on May 11, 2011 at 6:07 PM

@AH_C

Doesn’t matter how this is framed, it’s still a mandate.

So what’s the alternative to a mandate? The problem is that a huge part of the country doesn’t have health insurance and is essentially mooching off the rest of the country when they get care.

In the 2008 campaign Obama promised he didn’t need a mandate to get everyone insured (he “rejected the premise” that people who could afford health care wouldn’t pay for it). Romney on the other hand explained that in Massachusetts they had actually assembled data and there were a lot of people who just mooched off the system.

So, unless we are going to buy into Obama’s unicorn magic solution, what’s the alternative? Let people die? That’s what we campaign on?

BocaJuniors on May 11, 2011 at 6:09 PM

He will not get my vote.

As far as I’m concerned now, he’s nothing but an Obama parrot. He may not do as much damage as quickly as Obama has, but his liberalism will shine thru soon enough.

capejasmine on May 11, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Au contraire.

Look at what the Donks had in the ’08-’10 cycle; a majority in both houses and a Donk POTUS. With all that advantage, why do you suppose they couldn’t ram everything thru? Because the moderates knew a lot of that junk on the progressive wish list was radical and/or toxic and did not have the aura of bi-partisanship.

Put Mitt in there with a GOP majority in both houses and Mitt will accomplish more of the progressive agenda than Obambi could ever hope for 2012 – 2016.

Why? Because Mitt and all the RINOs will trip over themselves to reach across the aisle to be bi-partisan. In essence, the real minority party will be the Conservative Party. Under Mitt’s leadership, the 3 sisters, Graham, McVain, and all the other RINOs in concert with the remaining Donks will be the de facto majority.

I said it before and say it again, I will vote for any GOP down ticket in the general, but I WILL NOT pull for a RINO POTUS, because that will gibe the RINO a mandate to ram every progressive dream down our throats.

Nay, let Obambi win and be stymied by partisanship in the next cycle, than for us to run full-speed off the cliff by bi-partisanship.

AH_C on May 11, 2011 at 6:10 PM

@ capejasmine – a point of clarification. I agree totally with you, and only take exception to “He may not do as much damage as quickly as Obama has“. The reality is that it will be even faster.

AH_C on May 11, 2011 at 6:12 PM

BocaJuniors on May 11, 2011 at 6:02 PM

The point is not that we should do away with the free care, but that the “right” to free care is merely statutory, not constitutional, and the creation of a mere statutory right cannot thereby expand the constitutional powers of the government.

tommylotto on May 11, 2011 at 6:15 PM

Not-Mitt 2012!

Lawdawg86 on May 11, 2011 at 6:22 PM

So, unless we are going to buy into Obama’s unicorn magic solution, what’s the alternative? Let people die? That’s what we campaign on?

BocaJuniors on May 11, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Bottomline, people’s healthcare is not a Federal issue. If a State wants a mandate, it is their prerogative. But the Feds have no business whatsoever. From my POV, Medicaid/medicare was also rammed down our throats. Just because something feels and sounds compassionate doesn’t mean the Fed needs to do it.

Unfortunately, once we let that camel in under the tent, it’s next to impossible to back it out. I’m looking for anything that will wean people off the idea that the Feds have a solution to provide for their healthcare and transition them to options that require no taxes or any form of support from the Feds.

For the Feds to provide healthcare is unsustainable at any price or in any form. the sooner people realize it is a ponzi-scheme, the better it be for all. Otherwise, when this house of cards come crashing down, there will be a bunch of people in for a rude awakening. And how is that compassionate – to be promised something and find it is not there when needed?

AH_C on May 11, 2011 at 6:43 PM

…from the federal government as well as some carrots and sticks to actually get all their citizens insured.

So Romney says he will only use every power in DC except an actual mandate to force government health care.

No Thanks!

RJL on May 11, 2011 at 6:54 PM

“Or, I’d wager, the contents of his sons’ hard drives.
cynccook on May 11, 2011 at 4:53 PM”

Yep. If Huck gets the nom, it’s gonna be ‘fun’ watching the MSM grill him about one of his sons being a porn addict.
I bet Huck will get Larry Flint’s and Hugh Hefner’s votes in open GOP primaries.

JimP on May 11, 2011 at 7:14 PM

I do not favor the federal mandates that are part of Obamacare.

When is a mandate, not a mandate?

Answer: When it’s a waiver….bought and paid for.

Don L on May 11, 2011 at 7:19 PM

No to Mittens.

CatoRenasci on May 11, 2011 at 8:21 PM

What’s fascinating is that before Medicare/Medicaid, before the federal government allowed pre-tax write-offs for health insurance, before all that… people were not dying in the streets. People apparantly got health care in a timely fashion. No one complained that health care was unaffordable as physicians, hospitals and other providers could arrange this thing known as a ‘payment plan’.

Plus a percentage of the time spent by hospitals, doctors and other health care providers was done free as a charitable giving to the poor and needy.

‘Health insurance’ was this thing known as a ‘perk’ to executives because it was: expensive to provide.

When WWII rolled around and those who had started to ‘retire’ or otherwise didn’t work, businesses asked for ‘help’ to offer perks to individuals, of which ‘health insurance’ was a biggie. The war went away, but the provisions in the tax code live on. Yet, while provided to only a minority of all workers, it remained relatively affordable… it is when government seeks to expand the provisioning of health care via government fiat do things start to go very wrong.

Yet, when the average working family couldn’t afford ‘health insurance’ they still got this thing known as ‘health care’. And the cost of the actual care, as a percentage of income, stayed the same… the cost of ‘insuring’ people and then not paying physicians and hospitals fully via government ‘help’ meant that those costs had to rise for those without insurance…. thus the problem is government ‘help’ not the cost of medical care.

How about we take out the middle-man, take out the tax write-off, and support charitable giving by doctors, hospitals and other health care providers, instead, so that affordable care can be figured out between those in need and those doing the providing? That worked pretty well, back in the day. Before Progressives got their fingers in the pie…

ajacksonian on May 11, 2011 at 9:09 PM

BocaJuniors on May 11, 2011 at 6:09 PM

You are using an awful lot of Lefty rhetoric. You might want to reconsider.

The problem is that a huge part of the country doesn’t have health insurance and is essentially mooching off the rest of the country when they get care.

No. That is not the problem. The problem is that healthcare is expensive. And the highest users of the most expensive care (emergency rooms) are NOT the uninsured. It’s the lower end of the insured: Medicaid. People without insurance don’t go to the ER, the bill would be astronomical, so they stay home. That causes its own problems, but cost is not one. People with insurance who can’t get in to see a doctor are the ones who drive the costs. Mandates only increase this cohort.

Romney on the other hand explained that in Massachusetts they had actually assembled data and there were a lot of people who just mooched off the system.

Then Romney is either an idiot who doesn’t know what the true cost drivers are, or one who buys into liberal talking points in order to appear reasonable. My money is on the latter.

What’s the alternative? Let people die? That’s what we campaign on?

Lib talking point alert. The alternative uses the power of the free market to lower actual health care costs. The cost of insurance will go down if costs go down. The alternative puts money and control in the hands of consumers. Consumers are much better at finding good deals and eliminating waste.

alwaysfiredup on May 11, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Maybe he though “mandates” was 2 words. At any rate, he cannot square any of this, so he may as well not even waste the money.

SouthernGent on May 11, 2011 at 9:32 PM

ajacksonian on May 11, 2011 at 9:09 PM

alwaysfiredup on May 11, 2011 at 9:22 PM

EXACTLY

AH_C on May 11, 2011 at 11:22 PM