Oh my: Did Mitch Daniels support a health-care mandate in 2003?

posted at 6:38 pm on May 19, 2011 by Allahpundit

Alternate headline: “Suddenly, Newt Gingrich having only the second-worst week among major candidates.”

You know who this helps? I think you do.

An item in the South Bend Tribune from October, 23, 2003, on a campaign stop Daniels made to a health clinic, reported:

The candidate said he favors a universal health care system that would move away from employee-based health policies and make it mandatory for all Americans to have health insurance.

Daniels envisioned one scenario in which residents could certify their coverage when paying income taxes and receive a tax exemption that would cover the cost.

“We really have to have universal coverage,” Daniels said.

Under his plan, Daniels said, the nation could get away from the inefficient and unfair way in which health care is provided to those who are uninsured, many of whom end up in emergency rooms or “at clinics like this one.”

Aspiring to universal coverage is one thing, aspiring to do it via a mandate is another. (Remember how The One was anti-mandate during the 2008 campaign despite wanting to make coverage universal or near-universal? Odd how no one brings that up anymore.) Looking to torpedo Daniels right out of the gate, HuffPo conducted a “lengthy search of the governor’s various statements on health care policy” over the years; apparently, this was the only example they found of Daniels allegedly endorsing the mandate, and even here there’s no direct quote to confirm that he was actually saying what the reporter thinks he was saying. Which is surprising: After all, the mandate wasn’t nearly as radioactive on the right until ObamaCare exploded and the constitutional arguments against a free-floating Commerce Clause power of compulsory purchases began to sharpen. For instance, I don’t remember Romney’s endorsement of the mandate being a major strike against him in 2008, especially in comparison to his abortion flip-flop. You would think more Republicans would have long-ago flirtations with the idea on their records somewhere. (And of course, some do.) With Daniels, this one piece is it — so far.

Reached for comment this afternoon by NRO, his office assured them that he supports using tax credits to help people buy insurance, not mandates. Mitch the Knife himself addressed the subject in a radio interview later:

“I don’t believe in mandates,” Daniels said in a radio interview with Michael Smerconish earlier today. “We took a very, very different approach here in Indiana, more or less health saving accounts for low income people.”

Daniels added that he didn’t agree that “as a matter of either good health care policy or, frankly, our constitutional liberties, that government at any level should be ordering Americans to buy a given product.”

If he’s serious about running — and judging by this story, it sounds like he is — he’d better have staffers trawling Lexis/Nexis exhaustively for any “troubling” prior quotes on this subject. The base is already suspicious of him, I think, especially given his ostentatious support among the dreaded Republican elite, so any bombshell revelations in his past involving conservative heresies will do major damage, needless to say. You don’t suppose Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty have 10 or 20 or 1,000 people digging on him right now, do you?

Via Breitbart, here he is in 2009 (at 2:45) insisting he wouldn’t subject himself or his family to the savagery of presidential politics. In other news, he told the Indy Star today that he’ll reach a decision on whether he’s running for president by month’s end.


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My point was, and remains, that there is a difference between a mandate and a tax incentive, and that those who blur the ditinction are doing a disservice to the debate.

SwampYankee on May 20, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Yet no one on this thread ever asserted that there wasn’t a difference between mandates and tax incentives.

steebo77 on May 20, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Hello? The title of Allah’s post is “Oh my: Did Mitch Daniels support a health-care mandate in 2003?” and he procceds to call Daniels’ tax incentive plan a mandate repeatedly. Similarly, numerous commenters assailed Daniels for supporting a mandate when he never did any such thing.

Sorry, but I don’t have time for more of this. I have a rapture to catch.

Good day.

SwampYankee on May 20, 2011 at 4:40 PM

a disingenous, dishonest hack who loves to play fast and loose with the facts, hurl insults, and eschew any serious debate.

steebo77 on May 20, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Only, as I predicted, there is no serious debate here. I was wrong on a trivial point. You admit right here that you admitted right here that you were completely full of BS on the substantive matter of Daniels’ non-support of a VAT. Of course when the next Daniels thread comes around you’ll just repeat the discredited charge. That is just part of why I consider your nonsense so beneath my time.

MJBrutus on May 20, 2011 at 4:44 PM

You admit right here that you admitted right here that you were completely full of BS on the substantive matter of Daniels’ non-support of a VAT.

FIFM

MJBrutus on May 20, 2011 at 4:45 PM

You admit right here that you admitted right here that you were completely full of BS on the substantive matter of Daniels’ non-support of a VAT.

MJBrutus on May 20, 2011 at 4:44 PM

I did, did I?

steebo77 on May 20, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Only, as I predicted, there is no serious debate here.MJBrutus on May 20, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Not like there was at dKos, huh?

kingsjester on May 20, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Hello? The title of Allah’s post is “Oh my: Did Mitch Daniels support a health-care mandate in 2003?” and he procceds to call Daniels’ tax incentive plan a mandate repeatedly. Similarly, numerous commenters assailed Daniels for supporting a mandate when he never did any such thing.

SwampYankee on May 20, 2011 at 4:40 PM

According to the paraphrase of his 2003 remarks, Mitch did at one point support a mandate. Allah never conflates tax incentives with mandates (where, specifically, do you think he does?). And, while Daniels never implemented a plan with a mandate, why shouldn’t we be able to argue the merits of the actual plan that he did implement?

steebo77 on May 20, 2011 at 4:51 PM

For what it’s worth, I wish Mitch a speedy recovery and hope that this will not delay an announcement of his decision any further:

Mitch Daniels hurt, gets 16 stitches to forehead

steebo77 on May 20, 2011 at 5:14 PM

Steebo, I was going to post that link. Daniels hit by a swinging door at his fitness center.

BLAM!!!!! Whoopsie.

Seriously, I hope the guy got good medical treatment so there won’t be a scar. Best wishes. Can you imagine how the person who slammed him with that door feels? Zowie.

karenhasfreedom on May 20, 2011 at 5:36 PM

If mitch gets in he will be my man.

TomLawler on May 21, 2011 at 1:22 PM

As long as everyone on the right continue to pick nat shit out of pepper we will never defeat Obama. As as long as we conserevatives do not stand together it will be imposible to defeat Obama. I pray daily for a forum where people can come together and discuss the best chance to WIN.

TomLawler on May 21, 2011 at 3:57 PM

I am in South Bend and I was the conservative talk show host in this town. I have been quoted in the South Bend Tribune by their reporters several times. EVERY time I was misquoted or what I said was spun into something that could be straw-manned, every time.

Chuck Norton on May 22, 2011 at 1:15 AM

Take a good look at that face folks. He announced he is Out of the Running for 2012. He will fade back into oblivion with no one missing him.
Daniela out
Huckabee out
Trump out
Christie out
Cain in
Pawlenty in
Johnson in
Paul in
Santorum in
Michele Bachman – who cares
Palin – Not in yet. Just wait til she announces. The purses will open.
Palin/West or Palin/Bolton

lonestar1 on May 22, 2011 at 3:13 AM

Daniels Out.

Linky: http://tinyurl.com/42pd2tb

He might be welcome in the Palin Administration, though he has some major fixing to do in Indiana right now.

Jimmy Doolittle on May 22, 2011 at 3:29 AM

Daniels Out.

Jimmy Doolittle on May 22, 2011 at 3:29 AM

That’s a real shame. The only thing close to a grown up left in the GOP field is T-Paw and that’s being generous. Party time in the West Wing :-(

MJBrutus on May 22, 2011 at 7:07 AM

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