Sources: Huntsman once kinda sorta supported a health-care mandate for Utah

posted at 9:26 pm on May 20, 2011 by Allahpundit

The latest in a continuing series of HuffPo reports aimed at nuking Republican centrists in the primary by tying them to ObamaCare’s most radioactive element. Yesterday it was Daniels’s turn, but they didn’t find much — just a single eight-year-old news story that didn’t even include a direct quote about the mandate from the man himself. Today Daniels’s team produced a copy of his 2004 health-care platform that appears to debunk the story definitively. There’s no mention of a mandate in it; in fact, comically, HuffPo itself refers to yesterday’s story near the end of today’s Huntsman piece as having been based on, er, “assertions.”

This one, though, is more interesting.

Sundwall accepted the job. As soon as Huntsman was sworn in, the administration convened a group on health care to hash out a reform plan. They met for regular dinners at the house of a supporter who lived near the governor’s residence. The group concluded, Sundwall said, that you couldn’t do reform without a mandate.

The governor, he added, signed on to the idea. “He was supportive,” Sundwall said. “It was something he would have liked to have happened.”…

Judi Hilman, executive director of the nonpartisan Utah Health Policy Project, also hasn’t forgotten Huntsman’s support for requiring individuals to buy health insurance. “He did want the mandate. He certainly had advisers around him that understood none of this works without a mandate,” she said…

Hilman said the governor and some legislators were particularly enthralled with Romney’s overhaul of his state’s system. “His interest piqued when the Massachusetts reforms came together,” Hilman explains. Huntsman and legislators “saw it as this product that came out of the Heritage Foundation. They really loved this idea,” he added.

Rarely do I ask you to follow a link and read the whole thing, but I’m asking now. The story’s too long and involved for me to do justice to it in a fair-use-worthy blockquote. Both Huntsman himself and his top aide John Weaver deny that he ever firmly pushed a mandate on the state legislature, and that appears to be true. Allegedly he made a presentation to the legislature based partly on Romney’s plan — but they hated it, so he dropped it. Said Huntsman, in non-denial denial mode, “As governor, you’ve got to explore every approach, every policy option there is. You’d be disingenuous as a leader if you didn’t.” To which HuffPo replies: Okay, but what would have been the outcome had Huntsman faced a liberal legislature, as Romney did in Massachusetts? Touche.

No one will care about this unless/until JH is as much of a threat to win the nomination as Romney, but he’s already stumping in New Hampshire and could be a thorn in Mitt’s side in a tight race with Pawlenty and/or Daniels. And if he is, and ends up hammering Romney on RomneyCare, rest assured that you’ll be reading this story again courtesy of Team Mitt eight months from now. Here’s a snippet from this morning’s GMA of Huntsman being asked whether he’d vote for Paul Ryan’s budget, including the Medicare provisions. Given that people have been stomping on Gingrich’s face for the past five days for answering this same question incorrectly, I think Huntsman knew which way to go.

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Who cares? Huntsman isn’t even a player in this.

Seriously – he’s about as relevant to the Republican voter as John Anderson was in 1980.

HondaV65 on May 20, 2011 at 9:30 PM

“As governor, you’ve got to explore every approach, every policy option there is. You’d be disingenuous as a leader if you didn’t.”

I wonder if Palin, as governor, considered a healthcare option for Alaska.

Puntsman says you must to be a good leader.

davidk on May 20, 2011 at 9:31 PM

To me, Huntsman is the political love child of Charlie Crist & Mitt Romney. He ran to Obama during his popularity like Crist, and is an opportunist like Romney.

portlandon on May 20, 2011 at 9:33 PM

Huntsmen Who!(sarc)

The MSM is poaching,its almost Election Hunting Season,
sorry for da pun!!

canopfor on May 20, 2011 at 9:35 PM

Is it just me or does Huntsman look exactly like the guy from Ally McBeal?

Kataklysmic on May 20, 2011 at 9:41 PM

This guy makes Charlie Christ look like a statesman, and less orange.

TXUS on May 20, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Seriously, who is Huntsman again? /

This guy is a non-starter, won’t get out of the gates!

bluemarlin on May 20, 2011 at 9:43 PM

I can’t even look at this dude without getting the willies.

cynccook on May 20, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Looks slippery to me, sounds slippery too.

Bishop on May 20, 2011 at 9:49 PM

He may not stand a chance as a presidential candidate, but he’d be a shoo-in for mayor of Whoville

notropis on May 20, 2011 at 9:50 PM

he’s about as relevant to the Republican voter as John Anderson was in 1980.

HondaV65 on May 20, 2011 at 9:30 PM

less

AshleyTKing on May 20, 2011 at 10:08 PM

he’d be a shoo-in for mayor of Whoville

notropis on May 20, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Aw, come on, the mayor of Whoville was a git’er done kind of guy.

AshleyTKing on May 20, 2011 at 10:11 PM

Seriously, who is Huntsman again?

bluemarlin on May 20, 2011 at 9:43 PM

I know this is unscientific and no reflection of AP’s writing ability but just look at how few comments this thread has after 30 minutes. Compare that with the above CK/Cain thread already triple the comments. I’m not saying that’s a direct measurement of the lack of passion HA readers (and other conservatives) have for Hunstman, but I’d be willing to bet it’s a small part. Seriously, why should we care about him — don’t get me wrong, this is not a knock on AP posting the thread — more of a question for Hunstman himself: Why you?

LastRick on May 20, 2011 at 10:12 PM

I know this is unscientific and no reflection of AP’s writing ability but just look at how few comments this thread has after 30 minutes. Compare that with the above CK/Cain thread already triple the comments. I’m not saying that’s a direct measurement of the lack of passion HA readers (and other conservatives) have for Hunstman, but I’d be willing to bet it’s a small part. Seriously, why should we care about him — don’t get me wrong, this is not a knock on AP posting the thread — more of a question for Hunstman himself: Why you?

LastRick on May 20, 2011 at 10:12 PM

It is like a thread would be posted titled “Buddy Roemer once supported a health-care mandate in Lousiana”.

Nobody would really care, because Roemer is not a serious candidate and will never be the nominee. Same story with Huntsman. Just because fossil RINOs like George Will proclaims Huntsman to be a “serious candidate” doesn’t make it so.

Norwegian on May 20, 2011 at 11:25 PM

This litmus test is really getting silly.

Huntsman is proving himself everyday.

Reagan Republican on May 20, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Things are getting warmer for Huntsman.

AGW?

profitsbeard on May 20, 2011 at 11:48 PM

Huntsman is proving himself everyday.

Reagan Republican on May 20, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Um, I missed that. What did he do?

AshleyTKing on May 20, 2011 at 11:48 PM

Seriously. Is this the guy we want to lose to Obama?

ronsfi on May 21, 2011 at 12:04 AM

Sources: Huntsman once kinda sorta supported a health-care mandate for Utah

Huntsman is a non-starter.

And anyone who even “kinda sorta” supported either socialized medicine or cap & trade is dead to me.

UltimateBob on May 21, 2011 at 12:17 AM

Um, are we talking about the same Huntsman that served in the Obama administration?

Why is anyone talking about this guy seriously again?

Even if you personally think it doesn’t matter, it pretty much rules him out as someone with any chance for the nomination.

Up till now, I didn’t think there was anything that could sink a candidate’s chances in the primary faster than “I supported something resembling Obamacare.” I guess I neglected to consider “I served in Obama’s administration.”

RINO in Name Only on May 21, 2011 at 12:27 AM

Suddenly, Mitt doesn’t look quite so out of touch.

The problem of free riders shifting the costs of their health care onto everyone else is still there without a mandate.

Anybody got another solution? I don’t want government run health care. Maybe it’s time to start telling people if they had means to insure themselves and didn’t get it, they won’t get treatment. That’s an ugly thought, but so is the idea that people would be so irresponsible.

I think that we have developed an entitlement mentality that lets people assume it’s OK to take without paying for it. Part of the answer must be to cut government spending on entitlement programs and shrink it back to the point where the leeches can’t hide.

flataffect on May 21, 2011 at 1:08 AM

Romney is such a poison. He not only poisoned the well with Mittcare, but that polluted every other well in the country. Heritage Foundation, other state legislatures, now Obamacare. How is he even taken seriously as a GOP candidate let alone a frontrunner is beyond my comprehension. He should be run out of town.

promachus on May 21, 2011 at 1:28 AM

90% of scientists don’t care.

chimney sweep on May 21, 2011 at 1:28 AM

Huntsman looks like Mr. Rodgers.

petunia on May 21, 2011 at 2:18 AM

Reagan Republican on May 20, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Get behind me RINO!

I agree, he’s up there on my list right now. Him, Rick Perry and (falling) Mitch Daniels seem to be the best bets. Rick Perry’s probably my least favorite of the three, but he seems to be the best mix of ability to win the nomination and the White House.

galenrox on May 21, 2011 at 2:29 AM

Besides his family, who cares about this enabler of the obamanation?

Gohawgs on May 21, 2011 at 4:30 AM

None of it works without a mandate.

And, more importantly: none of it works WITH A MANDATE either.

Stop subsidizing health care, let the market find its true cost level, and get the bureaucrats from the government out of the way so we can see the cost of the bureaucracy of the insurance companies and judge, for ourselves, if insurance is worth the cost. The Iron Law of Subsidies is at play in health care, just as it is in ethanol and they both have unintended consequences on actual cost, cost shifting and risk that go far and away beyond the thing subsidized… and makes what is subsidized under-valued and over-utilized, thus raising the primary cost of what is subsidized no end.

ajacksonian on May 21, 2011 at 7:40 AM

it just shows most politicians of every ilk have no problem mandating big government. the widget they’re selling and supporting themselves with IS government. few republicans or democrats have a problem gaining more power over their constituents. and they say whatever is expedient at the moment to pursue their own interests.now the mandate is poison for the right so they seek to reject it or pray is stays smothered under a pile of their bs.

free riders were never the biggest issue confronting health care in this country. it was/is just an insurance company boondoggle seeking to justifying the purchasing of their product being mandated by law on their own sweet, ever so profitable terms. an excuse, not a solution, for making the government their thug enforcers. it never could and was never meant to stop the marginal amount of ‘free riders’ nor does it address bigger, more costly problems like outright fraud, tax payer funded care for illegals, and the lack of transparency in health care in general. health care and health insurance does not operate on the free market and that is the biggest cost inflator- not willard’s ‘free riders’ mirage. why not laws against the marginal free riding instead of sweeping , unconstitutional laws that will ruin the country financially, violate civil rights, and decimate the health care system?

insurance company executives rule over the romenycare mandate machine in MA- the ” Health Connector”. they determine who can and can’t afford insurance in the state. insurance company executives decide whether to grant waivers here for the insurance mandate- like that isn’t a conflict of interest. they rarely give them out . the state enforces their decisions on who must buy their product and exactly how much of it they must buy ( of course they themselves determine how much of their product is considered enough to satisfy the legal requirements for being insured).

those with state funded insurance are better off than working/middle class people ‘too rich’ for government subsidies but too poor to afford spending more than their rent not on health care but on mandated health insurance premiums dictated by insurance companies, enforced by the state through the tax system.

that’s called wealth distribution and a fantastic scam to enrich insurance companies at the expense of the health of a nation. it has nothing to do with ‘ free riders’. republican socialist scum is still socialist scum.

mittens on May 21, 2011 at 7:45 AM

that’s called wealth distribution and a fantastic scam to enrich insurance companies at the expense of the health of a nation. it has nothing to do with ‘ free riders’.

THis.

Which is why, if we can’t create a free market system to force insureres to compete on a level playing field, a single payer system would be better than the mess called Obamacare.

rickyricardo on May 21, 2011 at 8:04 AM

Huntsman buys the Gore-Bull Warming Hoax as if it were real.
Game over.

HammerNH on May 21, 2011 at 8:05 AM

A minor irritant: Last week we were told Newt said he would have “voted” for Ryan’s plan. Now we have Huntsman saying the same thing. But neither of them can vote for anything at present, nor would they be “voting” for anything as President, so it’s totally meaningless. Endorse, support, any number of words can be used, but “vote” is not one of them.

Buy Danish on May 21, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Huntsman makes Obama look relevant. Huntsman is the biggest joke ever played on the republicans by the mainstream media. He is so weak its embarrassing to even the whining liberals that love “smart” empty suits.

volsense on May 21, 2011 at 9:16 AM

For me personally Huntsman has the same arrogance, noblesse oblige that Romney does. He appears to feel that he “knows better” than we little people because he is so much more educated, so above the scrabble of real life. I heard him on some program talking about how he had written a “thank you” note and how it was so important to do those things. No problem but he just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to snipe about how GWB probably had a very thin file of them. IMO a classless snark.

katiejane on May 21, 2011 at 9:37 AM

katiejane on May 21, 2011 at 9:37 AM

First, do you understand the meaning of the phrase “noblesse oblige”? I’m skeptical, as you seem to think it means ‘looking down on the little people’ Keep in mind that Mitt has attacked Obama for having a presidency which resembles a monarchy – without hypocrisy on his part.

Second, can you please give specific examples of Romney behaving in a hoity toity manner? Saying he has the “appearance” of something is merely a figment of your imagination unless you can provide concrete examples of snobbery on his part.

Buy Danish on May 21, 2011 at 9:53 AM

he ain’t gonna be the guy……………

just the fad of the LSM day………

RealMc on May 21, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Mormonism is full of mandates.

Jussayin.

Akzed on May 21, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Huntsman is the biggest joke ever played on the republicans by the mainstream media.
volsense on May 21, 2011 at 9:16 AM

It must make them laugh that the guy can generate even the meager conversation he does.

rrpjr on May 21, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Huntsman makes Obama look relevant. Huntsman is the biggest joke ever played on the republicans by the mainstream media. He is so weak its embarrassing to even the whining liberals that love “smart” empty suits.

Liberals are actually very scared of Huntsman because they know he can win. All of this irrational contempt for him reminds me of the birth certificate nonsense. We saw how well that worked out.

Reagan Republican on May 21, 2011 at 2:31 PM

All of this irrational contempt for him…
Reagan Republican on May 21, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Nothing irrational about it. It’s good, solid contempt. And the Left is so scared of him, they can’t stop hawking him. Right. You don’t spend much time politics, do you?

rrpjr on May 21, 2011 at 3:42 PM

You don’t spend much time politics, do you?

I’ve been following politics seriously for nearly twenty years.

In point of fact, the left is attacking Huntsman. HuffPo has a hit piece out already.

Reagan Republican on May 21, 2011 at 3:55 PM

The point isn’t that they don’t attack him, it’s that he is advanced as a serious candidate in various forums. He is not a serious candidate, and does not have a serious chance. But that some would have us consider him so is about as clear an indication of his lack of threat as one can find.

rrpjr on May 21, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Huntsman is a liberal-inspired leftist plant. It’s obvious that his only goal is to assure that the Democrats win.

landlines on May 21, 2011 at 11:40 PM