Can't we just turn Congress off and then turn it back on again?
Though I doubt you will agree with my conclusions, hopefully you can respect what I have to say as an intelligent response.
Given the audience of this Friend of the Court Brief, I assume (I think rightfully) this is the Heritage Foundation's best argument in distancing itself from the notion that it endorsed the individual mandate. As I suspected, however, their argument is nuanced. As I did not expect, their argument was remarkably weak.
As to the nuance, pages 8 and 9 of their Brief says that unlike the PPACA, they only supported the mandate for catastrophic coverage and only to the extent there were tax credits. Sorry, but this is an argument of form, not substance. I am not sure what the substantive distinction is between forcing someone to buy catastrophic coverage vs. broadening that to essential coverage (with the argument about what is essential); nor to I find substantive distinction between tax credits vs. other tax benefits afforded participants in the PPACA.
As to how weak the argument is, they never deny that the mandate was their idea. In fact, The Heritage Foundation admits it. Instead, they are forced to diminish its significance by trivializing it. Instead offering of litany of papers, speeches or other documents that refute the original idea since 1989, they instead fall on saying that the idea of a mandate was derived from an individual speech by, what they almost imply as a low level staffer and ,by the way, taken out of context and occurred 21 years ago. Their whole argument is to downplay the introduction of the mandate. In that, they admit it. They can not deny the fact, so they are forced to deny its significance. Then, when telling us they have long-since changed their position, their argument here is also very weak. It seems the earliest cite for this change of way was 2006, some 17 years after it was introduced. Contrary to what many would have you believe, there is NO evidence that they retracted their position for 17 years. Curiously, the first evidence for their backpeddling was in 2006, curiously, is the year it was actually implemented in Massachusetts.
Meanwhile, during the time the Heritage Foundation did not deny the mandate, the Republicans chose to embrace it. In 1993, Senators Hatch and Chafee introduced legislation to reform the healthcare industry the individual mandate as its central tenant.
Hatch supported individual health mandate until Obama did
Understanding health care reform: The individual mandate | ksl.com
Summary Of A 1993 Republican Health Reform Plan - Kaiser Health News
Then, of course, in 2006, Massachusetts, under the leadership of then Republican governor Mitt Romney, actually implemented a healthcare reform with the mandate as its core.
All in, this Friend of the Court brief is extremely weak. It does a better job of affirming my original assertion than it does to deny it. To recap, the Heritage Foundation admits it was behind the idea, and is asking for forgiveness of its sin having become enlightened 17 years later (and 13 years after it was a centerpiece of Republican led legislation). The first evidence within their brief that they challenged the constitutionality of it was in 2009, curiously as the PPACA was in its final stages of legislative approval.
Again, it safe to assume this is the Heritage Foundation's best argument to say it had nothing to do with the current PPACA. Given the dates that the Heritage Foundation cites in its cross references, the Brief is remarkably transparent. Collectively, the document is so weak that it better serves to affirm that they were, in fact, a part of the PPACA family tree.
Again, thank you. Next time someone tells me (the other guy) how it is widely known the the Heritage Foundation dismissed its own creation of the mandate as unworkable, I have good evidence that was not so, and that they are simply changes colors like the rest of the Conservative chameleons.
If the PPACA is a crime, the Republicans fingerprints all over it make them at least an accessory.
Last edited by upsideguy; 10-04-13 at 01:16 AM.