The HEART Act attracted 19 Republicans as sponsors or co-sponsors, including Chafee, Bond and Dole, who was then the Senate minority leader, plus a number of ranking Republicans on Senate committees -- Mark Hatfield of Oregon (appropriations), Pete Domenici of New Mexico (budget), John Danforth of Missouri (commerce), Orrin Hatch of Utah (judiciary) and Nancy Landon Kassebaum of Kansas (labor and human resources).
Nineteen Republicans is not a trivial number, and the fact that many members of the Senate Republican leadership signed on is noteworthy. Still, 19 represented less than half of the GOP conference at the time, and the list of co-sponsors includes many of the party’s moderates. The idea was less popular among conservatives in the party. For instance, Nickles, one of the four pictured in the Facebook post, was not a co-sponsor.
The Times, in a June 23, 1994, story on the later Chafee effort, called it the "moderates’" proposal.The newspaper reported that Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, one of the GOP’s leading conservatives, said that any plan that "got his support and that of most Republicans" would not "guarantee anything." And not having a guarantee of coverage would have meant not having an individual mandate.
This jibes with the recollections of Gail Wilensky, a health care economist at Project HOPE, an international health foundation. Wilensky directed Medicare and Medicaid from 1990 to 1992 and served as a senior health adviser to President George H.W. Bush.
"I do not remember Republicans, especially conservative Republicans, embracing individual mandates," Wilensky said.