Yet another Republican presidential candidate supported the mandate. I've said it before, but it's worth repeating since it often gets lost in the health care debate: The individual mandate was a long-standing Republican idea. It was the central plank of many Republican health care reform proposals over the years...right up until the moment a Democratic president wanted to include it in his health care reform.It's true that -- unlike Obama's and Romney's plans -- the bill Huntsman signed into law in 2008 did not include a mandate requiring health insurance or many rules compelling citizens to participate in the government-facilitated health plan exchange.
But it would have looked far different if Huntsman had his way, according to interviews with leading players in Utah politics. They said the former governor actually favored a mandate, but ran into fierce opposition from the conservative state legislature.
Huntsman Was For Health Care Mandate Before He Was Against It
NONE of this faux-outrage about the individual mandate has anything to do with ideology, or constitutionality, or even federalism. It has to do with conservatives not liking the fact that Barack Obama signed it into law.
Here's an incomplete list of Republicans and conservatives who have supported an individual health insurance mandate, until they felt they could score more political points by opposing it. Let's start the list off with the ones who are running for president:
The Heritage Foundation
George H.W. Bush
Kay Bailey Hutchison
Now I don't believe for one second that all of these people suddenly had a change of heart and saw the light at precisely the moment that Obama proposed health care reform. The brouhaha over the individual mandate is absolutely, 100% political pandering and has nothing to do with some deep-seated conservative principle.