During the presidential campaign, most people have forgotten, President Obama was opposed to the individual health insurance mandate, using the idea in particular to trash Hillary, who supported it. Just a month after being elected, he started signaling that well, on second thought, he might support it too.
The video below was produced by Crossroads, which is the group founded by Karl Rove that will pump millions into the presidential race for things like this, As well as massive TV advertising to support Republican candidates. It’s partisan, but the thrust of the video is accurate.
What it leaves out, of course, is that the mandate was originally a Republican idea, and still was considered such when Mitt Romney created Romneycare just six years ago.
The thinking was that you could marshal market forces to solve the coverage problem by forcing everyone to buy their own insurance instead of creating a government program.
Conservatives began to recoil at the idea when they realized two things. First, while seeking to tap the market, the scheme forgot about the other conservative ideal – freedom. It was a market, but not a “free” market – you were forced to participate.
The other problem is that the insurers under the plan are being regulated to such an extent that they will become like government utilities. And, unable to earn much profit with all the rules they must obey, they’ll start going out of business while consumers will either get dumped into Medicaid or be forced to deal with increasingly few health insurance conglomerates.
These essentially government-controlled enterprises will either become the de facto single-payer Nirvanah liberals have always coveted, or they themselves we go out of business and be replaced by an actual government entity.
So the other thing conservatives forgot is this: Be careful what you ask for. You may run into a powerful Democrat who will ditch his past opposition and give it to you.