One would think Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, mandate would be a win-win for both parties. After all, it was the Republicans’ concept and championed by the Heritage Foundation, an American conservative think-tank based in Washington, D.C.
The individual health insurance mandate originated in 1989 at foundation. In 1993, Republicans twice introduced health care bills that contained an individual health insurance mandate. Advocates for those bills included prominent Republicans who today oppose the mandate, including U.S. Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and former Sens. Robert Bennett (R-Utah), and Christopher Bond (R-Mo.). In 2007, Democrats and Republicans introduced a bipartisan bill containing the mandate. Our two parties were still of one mind.
In fact, on April 12, 2006, as governor, Mitt Romney signed the Massachusetts health reform law, commonly called “Romneycare.” It requires Massachusetts residents to buy health insurance coverage or face escalating tax penalties, such as loss of their personal income tax exemption. It was lauded by Republicans and Democrats alike.
Enter President Barack Obama. In fashioning his affordable health care, he used as a template the health care plan instituted in Romney and which had been so positively acclaimed by both parties.
It appears amnesia has set in. It is sad to see such hypocrisy, destructive partisanship and commitment to “no to President Obama,” even if it means voting against your own ideas. They could say, “See, we were so far ahead of the curve that Obama was forced to adopt our position.”
Rather, their turn around on health care would make a ballerina’s pirouette seem as if she had been rigamortis-ed.