The individual mandate provision of the healthcare law will be the focus of the arguments today before the Supreme Court. It’s the one thing the opponents of the law — mostly Republicans — have been focusing on, claiming it is what makes the law so terrible because it forces people to have health insurance. It’s socialism; it’s big government gone wild. But as the Washington Post notes, it’s also a Republican idea.
The individual insurance mandate, which requires virtually all Americans to obtain health coverage or pay a fine, was the brainchild of conservative economists and embraced by some of the nation’s most prominent Republicans for nearly two decades. Yet today many of those champions — including presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich — are among the mandate’s most vocal critics.
Rachel Maddow has a segment on this ironic twist as well.
I have a suggestion for President Obama and his administration: after long and thoughtful reflection, the president should come out against reproductive choice, against same-sex marriage (oh, wait…), and against the individual mandate in the healthcare law and work to repeal any provisions in the laws that allow them. Then the GOP will do their pirouette, come out in favor of a woman’s right to choose, they’ll be all over same-sex marriage as tremendous boost to the economy, and backed by the insurance lobby, they’ll be sure that everyone in America has some kind of health insurance from the moment they’re born. After all, if the president is against something — no matter what — they’re for it.
As a side note, I wonder how many of those senators and congresspeople who are standing up for so much freedom from government intrusion into the healthcare of Americans and speak out so vocally about retaining one last shred of freedom are also in favor of transvaginal sonograms for women seeking an abortion.