Perhaps you remember the 90s: a simpler time, when you could live without ambition, sleep until eleven, and go to clown college. It was also a time when Republicans supported an individual mandate in healthcare; a mandate which would provide coverage to most Americans. A mandate that looked a lot like the successful one in Massachusetts. If you do remember this, I’m afraid you must report immediately to Miniluv.
In the distant fog of memories you should not have, the individual mandate was the preferred conservative approach:
The individual mandate, as it is known, was seen then as a conservative alternative to some of the health care approaches favored by liberals — like creating a national health service or requiring employers to provide health coverage.
Even the Heritage Foundation thought the mandate was a good idea, and we all know what pissy assholes they can be!
Not surprisingly, however, Republicans have attempted to distance themselves from their former positions on healthcare; Newt Gingrich recently characterized his support of the mandate as the only alternative to “Hillarycare.” Poor Newton, what was he to do? Who can blame him, though, when all the alternatives were doubleplusungood?
But Democrats were wary of such a mandate, and after the defeat of Clinton’s healthcare initiative, the mandate languished; the occasional candidate brought it up, though it was never seriously considered.
Then, as it often does, the political climate changed, and healthcare was again an important issue. This change, coupled with the success of the mandate in Massachusetts, spurred Democrats to embrace the idea of the mandate. And naturally, because our political system has the maturity of a 5 year-old child, the Republicans wanted no part of it:
Many conservatives changed their minds too, however. Some of the Republican senators who once supported versions of the individual mandate railed against Mr. Obama’s plan. Mr. Romney, despite signing a similar plan into law in Massachusetts, has made a pledge to try to “repeal Obamacare” central to his presidential campaign.
It would seem that even Mittensus was not immune to Room 101. Which is plusgood, because if you’re going to be a Republican president, you’ve got to be goodthinkful.