Smitty has recently linked to a Heritage Foundation page trying to distance itself from the mandate in the health insurance act of 2010
. It isn't a surprise that they would want to try to make it look like the mandate wasn't their idea, as it is wildly unpopular with their base. What is surprising, though, is how epically they failed in distancing themselves from it.
For example (from the actual article):
I held the view that as a technical matter, some form of requirement to purchase insurance was needed in a near-universal insurance market to avoid massive instability through âoeadverse selectionâ (insurers avoiding bad risks and healthy people declining coverage). At that time, President Clinton was proposing a universal health care plan, and Heritage and I devised a viable alternative.
My view was shared at the time by many conservative experts, including American Enterprise Institute (AEI) scholars
That rather plainly shows that indeed people in the Heritage Foundation wanted a mandate. Reading on...
the version of the health insurance mandate Heritage and I supported in the 1990s had three critical features. First, it was not primarily intended to push people to obtain protection for their own good, but to protect others. Like auto damage liability insurance required in most states, our requirement focused on âoecatastrophicâ costs â" so hospitals and taxpayers would not have to foot the bill for the expensive illness or accident of someone who did not buy insurance.
Isn't that the same kind of "herd mentality" that they are demonizing the democrats over right now?
Second, we sought to induce people to buy coverage primarily through the carrot of a generous health credit or voucher, financed in part by a fundamental reform of the tax treatment of health coverage, rather than by a stick.
And the supreme court ruled that the mandate in the 2010 bill is, indeed, a tax. The stick analogy does not hold here.
And third, in the legislation we helped craft that ultimately became a preferred alternative to ClintonCare, the âoemandateâ was actually the loss of certain tax breaks for those not choosing to buy coverage, not a legal requirement.
... same as above.
So in other words, the Heritage Foundation acknowledges that the mandate in the Health Insurance Industry Bailout Act of 2010 is a facsimile of what they wanted. They can pretend that they somehow did not have a role in the crafting of this lousy bill, but they cannot show that they have not advocated for what it does.