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Monday, September 7, 2009

Hillary Had A Mandate For Mandates

If Hillary Clinton were President, things would be quite different. For one, Hillary would have a mandate for health care mandates, which are the key to Democratic health care restructuring.

Everyone focuses on the public option, but the public option is a mere necessary component of a system in which everyone is forced to purchase health insurance. The public option is intended to provide a low cost product for those who cannot afford private insurance under a mandate. Without a public option there can be no mandate. The fact that a public option may undermine the private health care insurance system matters not to those seeking a mandate; all that matters is that everyone is covered.

I am against mandates and the public option, and in favor of free market reforms which empower individual consumers to shop for health care services the same way consumers shop for other services and products.

But if Hillary were President, the fight against mandates and the public option would be tougher because Hillary campaigned on a platform of mandates. Were Hillary President, she could claim with a straight face that she and Democrats in Congress had a mandate to impose mandates.

Barack Obama can claim that he has a mandate to impose mandates, but he cannot do so with a straight face. Obama campaigned on a platform of no mandates. Obama repeatedly pointed out during the primaries that the key difference between his health care plan and Hillary's health care plan was that Hillary had mandates, but Obama did not (see video below).

So the President who made a point in the campaign to argue against mandates, now is the mandate President. It doesn't work that way, as the Obama administration is finding out.

Related Posts:
Obama Was Against Compulsory Health Insurance, Before He Was For It
IRS The New Health Care Enforcer

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  1. Paul Rahe of Hilldale College makes a fascinating point about how the 17th amendment detached the US Senate from the state legislatures. If all US senators were beholding to the states for their tenure, it would be very difficult for federal mandates on states to get into law. I doubt the states would tolerate deficit spending either.

  2. Nice catch there and I agree mandates are the necessary requirement for restructuring for the Dems. It is interesting to watch that clip again. Obama's plan was essentially put into legislative language in the Senate HELP bill. That was a disaster in the CBO analysis. When he goes on about 8:20 in the clip about his controlling costs etc, he was talking out his posterior. As much as I disagree with her, Clinton comes across as far more knowledgeable here.

  3. The fact of the matter is that Clinton, despite her many flaws, had a far better knowledge of running the country than the "Candidate".

  4. This is a very dangerous period because Nationalization will still occur even without an overt government run insurance plan like this "public option" provision everyone keeps fixating on - everything else contained in the plan is just as dangerous and is not being discussed in any kind of a targeted manner.

    Here are the core elements what will be contained in the “health care reform compromise” after the so-called “public option” is in all likelihood dropped; both the Bacus and Wyden-Bennett bill contain all of these items:

    (a) Federal Regulation aka HEALTH CZAR/DEATH PANELS/RATIONING
    (b) Employer/Individual Mandates aka NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE
    (c) Government Subsidies aka MIDDLE CLASS MEDICAL WELFARE

    With the Federal Government setting the rules, forcing everyone to participate, and is paying the bills for most of the middle class through subsidies how is this anything other than Nationalization?

    And it’s clearly a government take-over of health care – only the names are changed to make us feel better about the arrangement. Since the government will be controlling the market and setting the terms, health insurance companies will essentially quasi-governmental agencies that get to administer the plan. They will be controlled in the same manner as GM or CITIGROUP and will be private in name only.

    The common thread in all of the so-called "compromise" or bi-partisan plans is the Individual Mandate to force people to buy government dictated health insurance. This needs to be the focus for conservatives now!

    I would strongly advocate to conservatives in the Media/GOP elected officials that they stress three very simple messages:

    (1) The Individual Mandates need to be opposed and need to be the center piece of the opposition message - they are the most political unpopular feature of the Obamacare plan and they hold the whole scheme. Simply put, there is no government takeover without Mandates.

    (2) Health Insurance Companies need to be called out for receiving Bailout money and a Monopoly Market. Health Insurance execs are politically unpopular and this would put the GOP/Opponents on the side of the people and not the special interests. We conservatives have a responsibility to defend the concept of insurance and free markets but not the current government and special interest distorted market.

    (3) Obamacare is a corrupt bargain that benefits big government, powerful Washington politicians, big union, and big companies/industry at the expense (once again) of the taxpayer, small business, the elderly, and the young.

    Particularly, Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate need to understand this as many of the “compromise” plans being discussed contain all of these elements. They need to be forced to go on record as not only opposing the “government option” but these Employer/Individual Mandates too before they fall into the trap of thinking they are acceptable and not government run health care.
    Individual Mandates to buy private insurance sound like a “free market” solution and “individual responsibility” but in this context they are not – they are simply a front for a government run system. Again, the common thread in every liberal/statist health care bill is the Individual Mandate. To see it in action, look no further then how these Mandates in MA work to give government full control and to skyrocket costs. Many conservatives can be easily fooled by this faux “private” front (Mitt Romney was) – there needs to be united conservative opposition to Mandates now!