Tag: Bradley Latino

The Individual Mandate, a Brief History — Part I Conservative Origins

In recent years, politicians of every stripe have eaten their words about the wisdom of requiring all Americans to possess health coverage. This hasn’t been real news since the 2007 Democratic primary debates, when candidate Obama claimed his reasons for opposing the mandate were similar to those expressed by Hillary some 15 years ago.

A few years later it was President Obama’s turn. And by 2010, the entire Republican party performed a synchronized heel-face turn, virulently opposing the solution they advocated decades earlier. All of this culminated with the recent passage of the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act” in the House, by which point the mandate had become a 21st century Intolerable Act.

The media have dutifully reported each foible as if such strategic backpedaling were something new under the sun. But the 22-year path to ACA § 1501(b) is a story in its own right, a sort of philosophical history of American health reform policy.

Part I – The think-tank solutions (1989 – 1992)

Back in the late 1980s, the individual mandate wasn’t controversial at all–just another idea being kicked around in conservative think tanks. Although economist Mark V. Pauly, an adviser to the first Bush administration, is often cited as the mandate’s creator, conservative thinkers Stuart M. Butler and Edmund F. Haislmaier were dreaming up similar proposals at the Heritage Foundation as early as 1989.Continue reading…