Here’s the problem with the healthcare debate. Republicans do not want to have a debate. They want to kill the legislation by any means necessary. They want to kill Obama’s agenda no matter what his agenda is. If Obama wanted tax cuts for the rich, the Republicans would oppose it. If Obama wanted to permanently repeal the Estate Tax, Republicans would oppose it, too.
From Political Animal:
It’s been surprisingly easy of late to chronicle the many instances in which congressional Republicans have announced their opposition to ideas they support. From a deficit commission to PAYGO, cap-and-trade to a financial industry bailout, civilian trials for terrorist suspects to stimulus aid for their districts, it’s become routine for Republicans to embrace and reject the same proposals, almost at the same time.
On an individual mandate as part of health care reform, Karen Tumulty noted this morning that Republicans “oppose their own idea.” She referenced this piece from NPR’s Julie Rovner.
For Republicans, the idea of requiring every American to have health insurance is one of the most abhorrent provisions of the Democrats’ health overhaul bills.
“Congress has never crossed the line between regulating what people choose to do and ordering them to do it,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). “The difference between regulating and requiring is liberty.”
But Hatch’s opposition is ironic, or some would say, politically motivated. The last time Congress debated a health overhaul, when Bill Clinton was president, Hatch and several other senators who now oppose the so-called individual mandate actually supported a bill that would have required it.
In fact, says Len Nichols of the New America Foundation, the individual mandate was originally a Republican idea. “It was invented by Mark Pauly to give to George Bush Sr. back in the day, as a competition to the employer mandate focus of the Democrats at the time.”
If we could expect consistency and intellectual seriousness from GOP lawmakers, it would be almost bewildering.
Over the summer, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told Fox News, “I believe that there is a bipartisan consensus to have individual mandates…. There isn’t anything wrong with it.” A few months later, he used individual mandates as an excuse to oppose reform, and voted for a resolution characterizing mandates as unconstitutional.
Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Bob Bennett (R-Utah), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) all declared their opposition to an individual mandate in December. All five of them are on record co-sponsoring a reform measure that included an individual mandate.
The point here is not just to highlight the bizarre inconsistencies of Republican opponents of health care reform. This is also important in realizing why bipartisanship on health care has been quite literally impossible — Republicans are willing to reject measures they’ve already embraced, and ideas they themselves came up with.
All the Democratic outreach and compromise options in the world can’t overcome the fundamental lack of seriousness that comes with a party that opposes and supports the same ideas at the same time.
ok so some Republicans at one time supported individual mandates, realized it was a bad (and probably unconstitutional) idea, and abandoned it in favor of allowing Americans freedom of choice.
Democrats support individual mandates, and are willing to imprison those that do not comply.
hmmm, I wonder which party has the best interests of the people in mind?
Sen BoB Bennett is running for office this year and doesn’t support his own plan he wrote. Utah has decided to pass a law to not allow ANY changes to the current Medicare or Medicaid coverages unless the legislature and govenor pass a law. Now that is what you can call government taking over healthcare. They already cut what they want to in coverage. But if the AMA gets approval for new drugs and procedures. We will need to write a LAW and have 3/4 of the legislature and governor to agree to it. Now that is our republican state.
Utah has come up with their own plan to solve the issue of small companies not being able to get insurance coverage. They set up a CO OP which is 150 % higher than what other small businesses are charged. They could only get 8 companies to be the guinea pigs.
They are getting compensated for being in this program just to get the quirks out. Small number of people enrolled makes it too high for everyone else.
It is a gross understatement to say some Republicans. It is like saying some Americans liked Michael Jackson.
So while President Clinton was pushing for employers to cover their workers in his 1993 bill, John Chafee of Rhode Island, along with 20 other GOP senators and Rep. Bill Thomas of California, introduced legislation that instead featured an individual mandate. Four of those Republican co-sponsors — Hatch, Charles Grassley of Iowa, Robert Bennett of Utah and Christopher Bond of Missouri — remain in the Senate today.