As the political drama over federally mandated and funded healthcare drags on and on, citizens are left scratching their collective heads wondering why there seems to be little political energy or consensus even among Republicans to do what they promised. They promised to repeal this massive piece of legislation that reportedly gobbled up one sixth of the nation’s economy, pushed many premiums to record levels and removed personal choice from patients as never before; none of which the federal government has any enumerated authority to do since this is an issue reserved to the States to solve. Why can’t they seem to move in a Constitutional direction? Because federal control of healthcare has been a hobby and goal of the federal government and both political parties for a long, long time. Consider the following verifiable historical nuggets:
1974 Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan proposed by Republican Richard Nixon that every employer would be mandated to offer all full-time employees the Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan.
1975 Democrat Paul Rogers declared: “Today the Subcommittee on Health and the Environment begins its consideration of national health insurance–a concept which was articulated more than 25 years ago by President Truman …
1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, or EMTALA/ COBRA passed under Republican Ronald Reagan mandated hospitals provide emergency care for all, including illegals.
1989 Stuart Butler of the Republican think tank, The Heritage Foundation, proposed a plan he called “Assuring Affordable Health Care for All Americans” Stuart Butler’s plan included a provision to “mandate all households to obtain adequate insurance” Butler use the justification of seatbelt laws and car insurance.
1992 The Jackson Hole Group led by Paul Ellwood, Alain Enthoven, and Lynn Etheredge created a policy proposal (Managed Competition) which included an employer mandate and subsidies.
1991, Mark Pauly and Patricia Danzon, of Wharton School and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania; Paul Felstein, University of California, Irvine, Graduate School of Management; and attorney John Hoff created a proposal for Republican George H.W. Bush called A Plan for Reasonable National Health Insurance that included an individual mandate.
1993 Democrat Bill Clinton combined the Jackson Hole Group’s managed competition with Canada’s single payer system in his Universal Healthcare proposal.
1993 Health Equity and Access Reform Today Act (HEART) was introduced in the Senate by Republican John Chafee and co-sponsored by 19 Senate Republicans, including Christopher Bond, Bob Dole, Pete Domenici, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Richard Lugar, Alan Simpson, and Arlen Specter. The HEART Act proposed subsidies and an individual mandate.
1993 Republican Phil Gramm proposes Medical Savings Accounts to fight against the idea of mandates.
1993-2011 Republican Newt Gingrich supports individual mandates. “I’ve said consistently that we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance, or you post a bond, or in some way you indicate you’re going to be held accountable.” Gingrich, May 2011 “Meet the Press.”
1994 Republicans Don Nickles and Cliff Stearns Consumer Choice Health Security Act mandating a federally defined minimum level of health insurance coverage, with 24 Republican co-sponsors including Newt Gingrich.
2006 Republican Governor Mitt Romney with Heritage Foundation Director of the Center for Health Policy Studies Robert Moffit and Heritage Senior Fellow Ed Haislmaier develop RomneyCare which included individual and employer mandates.
2008 Democratic Presidential candidate Barak Obama denounces mandates.
June 2009 “I believe that there is a bipartisan consensus to have individual mandates,” Republican Chuck Grassley
2009 Romney health-care advisers and experts, Johnathan Gruber, Jon Kingsdale, John McDonough frequent the White House to help develop Obamacare.
2010 ACA passes, Exempt from the health insurance law: president and family, Congress and families, justice dep and families, Supreme Court and families, federal judges and families, 1,200 corporations and unions.
March 2010 Johnathan Gruber tell the Boston Globe “Obamacare would never have passed had Romney not made the decision in 2005 to go for it. He is in many ways the intellectual father of national health reform.”
Why does it seem that we are stuck with the federal government in our health choices for the foreseeable future? Why do we get so many excuses? Remember the multiple votes to repeal Obamacare when the GOP knew there was no shot at it succeeding? Where’s the fire now that there is a shot at it succeeding? It almost makes you think those votes were just a show. It almost makes you think that the game is politics and this is how it’s played: Oppose it when you can’t stop it, don’t stop it when you can. Talk tough, but play it safe and keep your job (a.k.a. pension, luxury, benefits, celebrity status, power…).
Now that repealing Obamacare is a real, viable possibility, where are all those Republicans who were singing the songs of gloom and doom in 2010? Where are all the Republicans in Congress who said, “Never Obamacare!” Why does it look so much like they are fighting each other, yet they always end up at the same end goal? Why does it seem that we are stuck with some form of Obamacare no matter what? Well…judging from their history, because both parties to one degree or another have always wanted Obamacare.
See who voted against Obamacare in 2010 and compare with their position on repeal today. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/111-2010/h165