GOP Can't Deny Past Support of Individual Mandate

Long before President Obama promoted the idea, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney supported requiring people to buy health insurance, writes the Hill columnist Juan Williams.

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Recent GOP presidential debate (Getty Images)

In his column at the Hill, Juan Williams writes that leading Republican presidential contenders Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney supported the idea of requiring people to buy health insurance long before President Barack Obama. Now that it's unpopular, they cannot deny their past support of the individual mandate in order to win the nomination, he writes. 

As recently as 2009, Romney publicly supported, the “individual mandate” for buying health insurance. And as recently as last month one of Gingrich’s websites still endorsed the “mandate” for all Americans earning more than $50,000 annually.

Romney and Gingrich are not alone in their history of supporting the idea of a government requirement that everyone buy health insurance. As governor of Utah in 2007, Jon Huntsman endorsed a healthcare reform plan from the United Way of Salt Lake City that called for a mandate.

“I think if you’re going to get it done and get it done right, the mandate has to be part of it in some way, shape or form,” he said at the time.

Gingrich, Romney and Huntsman are wide open to charges of political hypocrisy.

They apparently feel the need to fake their outrage over the individual mandate to win the GOP nomination. In an age of outrageous political posturing -- telling lies and daring anyone to call you on it -- this is the strongest indicator of the current lack of leadership and honest political debate about major national problems.

Read Juan Williams' entire column at the Hill.

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Sept. 19 2014 8:34 AM