Historical Republican support for health care legislation

It may not matter to David Snyder what you call it, but know what it is, though, does matter. The new health care law, recently affirmed by the Supreme Court, carries a mandate requiring everyone to purchase health insurance. Those failing to do so will be assessed a penalty to be paid through the Internal Revenue Service. This penalty will help defray the health care costs of those who have not accepted the financial responsibility for those costs. For the rest of us, there is no penalty.

This mandate had been at the core of Republican health care reform for 20 years. It was originally the idea of the conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation. It was put forward in 12989 as an alternative to single payer systems. It appeared legislatively in 1993 in the Health Equity and Access Reform Today Act, which was sponsored by 18 Republicans in response to President Clintons efforts.

In 2006, Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden and Republican Sen. Bob Bennett produced the Healthy Americans Act. This bill was enentually co-sponsored by 11 Republicans and nine DEmocrats. This bill was built around the individual mandate.

In 2009, Mitt Romney said of the Wyden-Bennett Bill that a number of Republicans think is a very good health plan, one that we can support.


By 2012, the Republican position was that it was unconstitutional.

Did the Republicans spend two decades pushing something that they knew was unconstitutional? Or are they just trying to wreck every Democratic effort at governing so they can blame the wreckage on them?

Richard Turkington

West Grove