Making Sense of Mandates

For the most part, I’ve avoided writing about politics on this blog, sharing my opinions instead in 140 character bursts on Twitter. But since tweets seem to be more ephemeral than blog posts, I’m preserving a few salient ones in amber by embedding them below.

This exchange occurred during the second Florida GOP debate last night. Rick Santorum had just snapped at Mitt Romney over the mandate that Romney’s health care law in Massachusetts imposed (state residents either needed to buy health insurance, or pay a fee to help offset the cost of any care hospitals would be obligated to give them if they got sick or injured).

Since Bill Grivno’s preferred alternative — changing the law so hospitals can deny care to the indigent — is well outside the Overton Window in the US (and probably in every other first world country as well), attacking Mitt Romney for introducing mandates in Massachusetts seems pointless and counterproductive. I can see how it makes tactical sense to use the mandate issue to challenge the Constitutionality of Obama’s health care plan, in order to repeal it because of other, objectionable, aspects of it, but substantively, it’s hard to argue against the logic of a mandate to buy health insurance.

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