Home Social Issues Cuccinelli Speaks to Conservative Group that Pushed “Individual Mandate”

Cuccinelli Speaks to Conservative Group that Pushed “Individual Mandate”


Speaking recently at The Heritage Foundation’s President’s Club meeting in Washington, DC, “{Ken} Cuccinelli argued both that the mandate is an overreach of federal power and that states like Virginia are right to challenge the law’s constitutionality.” That’s great, just one problem: the Heritage Foundation practically invented the individual mandate, as an alternative to the hated “employer mandate.” Here’s their reasoning; wonder what Cooch thinks of it!

The second central element-in the Heritage proposal is a two-way commitment between government and citizen. Under this social contract, the federal government would agree to make it financially possible, through refund able tax benefits or in some cases by providing access to public-sector health programs, for every American family to purchase at least a basic package of…medical care, including catastrophic insurance. In return, government would require, by law every head of household to acquire at least a basic health plan for his or her family. Thus there would be mandated coverage under the Heritage proposal, but the mandate would apply to the family head, who is the appropriate person to shoulder the primary responsibility for the familys health needs, rather than employers, who are not EFFECTS OF THE HERlTAGE.PROPOSAL By no longer restricting tax relief for medical care to employer-provided plans, and by restructuring tax assistance to help those Americans most in need, the Heritage proposal significantly would improve the American health system. Among the most important effects 1)Good health care not dependent on employers. Employees would be able to acquire health coverage for their families, and obtain government tax help to pay for it, wherever they happen to work. Casual or part-time workers, employees of small firms, or dependents of workers those who comprise a major share of the uninsured -would receive a refundable tax credit based on health costs compared with income exactly the same form of government assistance to buy health services as Americans working in large firms Thus the Heritage proposal would solve much of the current uninsurance problem.


This Heritage Foundation idea, the now-hated (by Republicans) “individual mandate,” was then adopted by Congressional Republicans like Sen. John Warner (R-VA), by Mitt Romney (“People have to take personal responsibility. I consider it a conservative plan.”); and even Newt Gingrich. But now, because it’s part of what’s been labeled a Democratic plan (only because Republicans have been completely obstructionist, hypocritical, and hyper-partisan about this), the “individual mandate” is suddenly evilsocialistcommiepinkokenyanmuslimevil. If it weren’t so serious, the only appropriate response to all this would be hysterical laughter and mockery. In fact, that’s not such a bad idea, come to think of it, for the people who advocated the “individual mandate” but are now cheering Cooch’s crusade against it. You couldn’t invent satire better than this if you tried.

  • Glen Tomkins

    Don’t expect people on the Right in this country to be at all embarrassed by this shift in what health care financing changes they support.  And no, my point today is not that they are beyond shame, etc, as true as that might be in many instances.

    A very basic tenet to their beliefs, is that this country has long groaned under the heel of Socialist rule.  Once you accept that idea, as looney as it might be, you can easily appreciate that they will find it easy to abandon the health care financing measures that they supported 20, 10, even 5 years ago.  Their support for an individual mandate 10 years ago was the best deal they thought they could rescue from the imagined Socialist tide of that time.  The alternative seemed to be Medicare for All, Single Payer.  They were very clear then, as they are now, that ideologically, they considered programs like Medicare and SocSec to be Socialist, much as they had to admit that it was politically impractical to go after them at that time.  The best they could hope for was to keep Medicare from being generalized to all ages, and an individual mandate seemed the best way to accomplish that.

    Well, the political climate is different now.  They no longer feel that they have to support an individual mandate as the last bulwark against Medicare expansion.  So of course they have dropped that support, which was only ever tactical.  That’s hardly hypocritical, supporting some policy prescriptions for purely tacitcal reasons.

    But what non-crazy people in this country, I mean, those of us who do not feel that FDR and Johnson were socialists, need to understand, is that hypocrisy among our opponents in the other party is the least of this country’s worries.  I’m not defending them when I point out that they are True Believers, not hypocrites.  

    Shame is the tribute that Vice pays to Virtue, and it was a good thing that they were once ashamed (okay, maybe just afraid, but same good effects) to openly oppose the existence of Medicare and SocSec.  It’s not a good thing that they no longer feel the need to pay these programs lip service.  And what their present opposition to the individual mandare is all about, is not killing that mandate.  It’s about killing Medicare and SocSec.

    I would not mourn in the least if the mandate were to go away.  While I don’t think that it is at all unconstitutional, I think that it is bad policy and worse politics.  I say, “not unconstitutional”, because it is a far less aggressive use of the Commerce Clause than the way both Medicare and SocSec are funded.  If the courts that the other side has spent two generations assiduously packing with Federalist Society stooges decide that the mandate is too aggressive a use of the Commerce Clause, the object that these partisan judges will have in mind will not be the demise of the mandate.  

    SocSec and Medicare are on the chopping block.  Repeal by activist judges is the only way the other side could have gotten rid of these programs safely, so that’s the method they have chosen.

    I wish that hypocrisy was the worst and most dangerous thing you could accuse these people of.  

  • Catzmaw

    ignorant, ideological dumbass to actually notice, let alone worry, about the conflict between his position now and the Heritage Foundation’s position then.  Of course, he’s just got the same form of dementia as the rest of the conservosphere, because they’ve ALL forgotten that the individual mandate was invented by them, not the liberals.