With the top contenders for the GOP nomination fighting over who’s a conservative, I thought it might be appropriate to talk about the individual mandate, a provision in Obamacare and Romneycare mandating that individuals purchase a minimum level of health-care coverage or pay a stiff fine.
Republican candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have both argued at one time or another that individual mandates within health-care reform reflect conservatism. They have both suggested that individual mandates bring about personal responsibility, but I’m at a loss for how government-dictated policy brings that about. Romney still defends this approach, Gingrich has since backed off of it.
Frankly, it seems that “technocrat,” rather than “conservative,” might be a good label for both candidates, because it seems that each of them are competing to be the best manager of efficient government rather than a leader in reversing the outrageous growth of the federal government and its deficits. In fact, their approach to government seems pretty similar to what the so-called “conservatives” advocate for in many Western European nations.
Conservatism is basic in its philosophical basis: achieving the proper balance between liberty and government. There is no logical way one can connect individual mandates within health-care reform to principles of conservatism. However, both Gingrich and Romney have tried to do just that. Compelling a citizen to purchase health insurance under the penalty of law is certainly not personal responsibility, and it is definitely not conservatism in action. Only activist judges with contempt for the founders’ vision of the Constitution could consider such a law constitutional.
With so few health insurance companies in the market today because of extreme regulatory burden (welcomed by these same corporations to prevent competition), the only winners via the individual mandate favored by Romney, and formerly by Gingrich, will be the multi-billion dollar health-care providers. Not surprisingly, these conglomerates donate lavishly to candidates from both parties and spend millions of dollars lobbying lawmakers at all levels.
Typical Crony Capitalism. And you can thank the Ruling Class for that.