Health Insurance News

December 6, 2011 by staff 

Health Insurance NewsHealth Insurance News, What do Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, the leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, have in common? Long before President Obama even entered the Oval Office, both men supported an idea they now pretend to spurn — the idea of requiring people to buy health insurance.

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 health care 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.

And it is not even good politics.

A CNN poll taken in November found that support for the individual mandate rose to its highest level yet, with 52 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed. The previous poll taken in June found that 54 percent opposed it and 44 percent supported it. That shift to support for the individual mandate is likely to grow as more parts of the overall Affordable Healthcare Act go into effect over the next two years.

At the moment, polling results on the overall national health care reform plan range from support between 38 percent and 40 percent and opposition between 44 percent and 48 percent (Quinnipiac and Kaiser Family polling). That split is pretty good for a plan filled with so many unknowns.

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