Until recently, support for an individual mandate to purchase health insurance was the dominant Republican idea. As I pointed out a few days ago, Republicans including Mitt Romney, Mitch Daniels, and Newt Gingrich are now becoming embarrassed by having to flip-flop on their former health care positions. Add Jon Huntsman to the list:
… Huntsman was “suggesting Utah should mandate health coverage for residents,” according to a July 12, 2007, Salt Lake City Weekly piece.
An August 11 Salt Lake Tribune story described the governor’s ambitious reform this way: “John T. Nielsen, who is working with the Governor’s Office in spearheading legislation for the plan, would mandate that all Utahn have health insurance through a nonprofit exchange that would facilitate the purchase of insurance.”
In his 2007 state of the state address, Huntsman pressed for at least a mandate on insuring children. “In addition to the children, there are hundreds of thousands of uninsured adults,” he said.
Reading the full report, Huntsman did appear to be ambivalent regarding mandates, but he did consider their use in a conservative state. It wasn’t until this was on the verge of being passed by a Democratic administration that mandates became an unthinkable intrusion upon individual liberty by hypocritical Republican politicians.