Obama seems worried. He is trying to snuff out the next fire before it gets started. I’m referring to mandates. I was surprised that Obama spent much of his "full ginsburg" rebuffing the notion that insurance mandates are taxes.
I was surprised because that line of attack has not received much traction. It’s as if the Democrats are so shell-shocked by their message failure that they decided to jump the gun to control the spin on mandates. All Obama did was put the issue on the table.
Obama’s full ginsburg came as details on the mandate are being released. Many people ignorantly assume insurance mandates refer to insurance companies, not individuals. I saw this in Massachusetts. The rest of the country has a rude awakening coming.
Maximum fines for failing to obtain health insurance will be $3,800 for families and $950 for individuals. The cost of being forced to purchase health insurance is unknown, while the quality of care remains in question.
What is known is that many people are struggling to make ends meet and have become much more conscientious about spending. Even though this bill does not go into effect for years, mandates should make some voters, especially young people, think twice.
The idea of health insurance reform sounds nice to the young and ill-informed until the financial realities hit home. Many young people don’t have health insurance because they have a sense of invincibility, rarely get ill, and don’t have families. But now their wallets and their liberties are under assault.
To make matters worse, there are issues involving enforcement. In Massachusetts, penalties are levied by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. If conservatives want to scare voters, they should push the enforcement issue. The thought of empowering the IRS or any other federal enforcement body will undoubtedly cause further hemorrhaging in support.
If the Democrats are going to implement mandates that lighten wallets and relinquish liberties, one might assume that there is some consensus that mandates are necessary and worthwhile. Not really. Obama himself opposed mandates during the election:
The reason she [Hillary] thinks that there are more people covered under her plan than mine is because of a mandate. That is not a mandate for the government to provide coverage to everybody. It is a mandate that every individual purchase health care.
And the mailing that we put out accurately indicates that the main difference between Senator Clinton's plan and mine is the fact that she would force, in some fashion, individuals to purchase health care.
If it was not affordable, she would still presumably force them to have it, unless there is a hardship exemption, as they've done in Massachusetts, which leaves 20 percent of the uninsured out. And if that's the case, then, in fact, her claim that she covers everybody is not accurate.
Now, Senator Clinton has not indicated how she would enforce this mandate. She hasn't indicated what level of subsidy she would provide to assure that it was, in fact, affordable. And so it is entirely legitimate for us to point out these differences.
Another campaign promise from Obama goes down the drain.
Obama’s own words, the financial repercussions for millions and the loss of liberty to all could make the issue of mandates the next big pitfall for Obamacare, which may explain why Obama was eager to dismiss the mandate issue.
Perhaps the Democrats are tired of getting whupped and wanted better message control from all the major news outlets. It shouldn't matter. Republicans should seize the mandate issue. It’s a political winner.