Iowa’s Republican Senator Orin Hatch used to support the individual mandate. When Clinton was trying to pass healthcare, he and fellow Republicans came out with a bill that was pretty much the same thing as the bill that was just passed.
Hatch was one of the first opponents to Obamacare because of the unconstitutionality of the mandate. The change of support is supposedly based on two things. First, the presented bill was meant only to derail Clinton. Second, he realized later that it was in fact an unconstitutional thing to do.
Forgetting the constitutional issue, Hatch admitted that he and fellow Republicans acted politically to defeat the Clinton bill. The response was not based on cooperation but in defiance. Does this seem familiar?
How does this not make the actions and rhetoric of the Republican party an exact copy of what they did 17 years ago? This, to me, further proves that they did not reject Obamacare on principal or ideology, but on political grounds. By demonizing the bill and continuing to do so, they are acting in the interest of their political careers and not the people they represent. Somehow, they are able to convince some that they are doing this because they want it, but it is a top down imposition of values.
People voted in a president and congress who campaigned on healthcare reform. In the debates for the primaries, all that was spoken about was healthcare reform. While many voted in rejection of Republican party values, they choose Obama and a majority in both chambers to pass health care. Anyone who voted for Obama and was surprised might want to think about doing some homework for this November.
What is most shocking, is the fact that there has been such strong reactions to a president doing exactly what he wanted. This is not Socialism or a tyrannical take over of America, this is a president doing what he said he would do. I wish that he stuck to more of his promises and am not surprised that he has come up short; but it is just that, Obama has been short of what he promised. Not too far.
Here is Hatch interviewed by Andrea Kramer about his change of heart: