Republicans are up in arms about the requirement in the new health care law that all Americans must obtain health insurance. But the mandate is actually an idea that GOP lawmakers and the conservative Heritage Foundation have advocated for years, Associated Press reported. Some GOP lawmakers began calling for individual mandates in 1993 as a free market alternative to the Clinton health reform plan. As late as last August, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said that “Republicans believe in individual responsibility.” An individual mandate is also central to the Massachusetts health reform plan pushed by former GOP Gov. Mitt Romney. In 2006, Romney described the mandate as “a personal responsibility principle.” On the flip side, President Obama opposed the individual mandate when he was a candidate for president, saying that insurance was too expensive to force people to buy it.
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