As Ezra wrote earlier today, the mandated purchase of health insurance was central to many Republican health policy proposals for about two decades, up until the mid-2000s. So perhaps it isn’t surprising that Republicans do a pretty good job defending a policy that routinely polls as unpopular: They’ve had a lot of time to practice. Mitt Romney has won accolades from liberals for his defense of Massachusetts’ mandated purchase of health insurance this campaign season.
Buzzfeed now unearths this video of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich defending the mandated purchase of health insurance back in 2008. As David Frum tweets, “Gingrich is actually pretty darn convincing on the merits of the individual mandate!”
While Gingrich and Romney were out defending the individual mandate in 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama was, meanwhile, out campaigning against it. For even more on mandates, check out our Wonkblog guide to where the Republican candidates stand, or have stood, on the issue.