Here’s a video of Senator Chuck Grassley, the senior Republican on the Finance Committee and one of the main Republicans working on the health care bills, endorsing “individual mandates” — requiring individuals to carry health insurance or face a penalty:
In the video, Grassley claims there is bipartisan consensus on requiring an individual mandate, saying as recently as a month ago “That’s individual responsibility, and even Republicans believe in individual responsibility.” It is not surprising that Republicans would endorse an individual mandate, since requiring people to purchase insurance would mean more money in the bank for the insurance industry.
Which is why the latest Republican attack against health care reform is all the more hypocritical. According to the Wall Street Journal:
Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the Finance Committee’s senior Republican, said the mandate is among the reasons that he couldn’t support the bill despite months of negotiations with Mr. Baucus. “Individuals should maintain their freedom to chose health-care coverage, or not,” he said.
Jon Kyl, the Senate’s second ranking Republican, called it “a stunning assault on liberty”.
So much for bipartisan consensus.