This isn’t a flash back. This is today. Mitt Romney is again declaring the foundation of Obamacare, the individual mandate, “conservative.”
To be sure, it is conservative that one takes responsibility for their own healthcare. But the conservative solution is not to force Americans to buy a product. Forcing Americans, through penalty of law, into purchasing or refraining from purchasing a product is not and will never be conservative.
What’s conservative? Well, if the person doesn’t want insurance, don’t let them get out of paying their medical bills through bankruptcy. But forcing them to buy insurance? Not only is it not conservative, we can see in Massachusetts that health care costs have continued to go up as has the cost of government.
So not only is Mitt Romney‘s plan not conservative, it does not even work.
By the way, for those who want to obfuscate on the federalism issue, yes, this is a federalist issue. It is perfectly legitimate for Massachusetts under its constitution to do this when it is not permissible for the federal government to do it under Article I, Section 8. But just because something is constitutional or not does not make it conservative. Constitutional and conservative are not exactly the same things.