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That Mandate

Aside from being my bad pun to describe a guy's night out, Reihan Salam sees the mandate as something else altogether:
The individual mandate is a rhetorical device. To pay for a new health entitlement, we need to impose a tax. But to mask the cost of the new health entitlement, the president and his allies chose a more complex structure. That’s really all there is to it. The federal government can very easily offer everyone health insurance, and it can offer a choice of private insurance providers through an exchange. This is roughly what happens in a number of advanced market democracies. Yet if the individual mandate is found unconstitutional, the federal government will have to do this through a more transparent and coherent vehicle.

[snip]

There are some writers, including Matt Miller of the Washington Post, who insist that the individual mandate is essential to the preservation of a private insurance system. But one wonders if a system centered around an individual mandate is any more private than a system in which public dollars are used to purchase insurance from various private providers. As I understand it, food stamps haven’t destroyed the private marketplace for foodstuffs.
I like the food stamps analogy.
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However, I don't think that many average Joes (plumber or not) are going to buy into any of this while people are still referring to the entitlement as a "mandate".

I wonder what the political conversations sounded like in the lead-up to the creation of Social Security in 1935...