Monday, April 2, 2012

Bill Clinton: You Know Who Started Individual Mandates? The Founding Fathers

Luke Russert interviewed former President William Jefferson Clinton on the Daily Rundown this morning, and I was struck by this exchange about whether insurance mandates in the 2010 Health Care Reform bill are constitutional. Most defenders of the bill have been desperately pointing out that ten to twenty years ago, Republicans -- such as the likely 2012 nominee -- favored the individual mandate, but Clinton takes it back further:

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"I don't think it was unconstitutional in any way, shape, or form. Even in the 1790's, there were mandates. George Washington mandated that shipping companies insure their employees; he signed a bill mandating that able-bodied citizens have firearms in their homes because they thought the British were coming again. John Adams signed a bill to mandate that individual seamen have hospitalization insurance. You know, to me, it's hard to take the constitutional argument seriously."

And while no government is forcing anybody to purchase broccoli these days, I seem to recall that certain municipalities have seen fit to require people to buy guns.

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