Did Mitch Daniels endorse the individual mandate in ’03?

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Mitch Daniels might be the new Newt Gingrich.
The Huffington Post today reports on an October 23, 2003 South Bend Tribune article recounting Daniels health care prescription for Indiana.

Here’s an excerpt from the South Bend Tribune article:

The candidate said he favors a universal health care system that would move away from employee-based health policies and make it mandatory for all Americans to have health insurance.

Daniels envisioned one scenario in which residents could certify their coverage when paying income taxes and receive a tax exemption that would cover the cost.
“We really have to have universal coverage,” Daniels said.

I agree with his point about moving away from an employee-based system, but most conservatives would have a harder time swallowing his apparent support of mandates.  As The Washington Examiner’s Phil Klein observes: “this apparent past support for a form of a federal mandate is legitimately alarming and warrants greater scrutiny.”

This strikes me as yet another example of how Republicans from the Bush (and pre-Bush) era are tied to baggage and will likely continue to be tripped up by inconsistencies.

Matt K. Lewis