So it turns out that Carly Fiorina supported the individual mandate, as championed by the Heritage Foundation so many years ago. CNN’s Chris Moody has video of Fiorina seeming to endorse the idea as recently as 2013.
Team Carly isn’t disputing the details. As Moody reports,
She was agreeing with the Heritage proposal, which said that there would be some type of catastrophic care requirement — set up a little like auto damage liability insurance — aimed at reducing taxpayer costs of unexpected ER visits,” Fiorina spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores told CNN. “Not what Obamacare required, which is actually high end insurance coverage.”
Indeed, a Heritage Foundation proposal in the 1990s advocated for a mandate — although one that required a lower threshold of services than Obamacare ultimately did years later. And former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney ushered through a law while governor of Massachusetts that required all state residents to have health insurance.
Personally, I’d prefer using refundable tax credits to incentivize coverage, but that’s just me. The real question is whether or not this revelation — which might have been greeted as apostasy a few years ago — will hurt her, politically. And my gut is that it won’t.
First, Obamacare isn’t the dominate issue that it was even a year ago. For good, or ill, it has receded. The things that outraged us yesterday don’t pack the same punch today. Second, the last Republican nominee didn’t just theoretically support the individual mandate — he enacted it in Massachusetts.
And lastly, if the rise of Donald Trump has taught us anything it’s that conservative litmus tests and philosophical purity take a back seat to an outsider who’s willing to fight hard and tell it like it is.
In a world where you can give money to Hillary Clinton, invite her to your wedding, and still be seen as a conservative folk hero, this revelation ought to be greeted with yawns, right?