Politics & Policy

Did Daniels Previously Support the Individual Mandate?

The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein highlighted today a passage from a 2003 news story which indicated that Mitch Daniels supported an individual health care mandate at the time. From the South Bend Tribune:

The candidate [Mitch Daniels] 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.

Under his plan, Daniels said, the nation could get away from the inefficient and unfair way in which health care is provided to those who are uninsured, many of whom end up in emergency rooms or “at clinics like this one.”

Jane Jankowski, a spokeswoman for Daniels, said that the governor does not support an individual mandate.

 “Governor Daniels favors giving every American a tax credit individually so they can purchase insurance that is right for them,” Jankowski told National Review Online. “He believes nearly all would use it, so coverage would be nearly universal. He does not support a mandate.”

Jankowski added that opposition to an individual mandate “has always has been the governor’s position.”

“I don’t believe in mandates,” Daniels said in a radio interview with Michael Smerconish  earlier today. “We took a very, very different approach here in Indiana, more or less health saving accounts for low income people.”

Daniels added that he didn’t agree that “as a matter of either good health care policy or, frankly, our constitutional liberties, that government at any level should be ordering Americans to buy a given product.”

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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