Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have already been blasted for their support of the individual mandate. But now Mitch Daniels, the candidate that many fiscal conservatives have been holding out for, might have a similar issue to contend with. At the Washington Examiner, Phil Klein points out that Daniels supported the individual mandate way back in 2003:
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.
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.”
His statement is a problem, especially for those who are hoping that he’ll be the strong candidate on health care. But on the other hand, the comment was made years ago, and there are no indications that he still holds these views.
In 2006, the Indiana governor even worked with the same consulting firm that crafted RomneyCare, and the plan that he eventually implemented was far less sweeping than the one in Massachusetts, and didn’t include an individual mandate. So as long as there’s no pattern of these comments, this shouldn’t be an insurmountable problem for him with fiscal conservatives.