This year, E.J. Dionne writes today, will finally be the year of national healthcare. One part of the left’s strategy is to create an air of inevitability about health care legislation, so that anybody in opposition to the eventual proposal is a skunk in the garden party, trying to ruin things for everybody else. With that said, the piece is worth reading because Dionne is certainly tapped into the Democratic powers that be, and this in particular is worth keeping an eye on:
Though only some of the players will say so now, the plan will ultimately include a mandate requiring everyone to have insurance, quelling opposition from the insurance companies. They hope that having a bigger market will compensate them for whatever they might lose from regulatory changes.
As I have noted before, this could be a major problem for the Democrats. It’s very hard to argue that it isn’t a government takeover of health care if the federal government is requiring individuals to purchase health care. A mandate would impose a tax on the uninsured, it would be a handout to large insurance companies, it would represent a major policy flip flop by Obama, and mandates don’t poll as well as other aspects of health care reform.