Blue States Vacillate on the Individual Mandate - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Blue States Vacillate on the Individual Mandate

When Obamacare’s individual insurance mandate was effectively repealed last year, Democrats everywhere denounced the Republican Congress and President Trump as despicable saboteurs who will stop at nothing to deny the poor and infirm affordable health care. Among the most vocal of these outraged champions of the nation’s uninsured were blue state lawmakers who vowed to pass statutes restoring the mandate for the benefit of their no doubt grateful constituents. At the time, the Wall Street Journal reported that such bills were being mulled by nine states and the District of Columbia:

Maryland lawmakers are pursuing a plan to replace the ACA mandate, which requires most people to pay a penalty if they don’t have coverage. States including California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Washington, Minnesota, New Jersey and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia, are publicly considering similar ideas.

Oddly enough, all the righteous indignation allegedly fomented by the mandate’s repeal doesn’t appear to have provided sufficient impetus for any actual legislation. Some states are going through the motions, but the level of enthusiasm is decidedly tepid. Of the nine states whose politicians pledged to address the crime against democracy committed by Congress and the President, only five have taken action. And even they are approaching the issue gingerly. Mattie Quinn reports, in Governing, that the legislatures of the largest blue states with the loudest politicians haven’t even bothered to introduce a bill:

In California and New York, two states widely expected to introduce (and pass) an individual mandate, legislation has yet to be introduced. In most of the six places where it has been brought to the table, bills are either stuck in committee or their passage is uncertain…. Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, Washington state and Washington, D.C., are considering bills to bring back the mandate.

According to Quinn, the District of Columbia is moving forward with the most alacrity, but the effort is probably doomed: “Even if it passes in D.C., though, it would need approval from Congress, which gets the final say on all new legislation in the nation’s capital.” Anyone believe that a GOP-controlled Congress that finally succeeded in eliminating the individual mandate after 7 years of setbacks will allow the District of Columbia to reintroduce the contagion to the body politic? Neither do I. In fact, considering the mandate’s unpopularity, it probably wouldn’t get through a Democrat-dominated Congress.

So, the Democrat windbags who run the blue states were engaging in their usual fustian bluster when protesting the repeal of the individual mandate. If it were possible to get the truth out of them, they would probably admit they’re happy it’s gone. This will be the first election year since 2010 in which they won’t have to defend that abomination.

David Catron
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David Catron is a recovering health care consultant and frequent contributor to The American Spectator. You can follow him on Twitter at @Catronicus.
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