Hatch: For the individual mandate before he was against it

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The Republican health care proposal of a few years back, co-sponsored by Orrin Hatch, read in part: “The Secretary shall specifically make recommendations under paragraph (1) regarding establishing a requirement that all eligible individuals obtain health coverage through enrollment with a qualified health plan.” Good if proposed by a Republican, bad if proposed by a Democrat?

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21 Responses to “Hatch: For the individual mandate before he was against it”

  1. JCarman Says:

    Thanks for this Holly! [and I SO much prefer your low-key, factual style to Maddow’s exhausting sarcasm]

  2. rmwarnick Says:

    This is not the first time Rachel Maddow has highlighted Senator Hatch’s incredible hypocrisy in declaring his own idea unconstitutional.

    The individual private insurance mandate isn’t actually unconstitutional, it’s just a really bad idea. In 2008, Barack Obama campaigned against mandates and for the public option. Then he took office and promised lobbyists the opposite of what he promised the people.

  3. Pops Says:

    The individual private insurance mandate isn’t actually unconstitutional, it’s just a really bad idea.

    Your conclusion is wrong. The flaw in your logic is in thinking that a flawed decision against the mandate somehow upholds the constitutionality of the mandate. It does nothing of the sort.

  4. JBT Says:

    Campaigning for Chaffetz for Senator a bit early aren’t we Holly? : )

    If you would substitute Rachael Maddow clips for all of your blogs from now on, I would turn into your biggest fan. I promise!

    Barack Obama who helped craft the insurance mandate graduated from Harvard Law School and lectured on constitutional law at the University of Chicago. Where did you get your degree on constitutional law Pops?

  5. blue star Says:

    Awesome. Another Tea Party target for 2012. Let’s Bennett him!

  6. James Says:

    Having a Harvard law degree, and doing a lecture at Chicago Law, does not mean you have an understanding of and appreciation for the original meaning of the Constitution. In fact, it probably means you are opposed to it. You will certainly have a clear conception of 20th century jurisprudence, but this is the same century that gave us 70 unconscionable years of utterly uninhibited commerce clause legislation, some cryptic and magical “substantive due process” clause that was created out of thin air, Roe v. Wade, Korematsu, Kelo, and the list goes on.

    If the constitution means anything, it means what it says. If it means what it says, the health care mandate is either unconstitutional or commerce (unless you can find another affirmative power it fits more precisely – I can’t). If it is commerce, the federal government now has the power to force us to purchase something (an assertion that not even the Warren court was willing to make). If the federal government has the power to force us to purchase under the commerce clause, how long will it be before lobbyists you dislike will be hooking up with your legislators to create other mandates that benefit their industry but that you don’t want as an individual?

    Seems pretty clear to me that the commerce clause was not intended to include affirmative mandates, especially mandates in the area of health, which is a police power that has traditionally been left to states since the founding.

    No, I’m sorry. I choose not to let Obama interpret the constitution for me. I thought we gave up the whole top-down, European model of sovereignty and adopted something called “popular sovereignty” where THE PEOPLE decide what the constitution means. But maybe I’m old fashioned. After all, I am 30.

    PS: With all the love I can muster, goodbye Hatch. And farewell.

  7. Pops Says:

    It isn’t constitutional law – it’s logic. Finding a logical flaw in an argument does not prove the opposite.

  8. rmwarnick Says:

    Well, at the risk of being accused of deploying a logical fallacy, let me note that so far two federal judges have ruled that the individual private insurance mandate is NOT prohibited by the Constitution. A bunch of other cases have been dismissed. In my opinion, they all should be thrown out of court because the mandate isn’t in effect and there is no way anybody should have the standing to sue yet.

    OTOH about two dozen other challenges are in the legal pipeline, and odds are some other judge will issue a conflicting ruling that’s good enough to weather an appeal. Jeffrey Toobin thinks this issue will get up to the Supreme Court sometime next year.

  9. rmwarnick Says:

    Looks like Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli revealed his ignorance of the mandate’s legal precedent on CBS News today. Epic fail.

  10. JBT Says:

    I never cease to be amazed at the conservative right wing folks who attend tea party rallies with a rolled up copy of the Constitution in their pockets who believe they are more knowledgeable than centuries of scholars of constitutional law. The problem they have is that Constitutional principles are very complex in the myriad of nuances in their application and unfortunately their brains are only capable of black and white dichotomous thinking.

  11. Pops Says:

    …or maybe it’s the liberals who think words can mean anything they want them to mean – like the word “liberal”, for example.

  12. Ronald D. Hunt Says:

    I don’t see how anyone can be an originalist, Personally I believe that it is a living document being as I support and believe in the civil rights act, end of slavery, voting for women, direct election of senators, compensation for emanate domain, etc. But I suppose those are socialist big government things you want to do away with Pops!!

  13. nacilbupera Says:

    I was aware of the GOP’s prior support for the IM (Individual Mandate) as an alternative to Hillarycare; I wasn’t aware that both Bennett and Hatch had supported.

    URL below is the copy of the 579-page S. 1770 Maddow cites. It is sponsored by Chaffee (father of Lincoln who has now left GOP and gone Indep.) and cosponsored also by Specter (turned Dem) and other GOP who have been betimes labeled “RINO”. IM citation is found on p. 238.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-103s1770pcs/pdf/BILLS-103s1770pcs.pdf

    Although certainly S. 1770 seems to want to set up the IM, it falls way short of REQUIRING it like Obamacare does. The bill instead authorized “recommendations” be made on the use of “different voluntary and other methods” for increasing health insurance coverage:

    “(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than January 1, 10 1998, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to Congress recommendations on the feasibility, cost-effectiveness, and the economic impact of using different voluntary and other methods for increasing the coverage of eligible individuals.”

    The subsequent paragraph ensured that the government specifically give recommendations regarding an IM:

    “2) INDIVIDUAL MANDATE.—The Secretary shall specifically make recommendations under paragraph (1) regarding establishing a requirement that all eligible individuals obtain health coverage through enrollment with a qualified health plan.”

    Hatch will say when confronted with this issue in 2012: “Back in 1993 I wanted to explore the IM as an alternative to govt run healthcare, but in further study I have since decided it was unconstitutional.”

    I always factcheck Maddow because I have learned the story she presents is rarely the full story but rather the highlighting of selected facts to best represent her own viewpoints.

  14. Pops Says:

    Come on, Ron, you know what an amendment is.

  15. Ronald D. Hunt Says:

    Comes on, Pops you know darn well we don’t need an amendment for every last bit of legislative action that you disagree with. Least you think that the civil rights act was passed illegally? Yes, Yes, I know socialism blah blah blah.

  16. Pops Says:

    Amendment 5: compensation for property taken
    Amendment 13: abolition of slavery
    Amendment 14: civil rights
    Amendment 17: direct election of senators
    Amendment 19: women’s suffrage

    What was it you’re saying, Ron?

  17. Ronald D. Hunt Says:

    The 14’th is an amendment passed after the civil war and no where near the scope of the civil rights act under an originalist interpretation and you know it.

    The civil rights act directly telling private persons owning their own private businesses on their own private property they can’t discriminate against people based on race, religion or sex.

    I completely agree with the civil rights act under the basis of the constitution being a living document.

    I see that you do that take the originalist nonsense to the same extent as many others that is a good sign at least. It’s good to see your not a foundationist who would seek to repeal all amendments after the 10’th, this seems to be a Tea party thing for some reason.

  18. Pops Says:

    Ron,

    And I hope you do not seek to repeal, as do many progressives, Amendments 1 through 10. (I do consider Amendments 16 and 17 to be mistakes. The former inserts the nose of the federal government into private matters, while the latter greatly diminishes the role of the states. But they did pass, and we abide by them out of respect for the law.)

    It’s difficult to fully describe the complexities and nuances of something as broad in scope and rich in history as the Civil Rights Act in a blog comment, but I believe it is a mistake to assert that the 14th and 15th Amendments were not used as justification for it – that’s a matter of public record.

    Tell me: are all contracts “living documents” that we can interpret any way we wish? If not, how can we distinguish between those that have real meaning and those that don’t? Do we truly have rule of law if the fundamental law of the land is made of Silly Putty? Or is it only okay to bend the interpretation when it fits our political agenda?

  19. Ronald D. Hunt Says:

    “I see that you do that take the originalist nonsense “

    do not =p, butter fingers tonight haha, its what i get for staying up to late to hit deadlines at work =p

  20. Ronald D. Hunt Says:

    “but I believe it is a mistake to assert that the 14th and 15th Amendments were not used as justification for it “

    They certainly where used as justification, people looked past the text of what is written to the ideal that they believed that they where written for, its very much a living document argument.

    “And I hope you do not seek to repeal, as do many progressives, Amendments 1 through 10.”

    Don’t be silly, I support all the amendments. Tho i suppose we will disagree as to the scope of the 10th amendment as it pertains to limits and powers extended through other parts of the constitution.

    “are all contracts “living documents” that we can interpret any way we wish? “

    The Constitution isn’t just a contract, its a set of ideals. And while the interpretation of how the government is set up and works, and the distribution of powers is laid out and so forth has not changed. The interpretations and intents of the meanings of the ideals in the Constitution have changed. The Founding fathers didn’t just just layout a system solely to promote the ideal of freedom, they also made many compromises because they wanted a system that actually worked as well. The senate wasn’t created out of an ideal for a bicamel system that heavily favors small states, it was created as a compromise such that they could keep the country together. Slavery was allowed for a similar reason, not from an ideal supporting slavery but as a compromise dealing with the economic realities of the southern states at that time.

    Their are parts that are intentionally left vague with the very intent of an evolving understanding and sensibility. The welfare clause for example, leaving some to argu that it doesn’t count based on what a farming community from the 1770’s would consider a promotion of general welfare.

  21. Pops Says:

    Wrong. It’s a contract. Otherwise there would be no need for a court to rule on whether something is constitutional or not – anything would be de facto constitutional.

    Of all the possible interpretations the Constitution might have, “original intent” is one. Therefore, “original intent” is just as valid as any other interpretation one might come up with if one buys into the “living document” philosophy.

    (What is a “bicamel” system? I’ve never seen camels hitched together the way horses or oxen might be…)

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