Joe Biden in 2008: Americans “don’t like the word ‘mandate’”
Over at BuzzFeed, Andrew Kaczynski has unearthed video of a 2008 health care forum where then-presidential candidate Joe Biden came out against the idea of an individual mandate. His opposition, however, was pragmatic, rather than principle. Here’s what Biden said:
One word Americans don’t like — ‘mandate.’ They don’t like the word ‘mandate.’ I dont’ want to make this hard. I want to make this simple, and not susceptible to what some of the insurance companies and the right-wing will argue this is; a mandated socialistic system. I don’t want Harry and Louise eating me alive.
Here’s the video:
The reference to “Harry and Louise” points to the ad ran in 1994 that opposed the health care plan being pieced together by the Clinton Administration. The ad helped solidify opposition to the plan and eventually led to its demise.
Of course, Barack Obama was opposed to the individual mandate as a presidential candidate. That changed when his administration began to piece together ObamaCare. Biden would later describe passage of ObamaCare, despite his stated opposition to the individual mandate, as “a big f**king deal.”
According to the polls, Americans not only are opposed to and favor repeal of ObamaCare, but also overwhelmingly find the individual mandate to be unconstitutional. As noted this morning, the legal challenge to the law should be decided by the Supreme Court on Thursday morning.