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Cronyism and Coercion

Jun 30, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 40 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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Perhaps the most glaring evidence, however, of the alliance between Big Government and Big Health is the government’s having broken with more than 200 years of precedent by imposing an individual mandate. Under that mandate, private American citizens are now compelled to buy a product of the federal government’s choosing—for the first time ever. What’s more, the mandate is helping to drive Obamacare enrollment. A recent poll conducted for Enroll America asked people why they bought Obamacare-compliant insurance. The most common response was, “It’s the law.”

Americans would like to see that mandate—Obamacare’s coercive core—suspended. McLaughlin’s polling for the 2017 Project asked, “Obamacare’s individual mandate requires Americans to buy government-approved health insurance. Would you support legislation to suspend that mandate for one year?” By a tally of more than 2-to-1 (57 to 28 percent), respondents said yes.

Legislation to suspend the mandate is supported by a majority of Republicans (74 to 19 percent) and independents (59 to 24 percent) and a plurality of Democrats (42 to 38 percent). It’s supported by 63 percent of adults under the age of 30, the highest of any age group, and by 62 percent of Hispanics, the highest of any racial group. That makes sense—the polling for Enroll America found that young people and Hispanics are particularly likely to enroll in Obamacare to avoid the mandate’s penalty or to avoid running afoul of the law. That polling found that “avoiding the fine was more important to young adults .  .  . while the ‘law’ mattered more to Latinos.”

Obamacare relies on its risk-corridor slush fund to keep insurance companies happy, and it relies on its individual mandate to coerce Americans into buying overpriced insurance they don’t want. In taking aim at each of these, Republicans have a welcome opportunity to fight corporate welfare, help Main Street Americans, thwart Obamacare, and show they are listening.

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