Did Mitch Daniels Support Health Care Mandate or a Health Care Tax Credit?
3:48 PM, May 20, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Yesterday, this 2003 South Bend Tribune article on Mitch Daniels was highlighted by Sam Stein at the Huffington Post and then made its way around the blogosphere:
Emphasis added to both parts in bold. The word "mandatory" is what led more than a few people to claim that Daniels supported a health care mandate, but the reference to "tax exemption" indicates that Daniels favored using a carrot, not a stick, to increase the number of people with insurance.
And, yes, there is a big difference between the two. Some liberal writers recently wrote that Paul Ryan's support for a health care tax credit (included in his Roadmap, not the GOP budget) amounted to a health care mandate. "By this logic," wrote Jeffrey Anderson, "the child tax credit is likewise a federal requirement to have children. If you don’t have a child, you don’t get the tax break, and therefore you are required to have children."
So which did Daniels support--a penalty or an incentive? Philip Klein over at the Washington Examiner has a copy of Daniels' 2004 health care platform that clearly indicates he favored tax credits, not a mandate. Unless a direct quotation from Daniels proves otherwise, it seems like he's safe from the charge that he backed a mandate.