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September 1st, 2010 11:02 pm
Individual Mandate for Thee, But Not for Me
Posted by Print

Could it be that even liberals are starting to recoil at Obamacare now that it’s reality instead of a gauzy fantasy? That’s at least the case for Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden. Wyden, long a major advocate for the individual mandate (compelling citizens to buy health insurance under penalty of fine or imprisonment), has suddenly decided that the provision — which he voted for — is good enough for the rest of the country, but not for the Beaver State.

According to the Huffington Post, Wyden wrote a letter to the Oregon Health Authority that included the following passage:

In addition, Senate Finance Committee Counsel has stated that a state that can meet the general coverage requirements of the PPACA can obtain a Federal waiver under Section 1332 without a requirement that individuals purchase health insurance. Because you and I believe that the heart of real health reform is affordability and not mandates, I wanted to bring this feature of Section 1332 to the attention of you and the legislature.

Affordability and not mandates, huh? Sounds like a defensible outlook. Too bad Oregon’s senior senator couldn’t bring it to mind while casting his vote. Oh well. Not a big deal when only 49 other states have to suffer.

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