Obama v. Obama On Mandates

Of course this has nothing to do with the actual merits of the current health proposal in the Senate, but I see that some blogs think it is relevant that Howard Dean's position on the regulatory aspects of the Senate bill may have changed. In the spirit of comity, I would ask then that the President of the United States' change of position on the individual mandate from his stated position in his campaign for the Presidency be considered:

The argument about the evil of the individual mandate is all wrong. It was wrong during the primaries, when Obama unfortunately used it to demagogue his rivals [. . .]

Now that is from Paul Krugman arguing for passage of the Senate bill. Krugman does not consider Obama's flip flop on the issue relevant. Neither do I. (d-day does. He's wrong imo.) Some people apparently see Howard Dean's alleged change of position as relevant to the substance of the bill. I do not.

Speaking for me only

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    That incremental argument again and again (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by Cream City on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:58:34 PM EST
    about Social Security and Medicare?  Krugman, BTD, et al., that really is not a good argument now -- now that both are facing massive cutbacks from this same President and similarly minded economists.

    So I'm going to take the progressive stance on these great programs of the past, Social Security and Medicare, and say that it is necessary to protect against raiding them and reducing them.  Thus, kill any bill that does so -- that ingeniously claims to be covering more Americans by actually taking away existing old-age insurance and health care insurance from Americans.

    Context? (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:04:44 PM EST
    Doesn't anyone care about how all the moving parts work (or don't work) together anymore?

    Not all mandates are created equal.  I still don't get how Krugman could possibly view a mandate to buy into a publicly run program as the same thing as a mandate to buy into a largely un-regulated and quixotic privately run program as being the "same".

    I can't vote an insurance CEO out of office without purchasing an awful lot of stock in the company for one thing.  I can, OTOH, assert some influence over an elected politician.  That's just one thing that's different between these two types of mandates.  There are tons more differences though.

    How the mandate public or private could be interchangeable within anyone's mind is really beyond me.

    One thing we learned well from Rove (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Pacific John on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:54:19 PM EST
    ... is that iconography and images are more powerful and effective than words.

    The Obama campaign's substantive attention to healthcare was casual at best. He slid his proposal for a pilot public plan onto his website in the dead of night simply to foil criticism of JRE and HRC.

    What his soaring words about mandates did was provide the excuse for the visual iconography of his mailers. And that iconography had one message: he was on the side on insurance companies.

    So, there's not actually a flip flop here, despite conflicting statements. He was for insurers then, and he's for them now.

    Open Thread? (none / 0) (#2)
    by CST on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:01:35 PM EST
    Off topic...

    Iraqi Insurgents have hacked into our predator drones.  They can currently only see, not control, but how long is it until they bridge that gap?

    One very good reason NOT to automate killing.

    It's somehwat amazing that (none / 0) (#4)
    by Salo on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:04:05 PM EST
    they have failed to design a few of their own.  Easly thing to rig up. Although an 81mm Mortar is probably more effective even though it's less razzle dazzle.

    Spy vs Spy (none / 0) (#3)
    by Salo on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:02:19 PM EST
    I consider it relevant when you consider how it was related to the PO.

    But you had to know everything about his healthcare plan was Fakery in the first place.

    Well I think d-day (none / 0) (#7)
    by lilburro on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:00:12 PM EST
    just mis-used the quote a little bit.  It's certainly something you could throw back in Obama's face.  As andgarden was saying elsewhere in the past day or so (today?) if we had a competent press someone would've been curious about why he changed his position:

    Here's the concern. If you haven't made it affordable, how are you going to enforce a mandate. I mean, if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house. The reason they don't buy a house is they don't have the money. And so, our focus has been on reducing costs, making it available. I am confident if people have a chance to buy high-quality health care that is affordable, they will do so. That's what our plan does and nobody disputes that.

    Yes. Dean didn't change his position (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Cream City on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:14:01 PM EST
    as Donald says above.  The bill changed.  And any real Dem would stick to his position, the party's position on what real reform is, and any real Dem would say that the bill now does not merit approval.

    So we will get to see, again, who are the real Dems.  It's the Dem convention reprise.


    Candidate vs Prez O's 'home owner' mandate (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ellie on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 06:18:20 PM EST
    ... to solve homelessness would be accurate right now if his example addressed home ownership for millions who'd likely get kicked out of the house they already occupy, be forced to pay for a new one on top of that one, and likely not get to live in the new one either depending on the whims, needs and greeds of the mortgage company.

    Speaking ex uterus here.


    This must make Obama and the Dems smile (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 02:14:41 PM EST
    Look who's back who will now take up the news cycles and off the steaming pile we are about to get handed to us.

    They must be poppoing champagne in the West Wing about now.

    Big deal (none / 0) (#10)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:35:40 PM EST
    Old, worn out topic. Doubt they'll sell many of those books.

    Oh, I don't know (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:46:03 PM EST
    Since infidelity seems to have hijacked the news for the last two weeks in the Tiger Woods case, I never underestimate the interest of the public on this kind of stuff.  Besides, this is sexier and easier to understand than health care.

    :) I see your point (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:44:14 PM EST
    I just think the Bill/Monica news is way way too old to raise eyebrows anymore.

    A new scandal with new subjects would probably distract, though.