****I frankly was floundering trying to find a way to make sure that people who could afford it were paying their hospital bills, while still leaving an out for libertarians to not buy insurance.****
That is called examining the problem and attempting to encourage citizens to assume responsibility for their lives and to limit the role of government.
What a concept - and the man admits to floundering. Diogenes - we have found him!!!
I agree that many conservatives were in favor of a mandate in the early nineties, but there was nothing in Newt's proposal that limited the role of government. It expanded it to include policing the purchase of insurance or establishment of a bond.
Any attempts at either necessarily accuse everyone of being deadbeats who cannot be trusted to pay their debts.
By what, setting up more government machinery to implement and enforce a mandate?
Let's face it - when the rubber meets the road, most of the Republican Party's "upper management" is FOR various forms of Big Government, in direct contradiction of the small, limited government rhetoric it spouts off every election.
One only need look at the "compassionate conservatism" of the Bush years, six of which were marked by Republican control of both the legislative and executive branches of the Federal government with a tie in the judicial branch, for an example. That the Democrats support bigger, more activist government is a foregone conclusion; that the Republicans should do so too is more shocking because of their feigned allegiance to the opposite.
The heart of the matter is that the only real difference between the two parties is which departments of the Federal government grow faster under their tenures.
The heart of the matter is that, next year, just like many elections past, Fedzilla wins and middle-class Americans lose. Whether Obama wins or either of Gingrich or Romney wins, there will be bigger and bigger government, with more and more unkeepable promises made, debt stacked on top of debt, lies stacked on top of lies, until the whole house of cards comes crashing down. And, believe me, when the music stops, ordinary middle-class Americans won't have chairs to sit in, but the folks right here in the Federal swamp and its suburbs will.