Reader Rick Stryker writes, after asserting Paul Krugman has misrepresented history:
…apologists fall back on the claim that Obamacare is a conservative idea. … That’s nonsense.
Let me quote from A National Health System for America (Heritage Foundation, 1989), chapter 2, by Stuart A. Butler, Director of Domestic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation:
Creating a New Health Care System for Americans
By modifying the existing system, the U.S. can develop a new health care system that will achieve the stated but unfulfilled goals of health care systems overseas — choice, access, and economy.
Element #1: Every resident of the U.S. must, by law, be enrolled in an adequate health care plan to cover major health care costs.
This requirement would imply a compact between the U.S. government and its citizens: in return for the government’s accepting an obligation to devise a market-based system guaranteeing access to care and protecting all families from financial distress due to the cost of an illness, each individual must agree to obtain a minimum level of protection. This means that, while government would take on the obligation to find ways of guaranteeing care fore those Americans unable to obtain protection in the market, perhaps because of chronic health problems or lack of income, Americans with sufficient means would no longer be able to be “free riders” on society by avoiding sensible health insurance expenditures and relying on others to pay for care in an emergency or in retirement.
The requirement to obtain basic insurance would have to be enforced. The easiest way to monitor compliance might be for households to furnish proof of insurance when they file their tax returns. … If the family did not enroll in another plan before the first insurance coverage lapsed and did not provide evidence of financial problems, a fine might be imposed.
The entire Heritage Foundation document is here. Chapter 2, written by Stuart A. Butler, Director of Domestic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, starts at page 35.