Conservative Heritage Foundation to Obama: Stop blaming us for health reform

If you missed it yesterday, Heritage Foundation’s president Ed Feulner’s pushback on President Obama — who gave the conservative think tank credit for developing the idea of an individual mandate — makes for some interesting reading. There’s some degree of political rhetoric (“It is a sign of desperation that he, his handlers and the media echo chamber are reverting to the campaign practice of selling the President and his policies as centrist, middle of the road and aisle-crossing.”) and some spin — Feulner frets about the “over 16,000 new IRS agents” to be hired, a claim that FactCheck.org has convincingly debunked. But here’s the meat:

Obama

[T]he President knows full well—or he ought to learn before he speaks—that the exchanges we and most others support are very different from those in his package. True exchanges are simply a market mechanism to enable families to choose their health insurance. President Obama’s exchanges, by contrast, are a vehicle to introduce sweeping regulation and federal standardization on health insurance.

Moreover, we completely disagree that President Obama’s law improves the purchasing power of individuals in the insurance market. On the contrary, it will create a staggeringly complex and costly insurance system that will drive up premiums for Americans.

This sort of pushback may prove less effective than the straightforward arguments against the mandate.

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David Weigel

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