Obama Was Against Forcing Americans to Buy Health Insurance Before He Was For It

By Eric Scheiner | February 2, 2011 | 6:48 PM EST

(CNSNews.com) - While on the campaign trail, President Barack Obama consistently voiced that he was strongly opposed to forcing the uninsured to purchase health insurance.

Currently, his administration is taking to federal court 27 states that are challenging the constitutionality of the federal government forcing people to buy health insurance.

As a candidate for president he argued against the individual mandate, using it as a focal point to separate his health care plan from opponent Hillary Clinton’s health care proposal.

“Senator Clinton has a different approach. She believes that we have to force people who don’t have health insurance to buy it. Otherwise there will be a lot of people who don’t get it. “ Obama said during a January 31st 2008 debate on CNN. “I don’t see those folks, and I think it is important for us to recognize that if in fact you’re going to mandate the purchase of insurance and it’s not affordable then there’s going to have to be some enforcement mechanism that the government uses and they may charge people who already don’t have health care fines, or have to take it out of their paychecks and that I don’t think is helping those without health insurance, that is a genuine difference. “

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson, who ruled Obamacare unconstitutional this week, noted a statement that Obama had made in a February 5th, 2008 interview with CNN. In his ruling Vinson wrote, “I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that ‘if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house.’”

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden react to cheers as they arrive in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 23, 2010, for the signing ceremony for the health care bill. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

In a February 26, 2008 MSNBC Democratic debate Obama criticized the concept of a mandate again. “If, as we’ve heard tonight, we still don’t know how Senator Clinton intends to enforce a mandate and if we don’t know the level of subsidies that she’s going to provide, then you could have a situation which were seeing right now in the state of Massachusetts, where people are being fined for not having purchased health care - but choose to accept the fine because they still can’t afford it even with the subsidies and they are then worse off. They then have no health care and are paying a fine above and beyond that. That is a genuine difference between myself and Senator Clinton,” Obama said.


Eric Scheiner
Eric Scheiner
Eric is the Senior Video Producer for CNSNews.com