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Letters to the Editor

Fri., June 10, 2011

Precedent for mandate

Recently, Sarah Palin said, “In my opinion, any mandate coming from government is not a good thing.” She indicated that freedom-loving Americans like her oppose government mandates at all levels. It could be instructive to review government mandates that people observe.

Driving requires a license, staying on the right side of the road, wearing safety belts, sobriety, obedience to traffic signals and speed limits plus auto insurance. The latter can be a financial problem but is necessary to avoid individual financial catastrophe from serious accidents and to protect all drivers. The main objection to “Obamacare” is the individual mandate to purchase health insurance.

The conservative Heritage Foundation originated the individual health insurance mandate in 1989. Prominent Republicans including Charles Grassley and Orrin Hatch advocated this in legislation proposed in 1993.

I don’t see the difference between mandated health insurance and auto insurance. Is the objection to the mandate really about health insurance or is it about Obama being president of the USA? Obama’s approach relies on private-sector health insurance companies and is not a government takeover of health insurance. I suppose that facts don’t matter in politics, but they do in real life.

David T. Webb


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