Heritage vs. ObamaCare

On rare occasions members of the far left permit a glimpse, as dark as it may be, into the inner workings of their minds.  As radical Israeli professor Ilon Pappe told Le Soir, "The struggle is about ideology, not about facts. Who knows what facts are? We try to convince as many people as we can that our interpretation of the facts is the correct one, and we do it because of ideological reasons, not because we are truthseekers." That statement serves as an example of how the left rationalizes their consistent assertions that are either at odds with the facts or are purposefully misleading.

Two years ago, Eric Holder gave us another such glimpse of the left's aversion to veracity when asked by Sen. James Sensenbrenner to define "the difference between lying and misleading...": "it all has to do," said Holder, "with your state of mind, and whether or not you had the requisite intent to come up with something that can be considered perjury or a lie."

Mr. Pappe at least is presenting a simple fact: he does not care if something is true or false, as long as the cause is served. Holder, on the other hand, shifts the burden of proof away from facts to a subjective evaluation of intent. He also presents a troubling legal tightrope by arguing that a statement is only a lie if made to deceive. Which begs the question; when is a lie told when not meant to be deceptive?

With the above points in mind it is worth noting the increasing usage of comments emanating from ObamaCare acolytes that the conservative think tank; the Heritage Foundation, originated the concept of the 'individual Mandate" based on a paper written by Dr. Stuart Butler.

Supporters of President Obama such as Chris Mathews, Nancy Pelosi, and Jonathan Alter have all made the claim. More recently former Clinton cabinet member Robert Reich stated in the Huffington Post:

"In 1989, Stuart M. Butler of the conservative Heritage Foundation came up with a plan that would 'mandate all households to obtain adequate insurance.' "

Regarding the Heritage Foundation as the originator of the Individual mandate, the comment is not classifiable as a 'Holderian lie', instead it is more of a 'Pappian' agenda-advancing deception.

In the parlance of today's ObamaCare discussions the "Mandate" refers to a legal obligation dictated by the federal government for all residents to purchase comprehensive health insurance covering routine, preventative, emergency, and mental health care and more.

The 'mandates' laid out by the Heritage Foundation were of an entirely different nature, as they focused on two areas: 1) Employer Mandate, requiring all large companies to provide healthcare coverage and 2) A Catastrophic Insurance Mandate, intended to protect the public from absorbing the costs for uncovered emergency care.

Routine health care was always regarded as an individual obligation.

At the time the Heritage foundation was responding to two different events: recent legislation signed by President Reagan obligating emergency rooms to treat all patients, regardless of ability to pay, and growing discussions regarding a "National Health Care" system (later known as "HillaryCare").

Dr. Butler in a USA Today article in February of 2012, summed up the position of the Heritage Foundation:

"Is the individual mandate at the heart of "ObamaCare" a conservative idea? Is it
Constitutional? And was it invented at The Heritage Foundation? In a word, no.

The U.S. Supreme Court will put the middle issue to rest. The answers to the first and last can come from me. After all, I headed Heritage's health work for 30 years. And make no mistake: Heritage and I actively oppose the individual mandate, including in an amicus brief filed in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court."

In its amicus brief to the Court, the Foundation stated:

"the Heritage position quoted by the Department of Justice (should) have a red flag indicating it had been reversed. . . . Heritage has stopped supporting any insurance mandate."

Heritage policy experts never supported an unqualified mandate like that in the PPACA
[ObamaCare]. Their prior support for a qualified mandate was limited to catastrophic coverage(true insurance that is precisely what the PPACA forbids), coupled with tax relief for all familiesand other reforms that are conspicuously absent from the PPACA. Moreover, Heritage's legal scholars have been consistent in explaining that the type of mandate in the PPACA is unconstitutional.

It is curious that as ObamaCare has begun to be imposed upon the unwilling, by the incompetent, that we have seen the increasing use of "Hey, it was your guy's idea". This is likely as much to deflect blame as it is to embarrass the political right. After all, if Conservatives thought of it first, they need to share the blame, correct?

The next time you hear or read someone mention that the Heritage Foundation conceived of the "individual mandate," one should reflect a bit, not on what is being said, but on what is being left out. We need to recognize that the Heritage Foundation:

1) Did not propose a mandate for routine health care.

2) Later withdrew all support of any type of a mandate.

3) Recognized that any such mandate is unconstitutional.

4) Argued to the Supreme Court (via briefs) that any such mandate was at odds with individual liberty.

Yet, just as Professor Pappe does not care if what he claims has any basis of truth to it, we will hear time and again the left's distortion of reality by repeating the simplistic claim that the "individual mandate was originated by the Heritage Foundation."

Those making this statement are relying on the reader to not having all the facts. After all, if deception advances the cause, why let the truth get in the way of that noble goal?

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