The Madeleine Brand Show

The Madeleine Brand Show is a daily, two-hour program that looks at news and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Madeleine Brand

Ezra Klein explains why Republicans have turned against the individual mandate

by The Madeleine Brand Show

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People in support of and opposed to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act demonstrate outside the U.S. Supreme Court Building on the third day of oral arguements over the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act March 28, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today is the last of three days the high court set to hear arguments over the act. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

When the Supreme Court issues their ruling on the Affordable Care Act, the court could strike down just one provision, the individual mandate, the requirement that everyone buy insurance.

Republicans oppose the mandate, saying it's unconstitutional to force people to buy a product. But Democrats originally put it in the bill to make it more attractive to Republicans. The individual mandate was once a Republican idea, championed by Mitt Romney, who currently campaigns against it.

The individual mandate first made it's legislative appearance nearly 20 years ago as a Republican alternative to former President Clinton's health-care initiative. Both the Republican plan for health care and President Clinton's failed at the time.

Ezra Klein, columnist for the Washington Post, wrote about why Republicans oppose the individual mandate for the current issue of the New Yorker.


Ezra Klein, columnist for The Washington Post, a columnist for Bloomberg, and a contributor to MSNBC.

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