The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is just about the worst piece of legislation imaginable, passed by the barest of margins against strong public opposition. Nearly two years after passage, it’s growing more and more unpopular. So is now the time to equivocate on whether it’s bad, really bad, or just slightly a little less than not that bad?
As Ace of Spades points out, the nomination of Mitt Romney by Republicans would probably mean just that. Romney has repeatedly expressed support for parts of Obamacare. Romney even supports its most unpopular feature, the individual mandate to buy health insurance, when undertaken at the state level.
While it may be true that a mandate to purchase a product is within the boundaries of the authority of states, that does not mean that forcing people to buy something is a good use of state power — or a good precedent for the people to allow.
But the main point here is that Romney is going to be forced to fall back to states’ rights or utilitarian arguments, rather than being able to boldly proclaim that the government doesn’t have the authority to tell Americans what to do, only the far weaker ability to tell them what they may not.
Update, 12/28/2011 12:37 via Redstate:
Mitt Romney still thinks the individual mandate is conservative.
See more at Ace of Spades HQ.