Despite open condemnation of President Obama’s health care reform law (in general) and the individual mandate (in particular), Republican candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney both have a history of supporting a national health insurance mandate. Romney famously included the idea as part of his Massachusetts health care law, while Gingrich was a vocal supporter of the mandate as an alternative to Hillary Clinton’s health care reform package when he was Speaker in the 1990s. So why are they now attacking this latest mandate? To win voters, most likely, although this could be a misguided judgment call: a CNN poll taken in November shows that public support for the individual mandate has risen to 52 percent, its highest level yet.

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