For 20 years before President Obama’s health reform law, the central tenet of Republican’s health care policy was an individual mandate. It was the alternative to the single-payer system proposed by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and to the employer mandate proposed by President Clinton in 1993. As governor, Mitt Romney enacted a mandate in Massachusetts in 2006. As the most likely presidential nominee for the Republicans, he now says the mandate is only permissible at a state level. During the 2008 campaign, Obama was against an individual mandate, but accepted it in 2009 as a compromise. And a recent poll found two-thirds of voters are against the mandate, but support the provision that prohibits insurers from denying pre-existing conditions despite the fact that the two are inextricably linked.

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