Obama’s Reversals on Executive Power and Insurance Mandates

Perhaps someone has listed or will list all of Barack Obama’s many reversals between his campaigns and his presidency. Here I want to focus on two such reversals.

On executive power, Obama said, “I want everybody to understand: I taught constitutional law for ten years. I take the Constitution very seriously. The biggest problems we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch, and not go through Congress at all.” As Obama now openly brags, his main strategy as president is to find ways to avoid going through Congress.

On insurance mandates, Obama opposed Hilary Clinton’s proposal to force people to buy insurance. He said, “Understand that when Senator Clinton says a mandate, it’s not a mandate on government to provide health insurance, it’s a mandate on individuals to purchase it. . . . Now, Massachusetts has a mandate right now. They have exempted 20 percent of the uninsured, because they’ve concluded that that 20 percent can’t afford it. In some cases there are people who are paying fines, and still can’t afford it, so now they’re worse off than they were. They don’t have health insurance, and they’re paying a fine. And in order for you to force people to get health insurance, you’ve got to have a very harsh, stiff penalty.” Of course, the individual mandate became a centerpiece of ObamaCare.