Romney on Mandate: “A Cornerstone of Conservatism”
The free rider policy within Obamacare was based on Romneycare, so it’s little surprise that Gov. Romney heralded such a policy repeatedly over the years, as shown below. What’s more surprising is just how violently he’s trying to shake the Etch-a-Sketch to change his position. He can’t erase history, though.
Romney in June 2005: ''No more 'free riding,' if you will, where an individual says: 'I'm not going to pay, even though I can afford it. I'm not going to get insurance, even though I can afford it. I'm instead going to just show up and make the taxpayers pay for me,' …It's the ultimate conservative idea, which is that people have responsibility for their own care, and they don't look to government to take of them if they can afford to take care of themselves.”
Romney in July 2005: "We can't have as a nation 40 million people — or, in my state, half a million — saying, 'I don't have insurance, and if I get sick, I want someone else to pay.'"
Romney in Nov. 2005: “…in an environment where insurance is finally available at much lower cost for all of our citizens would it be reasonable to say, hey, look, everybody's got to sign up or pay their own way instead of passing on the cost to others.”
Romney in March 2006: “The personal responsibility principle is essential for bringing the health care costs down for everyone and getting everyone the health insurance they need."
Romney in April 2010: “Right now, in lots of parts of the country, if individuals do not have insurance, they can arrive at the hospital and be given free care, paid for by government. Our current system is a big-government system. A conservative approach is one that relies on individual responsibility. … But in my view, and others are free to disagree, expecting people who can afford to buy insurance to do so is consistent with personal responsibility, and that's a cornerstone of conservatism.”