“The idea for a health care plan [in Massachusetts] was not mine alone. The Heritage Foundation — a great conservative think tank — helped on that. I’m told Newt Gingrich, one of the very first people who came up with the idea of an individual mandate, did that years and years ago.
It was seen as a conservative idea to say, you know what? People have a responsibility for caring for themselves if they can. We’ll help people who can’t care for themselves, but if you can care for yourself, you gotta take care of yourself and pay your own bills.”
This is something we’ve covered before— nearly all of the GOP presidential candidates supported an individual mandate until the Democrats tried to pass health reform. Romney’s right– the individual mandate started as a conservative idea and Republican attacks on health care reform as a “government takeover” have been pure political posturing.