Obama on a Mandate

“…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. And, Senator Clinton is right; we have to find out what works. Now, Massachusetts has a mandate right now; they have exempted 20% of the uninsured because they’ve concluded that that 20% 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…”

Barack Obama  February 21, 2008

“That’s why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance — just as most states require you to carry auto insurance.”

Barack Obama, September 9, 2009