We know the ultra-conservative think tank, Heritage Foundation, came up with the idea.

We know that GOP frontrunner employed it in RomneyCare and declared it a “fundamentally conservative” idea.

We know Newt Gingrich also advocated for it.

And now. . . Rick Santorum. Per a 1994 Pennsylvania news article:

Santorum and Watkins would require individuals to buy health insurance rather than forcing employers to pay for employee benefits. Both oppose abortion services and support limits on malpractice awards. Santorum says non-economic damages should not exceed $250,000, adjusted annually for inflation, and lawyers’ contingency fees should be capped at 25 percent.

I still ask how Alabama GOPers support these guys after their rhetoric through the years:

So how do Mike Hubbard and Mike Rogers overlook this “push toward a socialistic-leaning government in this country” with RomneyCare and its “socialist” mandates which “will dampen too many employers’ ability to hire and expand” and “threaten job creation and stability across East Alabama” and “which force citizens to purchase something they do not wish to purchase, a mandate which has never been previously demanded of the populace.

 

Mitt Romney stated today:

“What we did was right for the people of Massachusetts,” he said on “Fox and Friends” Wednesday morning. “It is fundamentally a conservative principle to insist that people take personal responsibility as opposed to turning to government for giving out free care.”

A more full video can be found here which also includes Newt admitting that he supported an individual mandate but has now changed his mind.

I cannot wait until Romney’s Alabama campaign chairpersons Speaker Mike Hubbard, Cong. Mike Rogers, and Lt.Gov. Kay Ivey publicly agree that the primary plank of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the individual mandate, is “fundamentally a conservative principle.” I’m on pins & needles.

 

I am still waiting for Mike Hubbard and Mike Rogers to call Mitt Romney a socialist for his “push toward a socialistic-leaning government in this country” with RomneyCare and its “socialist” mandates . But I also now expect them to call Newt one as well.

If I see somebody who’s earning over $50,000 a year, who has made the calculated decision not to buy health insurance, I’m looking at somebody who is absolutely as irresponsible as anyone who was ever on welfare. Because what they’ve said is, A, I’m gambling that I won’t get sick, and B, I’m gambling that if I do get sick, I can cheat all my neighbors. Now, when you talk to hospitals, a very significant part of their non-collectibles are people who have money, but have calculated it’s not worth the cost to pay. And so I’m actually in favor of finding a way to say, whatever the appropriate level of income is, you ought to have either health insurance, or you ought to post a bond. But we have no right in this society to have a free rider approach, if we’re well off economically, to cheat our neighbors.

 

Last Thursday, Alabama State Sen. Cam Ward announced his support for Mitt Romney. Speaker Mike Hubbard had already announced his support while Congressman Mike Rogers and Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey share the chair of the Alabama for Romney campaign.

Considering the rhetoric of this crowd, how can they jump on the Romney wagon so enthusiastically? Over the past couple of years now, they have consistently beat the drum against President Obama’s “liberal” policies. Most prominently, they have fought his “socialized healthcare programs” even making opposition to any healthcare mandates a key plank of the now infamous ALGOP “Handshake with Alabama

So how do Hubbard and Rogers overlook “push toward a socialistic-leaning government in this country” with RomneyCare and its “socialist” mandates which “will dampen too many employers’ ability to hire and expand” and “threaten job creation and stability across East Alabama” and “which force citizens to purchase something they do not wish to purchase, a mandate which has never been previously demanded of the populace.

Perhaps a healthcare mandate is a “conservative” policy position if a Republican says it:

or if the very conservative Heritage Foundation and Newt Gingrich actually created the idea.

I suppose we will have the answer to my question soonAs Perry has sustained major damage over his “heart” for the complexity of illegal immigration, Perry’s campaign rolled this out today attacking Romney on RomneyCare:

Rick Perry has soared past Romney and Bachmann in the past few weeks in polls. It was inevitable that the Perry and Reomney would begin lobbing political grenades at each other. Each have “huge” problems with the Tea Party wing of the GOP electorate.

Will Romney’s “ObamneyCare” prove fatal?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry chastised Mitt Romney’s health care plan Thursday, but said he believes the former governor of Massachusetts is beginning to see the light.

“I think Mitt is finally recognizing that the Massachusetts health care plan that he passed is a huge problem for him,” he told conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham in an interview.

And the 2012 GOP contender attempted to lump Romney in with health care reform passed last year by a Democratic-controlled Congress and signed into law by President Obama, a potentially toxic tie-in for conservative voters.

“I think Obamacare, which was modeled after the Massachusetts plan, was an absolute debacle.” Perry said, in an ongoing effort to topple Romney’s GOP frontrunner status.

Will “DREAMer” Gov. Rick Perry’s “open-borders” record be more toxic than healthcare?

The Romney campaign also plans to use immigration to drive a wedge between Perry and his conservative base, by highlighting Perry’s opposition to a border fence and legislation he signed in 2001 allowing the children of illegal immigrants to attend Texas colleges and universities at in-state tuition. Without mentioning Perry by name, Romney pointed out at a town hall here in Dover that he vetoed similar legislation as governor of Massachusetts, declaring, “If you say, guess what, if you come here illegally, your kids will get [in-state tuition], that draws more people here illegally.” Romney strategists believe the immigration issue will be devastating for Perry with Tea Party Republicans across the country — and especially in important primary states like Arizona.

I expect Romney to be the victor of this battle.  If Romney wins, perhaps Riley still has a chance to get that VP nod. Yipee! (BTW, Did you notice that Mike Rogers and Kay Ivey, staunch Rileyites, are the co-chairs of the Alabama for Romney campaign; the Riley camp seems to be rejecting Perry, the other southern governor.)