Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has just wandered off the GOP script on Obamacare, which some Republicans contend is a deeply troubling socialist scheme, others an authoritarian government takeover of the health care sector.
Not so Schwarzenegger. In a recent interview with “60 Minutes,” the former Republican governor had this to say of the individual mandate at the center of Obamacare: “Forget Obamacare. This is a principle that goes back hundreds of years. People need to be insured so when you have an accident out there, or when something catastrophic happens to you, that you’re covered and there’s not someone else [who] has to pay for you. That is as simple as that.”
That indeed used to be as simple as that, back in the days when the Heritage Foundation praised the individual mandate and Newt Gingrich considered it a smart conservative approach to health care. All that changed, of course, when President Barack Obama adopted the idea from Romneycare. Suddenly, what had been a credentialed conservative notion became a hobgoblin for Republicans everywhere.
So kudos to Arnold. His candor may come only because his political career is in all likelihood over. But it’s nevertheless refreshing. Perhaps it will even remind some of his fellow Republicans of a truth they have conveniently forgotten.