After Backing Health Care Solution, Chuck Grassley Slams Measure As Unconstitutional

Chuck Grassley Slams Individual Health Care Mandate He Once Supported As Unconstitutional

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Tuesday charted a different course on his opinion of the individual mandate, declaring that the health care reform measure he had once supported as a solution, was now a "violation of our Constitution."

The individual mandate is a provision that requires Americans to purchase health care insurance that, according to the Los Angeles Times, serves as "a coordination mechanism to ensure that everyone participates in a well-functioning private insurance market." The plan is supposed to maximize the number of insured individuals, as well as push cost-effectiveness by preventing healthy or low-risk patients from opting out of coverage, an action that would increase the financial burden on individuals who need medical care more immediately.

On Monday, however, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of Florida ruled the individual mandate unconstitutional, which he said provided the impetus to deem the entire law as such.

While Grassley appeared to back the ruling in an interview with Fox News Tuesday, agreeing that the mandate was a violation of the Constitution, his opinion was markedly different in 2009. Grassley then claimed that Congress could increase health insurance coverage "through an individual mandate and that`s individual responsibility and even Republicans believe in individual responsibility."

According to Wonk Room, the senator then gave an even more impassioned defense of the system, saying:

But when it comes to states requiring it for automobile insurance, the principle then ought to lie the same way for health insurance. Because everybody has some health insurance costs, and if you aren't insured, there's no free lunch. Somebody else is paying for it....I believe that there is a bipartisan consensus to have individual mandates.

The contradictory nature of the Grassley's latest attack on the individual mandate stretches beyond his 2009 receptiveness to the individual mandate, however. During the Clinton administration, Grassley also joined a number of other Republican senators in co-sponsoring a counter-proposal to the president's plan that included the individual mandate as part of its foundation.

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