The study concluded that you would still have to purchase insurance as a technical matter, if you were going to impose a universal insurance requirement. It didn't recommend it, it only stated that it would be a prerequisite of universal care. It then went on to propose the least obtrusive way of doing so, which was described in the article that I posted, but which you appear not to have read. Here it is again:
Originally Posted by Molon Labe
The confusion arises from the fact that 20 years ago, I held the view that as a technical matter, some form of requirement to purchase insurance was needed in a near-universal insurance market to avoid massive instability through "adverse selection" (insurers avoiding bad risks and healthy people declining coverage). At that time, President Clinton was proposing a universal health care plan, and Heritage and I devised a viable alternative.So, not only did Heritage not invent the individual mandate, but what they proposed as least likely to disrupt the economy was an idea that used Medical Savings Accounts and tax incentives to encourage purchases of insurance, rather than a mandate. The only "mandate" was the threat of loss of tax breaks which were meant to encourage insurance purchases. Again, from the article:
My view was shared at the time by many conservative experts, including American Enterprise Institute (AEI) scholars, as well as most non-conservative analysts. Even libertarian-conservative icon Milton Friedman, in a 1991 Wall Street Journal article, advocated replacing Medicare and Medicaid "with a requirement that every U.S. family unit have a major medical insurance policy."
But the version of the health insurance mandate Heritage and I supported in the 1990s had three critical features. First, it was not primarily intended to push people to obtain protection for their own good, but to protect others. Like auto damage liability insurance required in most states, our requirement focused on "catastrophic" costs so hospitals and taxpayers would not have to foot the bill for the expensive illness or accident of someone who did not buy insurance.
Second, we sought to induce people to buy coverage primarily through the carrot of a generous health credit or voucher, financed in part by a fundamental reform of the tax treatment of health coverage, rather than by a stick.
And third, in the legislation we helped craft that ultimately became a preferred alternative to ClintonCare, the "mandate" was actually the loss of certain tax breaks for those not choosing to buy coverage, not a legal requirement.
The claim that Obamacare came from Republicans is a libel, used by Democrats to divert the blame for the most unpopular federal program since Prohibition. It's a specious, dishonest talking point, and we should not be repeating it as fact.