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Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, the very liberal former presidential candidate and head of the Democratic National Committee, says the individual mandatory health insurance purchase mandate is “not essential” to good health care reform and will be repealed or ruled unconstitutional. From an NBC Interview program On the Record (contained in the clip above):

Dean: The American people are not going to put up with a mandate. I have made this prediction before and I am going to make it again. By the time this thing goes into effect in 2014, I think this mandate will be gone—either through the courts or because it’s unpopular.  

You don’t need it. There will be two or three percent of the people who cheat, that’s not enough to bring the system to a halt and people don’t like to be told what to do publicly...

Question: So, you expect them to drop the mandate?

Dean: Well, the courts may rule it unconstitutional.

No kidding!

Dean believes that if the mandate fails, it won’t hurt the law because it would still require insurance companies to take all comers.  In other words, the approach would simply create a nationally regulated private health insurance market run through the regional exchanges. 

Dean’s council makes a great deal of political sense and could dramatically help the president’s worsening poll numbers. Think about it.  Removing the purchase mandate would take most of the energy out of the repeal movement by extracting the biggest thorn sticking in the national foot—while still permitting the Feds to sieze control of health care and our lives through the centralized cost control boards and other too numerous to count new bureaucracies—which is a big part of the point of Obamacare anyway.

That’s why tossing the individual purchase mandate is only part of what needs to be done, and perhaps not the most important.  To really defang the beast, we have to also junk the ubiquitous new bureaucracies that exist to exert centralized control over everything that can concievably be connected to health care and cost reduction. And that will never happen unless the current political paradigm changes dramatically.

But I agree with Dean: One way or the other, the individual mandate will not stand.   The real question is whether the Dems will benefit politically from the change by leading the charge under the political message, “We hear the American people,” or resist, and be flattened by the American people.

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