Suskind Book: Obama Was Inspired By Success Of RomneyCare’s Individual Mandate

Ron Suskind’s new book Confidence Men argues that the success of the individual mandate in Mitt Romney’s 2006 health care reform law convinced President Obama to include the provision in the Affordable Care Act. Former Director of the White House Office of Health Care Reform Nancy-Anne DeParle argued that “Obama should embrace a plan much like that in Massachusetts, driven by the teeth of a mandate,” Suskind writes, and the president — who had rejected the mandate as a candidate — ultimately found himself “persuaded by DeParle’s plan.” Obama himself has repeatedly credited Romney for the idea, telling the Today show in March of 2010, “[W]hen you actually look at the bill itself, it incorporates all sorts of Republican ideas. I mean a lot of commentators have said this is sort of similar to the bill that Mitt Romney, the Republican governor and now presidential candidate, passed in Massachusetts. A lot of the ideas in terms of the exchange, just being able to pool and improve the purchasing power of individuals in the insurance market.”