The Republican leadership’s intense opposition to the Affordable Care Act clearly baffles — and disappoints — one of the party’s most admired figures, former Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Louis W. Sullivan.
Speaking at the opening session of the Association of Health Care Journalists 2014 conference in Denver last Thursday, Sullivan, the former president of the Morehouse School of Medicine who served as HHS Secretary during the George H. W. Bush administration, noted that many of the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act are based on the reform proposals he and other Republicans crafted more than two decades ago.
“Many of the features of the Affordable Care Act are part of what we proposed back in 1991,” he said, mentioning in particular the individual mandate. That provision — the requirement that Americans enroll in a private health insurance plan if they are not eligible for a government program like Medicare or Medicaid — is among the most vilified by today’s GOP.
“If they were supportive of it then, why are they so opposed to it now?” he asked.
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