ICYMI: After Years of Support for Individual Mandate, Tommy Thompson Panders to Tea Party

Jun 25, 2012

Recent Statements Show the Career Politician Has No Core and Will Say Anything to Get Elected

In an about-face flip-flop that would make even Mitt Romney flinch, former Bush Administration Cabinet Secretary Tommy Thompson, who previously supported an individual mandate, now says he would do away with the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act, citing its “unconstitutionality.”

Repeatedly over the years, Secretary Thompson had nothing but glowing praise about Massachusetts’ individual mandate program put in place by then-Gov. Mitt Romney, trumpeting it as a model for the nation that could lead to greater healthcare for all Americans and also ease the costly economic impact of the uninsured.

Now Secretary Thompson is pandering to the extreme right-wing with claims he wants to do away with the individual mandate because it is unconstitutional.

Appearing on WISN’s UpFront program with Mike Gousha last weekend, Thompson made the following claim:

Gousha: Why is the mandate such a bad idea, I talked to Senator Ron Johnson about this and I said this idea originated with the Heritage Foundation, it was about personal responsibility. We’ll get people with insurance so that they don’t have to pay for people who don’t have insurance, now why is it about a government takeover and not about personal responsibility?

Thompson: The bad thing is it’s against the constitution.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently profiled Thompson’s move to the far right of his party and Thompson’s recent appearance before a tea party group where he discussed his interest in destroying other programs for the under- and uninsured.

“Thompson attended a Tea Party meeting in Waukesha County saying, “And who better than me, (who’s) already finished one of the entitlement programs, to come up with programs to do away with Medicaid and Medicare?”” reads the story.

In addition, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s “Politifact” found that Thompson’s first TV ad was “Pants on Fire” false for resurrecting what was determined to be 2010’s “Lie of the Year.”

“Tommy Thompson was for the individual mandate before he was against it. He used to run the Medicare program and cut sweetheart deals for the drug companies and now he is talking of “doing away” with Medicare and supports plans to privatize it. And he once praised efforts to pass the Affordable Care Act and now he falsely claims it is a government take-over of health care,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate on Tuesday. “It’s clear Secretary Thompson will say anything to get elected. If he does make it to the general election in August, we will not allow him to etch-a-sketch his Tea Party extremism. He now owns it.”