Some Senate Dems Also Don't Like Individual Mandate

Senator Ben Nelson is one of four senate Dems who are uncomfortable with the individual mandate. He prefers market based approaches, as does rookie Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

“We’re looking at everything humanly possible. I’ve always had a concern and a problem with the mandate, that we were forcing it, basically saying by the law of the land you have to buy the product,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV, told ABC News today. “But on the other hand, I know that’s been the lynchpin. I’m looking for flexibility any way I can.” Manchin is one of the moderate Democrats trying to figure out how to repeal the individual mandate.

Nelson, for one, has been exploring alternatives to the individual mandate since even before the bill was signed into law. A former insurance commissioner, he has written to both the Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Budget Office asking them to analyze various alternatives. If the GAO and CBO eventually provide him with alternatives that would be improvements on the individual mandate, then he could propose legislation to replace the current law.

This could, ironically, spell trouble for the GOP. What if senate Democrats amend the law to eliminate the individual mandate - what will house Republicans do then?