Obama felt so strongly about the issue that he even cut an ad attacking Clinton for her support of the individual mandate. "Hillary Clinton's attacking, but what's she not telling you about her health care plan?" the April 2008 ad asked. "It forces everyone to buy insurance, even if you can't afford it, and you pay a penalty if you don't."In an earlier battle against Hillary Clinton's health care plan, it was conservatives and some Republicans who were pushing it as part of an alternative:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Saturday defended his previous support of a federal mandate requiring people to buy health insurance by saying that "virtually every conservative saw the mandate as a less dangerous future" than the health-care plan being advanced by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton in 1993 and that the idea of mandating that people buy health insurance "started as a conservative effort to stop Hillarycare in the 1990s."
While it is true that it in 1989 the Heritage Foundation published a health-care reform plan that called for mandating that all American households purchase health insurance, the plan did not gain many supporters in Congress.
Hillary Clinton just can't seem to win on this issue, no matter which side she takes.In fact, the principal congressional advocate of an individual health insurance mandate at the time Hillarycare was being debated in Congress in 1993 was Sen. John Chafee--a liberal Republican from Rhode Island. Chafee later said he abandoned his plan for an individual mandate because, at the time, he could not get support for it on either the right or the left.