No question about it, Jon Huntsman openly supported imposing an individual health insurance mandate:
JULIE ROSE (KCPW): One of the recommendations in that proposal is that all Utahns be required to have health insurance of some sort, and those who are not able to afford it would be paid for by the state through one of the state's health programs. It's a mandate of health insurance. Are you comfortable with that, with requiring every Utahn to get health insurance?
GOV. HUNTSMAN: I'm comfortable with a requirement. You can call it whatever you want, but at some point we're going to have to get serious about how we deal with this issue and that means there will have to be a multitude of different policies that are available in the marketplace. It means that it will be more incumbent on citizens to look at responsibility, there own responsibility in terms of health, and the choices that are made. It likely will mean that we'll be in an environment with better prices, more options, more access and availability.
There is a mandate today, let us not forget, and it's called the emergency room. You show up in the emergency room, and you get covered. Who pays the bills? Taxpayers pay the bills. Companies pay the bills. So we're living in an environment today where there already is a mandate in place.
Case closed, not just on the whether Huntsman used to be pro-mandate, but on his campaign as a whole. You can't run for president as a Republican in 2012 if you're a mandate supporting former member of the Obama administration.
Unless the GOP decides to do an about face and acknowledge health care reform was a good thing, this is more great news for Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, and everyone else on the GOP Ship of Fools who hasn't flip-flopped on the individual mandate. (In addition to Jon Hunstman, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Newt Gingrich already have changed their positions.)