Long before his administration went into federal court to fight 27 states that are now challenging the constitutionality of the federal government forcing people to buy health insurance, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama told Ellen DeGeneres that—unlike his opponent Hillary Clinton—he opposed forcing the uninsured to buy health insurance, saying that it would be like forcing the homeless to buy homes.

“Both of us want to provide health care to all Americans. There’s a slight difference, and her plan is a good one. But, she mandates that everybody buy health care. She’d have the government force every individual to buy insurance and I don’t have such a mandate because I don’t think the problem is that people don’t want health insurance, it’s that they can’t afford it,” Obama said in a Feb. 28, 2008 appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ television show. “So, I focus more on lowering costs. This is a modest difference. But, it’s one that she’s tried to elevate, arguing that because I don’t force people to buy health care that I’m not insuring everybody. Well, if things were that easy, I could mandate everybody to buy a house, and that would solve the problem of homelessness. It doesn’t.”

Read More: By Eric Scheiner, CNS News

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