Terence P. Jeffrey
CNS News 
December 12, 2011
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.
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.
As recently as this May, Gingrich himself defended what he called a “variation” on the insurance mandate.