Lugar haunted by past support for individual mandate

Indiana Democrats blasted Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) on Monday over his shifting stance on whether people should be required to have health insurance.

Lugar, who faces a Tea Party challenger in his run for reelection, is one of 36 Republican senators who joined an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down the entire healthcare reform law if its individual mandate is found unconstitutional. Back in 1993, however, Lugar was one of several prominent Senate Republicans — along with Bob Dole (Kan.) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa) — who supported the individual mandate as an alternative to President Clinton's proposal for a mandate on employers.

"This is the worst of Washington," Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker said in a statement. "Sen. Lugar co-sponsored the individual mandate, but when he finds himself in a partisan primary, he calls it unconstitutional without so much as attempting to explain his flip-flop. Hoosiers deserve better."

Lugar has consistently criticized President Obama's healthcare reform law as government overreach. He faces a primary challenge from the Tea Party-supported Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock.