I don’t believe in the United States as a nanny-state. More laws equal less individual freedom and individual freedom is what our government is supposed to protect. (It always drives me nuts when President Bush claims it’s his job to protect America–it’s not: It’s to defend the Constitution.)

So Hillary Clinton’s latest statement about her healthcare plan (this one, not the one she pushed in the early ’90s that scuttled healthcare reform for a generation) strikes me as awful. From the Associated Press:

…In a day dominated by familiar stump speeches, Hillary Clinton made news by saying she might allow workers’ wages to be garnisheed if they refuse to buy health insurance. She has criticized Obama for pushing a health plan that she says would not require universal coverage.

Pressed on how she would enforce her mandate, Clinton said: “I think there are a number of mechanisms” that are possible, including “going after people’s wages, automatic enrollment.”

She said such measures would apply only to workers who can afford health coverage but refuse to buy it, which puts undue pressure on hospitals and emergency rooms. Under her plan, she said, health care “will be affordable for everyone” because she would limit premium payments “to a low percent of your income.”

Obama has said he would require parents to buy health insurance for children, and possibly fine them if they refused. But he would not insist that all adults buy insurance.

The philosophical difference here is more than splitting hairs. She wants to force everyone in the US to do what she thinks is right (and it’s worth noting that she is frequently wrong). He wants all kids protected (which seems fair to me) but wants adults to have the freedom to choose healthcare coverage while making it more affordable and incentivizing its purchase.

This ties in, believe it or not, with Clinton’s recent attempts to plagiarize Obama’s campaign slogan of “Yes we can!” with the bastardization of “Yes she can!” It’s a seemingly small difference, but it’s all the difference in the world.