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GOP Senator Slams ‘Unconstitutional’ Health Care Policy He Once Supported

By Huffington Post
November 21, 2010

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) asserted that a mandate requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance violates the U.S. Constitution during an interview on Fox News last Friday.

Addressing the legality of the measure, which was included in the health reform package enacted into law earlier this year, the six-term incumbent didn’t hold back in sharing his take on the matter.

“The individual mandate, in our eyes, is clearly unconstitutional,” explained Hatch to FNC anchor Greta Van Susteren. “If Congress can do that to us, then there’s nothing that the government can’t do to us.”

Earlier this year, Julie Rovner at NPR reported on the twist of irony at the core of the Republican senator’s position:

The last time Congress debated a health overhaul, when Bill Clinton was president, Hatch and several other senators who now oppose the so-called individual mandate actually supported a bill that would have required it.

In fact, says Len Nichols of the New America Foundation, the individual mandate was originally a Republican idea. “It was invented by Mark Pauly to give to George Bush Sr. back in the day, as a competition to the employer mandate focus of the Democrats at the time.”

When the Clinton administration attempted to achieve health care reform, Hatch co-sponsored legislation that included an individual mandate alongside Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bob Bennett (R-Utah) and Kit Bond (R-Mo.).

After first appearing to flip-flop on the issue earlier this year, Hatch struggled to explain the shifting nature of his stance during an appearance on CNN.

“In 1993, we were trying to kill HillaryCare and I didn’t pay any attention to that because that because that was part of a bill that I just hadn’t centered on,” he said. “But, since then, of course, 17 years later, when it comes up and I know it’s possible it’s going to pass, then I looked at it and, constitutionally, I came to the conclusion this would be.”

Nevertheless, Hatch criticized the health care reform legislation passed under the Obama administration as “disastrous” during his more recent appearance on Fox News.

WATCH:

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.comFrom The Huffington Post

7 Responses to GOP Senator Slams ‘Unconstitutional’ Health Care Policy He Once Supported

  1. Guardhouse Lawyer

    November 22, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Wonder if he objects to the requirement in Utah that people buy auto insurance.

    • Almandine

      November 22, 2010 at 9:54 am

      That argument is stale, tired, and just plain inapplicable. Driving is a privilege… breathing is not… at least until the “comparative effectiveness” gurus have their way.

  2. Donna M. Ellington

    November 22, 2010 at 9:50 am

    AMERICANS FOR HEALTHCARE: Join our page to insure that the Healthcare Law is not repealed, and that the states don’t gut it. Healthcare is not done, and will not be done until ALL Americans have access to affordable, accessible, world-class healthcare. 123 people should not die daily because we have a system that isn’t working well. We plan …a major march on Congress in 2011 and will demonstrate the number of Americans killed yearly by a sick system that CAN be fixed. AND WE WILL DEMAND THAT CONGRESS ENACT THE LEGISLATION THAT WILL GUARANTEE EVERY AMERICAN THE BASIC RIGHT OF HEALTHCARE.

    http://www.facebook.com/NoTeaParty?v=wall#!/group.php?gid=368137768565

    • Almandine

      November 22, 2010 at 12:24 pm

      “access to affordable, accessible, world-class healthcare”…

      and therein lies the rub. An oxymoronic non-sequitur.

      • griff

        November 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm

        A busy-body drive-by. Pay no heed.

  3. Guardhouse Lawyer

    November 22, 2010 at 10:14 am

    I wasn’t arguing, was I? I just wondered whether Knox differentiated between mandatory car insurance and mandatory health insurance.

  4. Guardhouse Lawyer

    November 22, 2010 at 11:06 am

    HATCH!. Not Knox. Orrin Knox was a fictional politician in novels by Allen Drury.