Home > Awareness, LGBT News, Politics > Orin Hatch and Bob Bennett Once Sponsored National Healthcare

Orin Hatch and Bob Bennett Once Sponsored National Healthcare

January 20, 2011

Orin Hatch

Republicans and especially the Tea Party faction of the party have been very vocal about the evils of the Democrats sponsorship of National Health Care.  Interestingly, two of Utah’s very own Senators who currently speak out against National Health Care were two of 20 GOP sponsors for National Health Insurance back in ’93.  Senators Orin Hatch and Robert Bennett were sponsors of National Health Care which in many ways resembles the Democrats legislation.  Once again it seems that our Utah Republicans are more interested in playing politics than representing the interests of the people.  So the question is, are they wrong in not protecting Americans access to Healthcare or were they wrong in 1993?  Either way, they were wrong at some point!

“Congress has never crossed the line between regulating what people choose to do and ordering them to do it,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). “The difference between regulating and requiring is liberty.”

But Hatch’s opposition is ironic, or some would say, politically motivated. 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.”


[In 1993] … John Chafee of Rhode Island, along with 20 other GOP senators and Rep. Bill Thomas of California, introduced legislation that instead featured an individual mandate. Four of those Republican co-sponsors; Orin Hatch of Utah, Charles Grassley of Iowa, Robert Bennett of Utah and Christopher Bond of Missouri  remain in the Senate today.

The GOP’s 1993 measure included some features Republicans still want Democrats to consider, including damage award caps for medical malpractice lawsuits.

But the summary of the Republican bill from the Clinton era and the Democratic bills that passed the House and Senate over the past few months are startlingly alike.

via Republicans Spurn Once-Favored Health Mandate | WBUR & NPR.