July 22nd, 2009
02:22 PM ET
5 years ago

Hatch shuts door on bipartisan health care talks

Sen. Orrin Hatch withdrew from bipartisan health care talks on Wednesday.
Sen. Orrin Hatch withdrew from bipartisan health care talks on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A key Republican quit bipartisan health care talks Wednesday, saying he has major disagreements with direction the talks are taking.

"I decided to withdraw because I'm having difficulty with the high costs of a number of the provisions that I think they're ultimately going to come up with," Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah told CNN. "Right now, with some of the provisions that I know they are going to have to put in there, I just can't agree with them."

Hatch's decision is a blow - although not likely a fatal one - to the talks among a group of Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee. The talks are widely considered the most likely place a bipartisan compromise on a health care overhaul could be reached.

In quitting the talks, Hatch cited his opposition to a number of key issues that have been part of the talks for weeks. Specifically, he objects to policies that would require employers to pay for health insurance for their employees, mandate that all Americans buy insurance, and expand the Medicaid program, which, he said, would hurt the financially strapped states.

He criticized the nearly $1 trillion price tag as too high and opposes the methods the group is developing to pay for the bill.

Hatch also said he is concerned that whatever agreement is reached by the bipartisan group will become more liberal when it is merged with the House bill.

Hatch, a conservative, has taken part in the talks for weeks. His attendance dropped off last week so he could participate in the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor. He told the leader of the talks, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, of his decision to step away from the group while walking to a Senate vote Wednesday afternoon.

"Frankly, I have different view points on a number of things and I just don't want to mislead anybody," Hatch said. "So I told Max that it would probably be better if I don't come right now."


Filed under: Health care • Orrin Hatch
soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Chris

    Its baffling....talk to the Canadians...or the Europeans about their healthcare system.....and where they come for complex procedures....here...to the US.....and then ask the Canadians what they are paying for taxes for their sub par healthcare system....I choose to stick with what we have.....with Tort Reform.....government has proven time and time again that it is incapable of running ANYTHING fiscally responsible....also keep in mind....if you choose not to support Obama and his socialist practices – it does not make you a racist.....it makes you literate

    July 22, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. Molly Weasley

    This is not news, because they never took part in any bipartisan effort at all. On anything.

    The GOP is the party of no, and of no ideas.

    Whether you agree or disagree with any of the health reform bills, remember that bipartisanship is a two-way street. And Republicans have been staying on only one side.

    July 22, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. Jules

    How can he just blow this off? Doesn't he work for us? Isn't it his job to stick in there and fight for what is best for the people?
    I wonder what my boss would say if I stepped out of a meeting because I have a different point of view with what was being said.....I think I would no longer have a job!!!

    July 22, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. Independent_me

    Republicans are gloating about making this issue Obama's "Waterloo".
    Thet intend to block change every step of the way.

    If the Democrats buckle under the Repugs nasty tactics, the only people who this will hurt are Americans...every one of us – as health costs continue to spiral out of control.

    Do not allow the Repugs to kill healthcare reform! Call your congressmen and women and demand that they pass healthcare reform with a public option!

    July 22, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. jfs Memhis, Tn

    I think that it is about time the Feds shut the door on small state fed contributions. They should not get back fed monies that exceeds what they contribute to government in the form of taxes. They might think twice about the needs of the big states That's where the bulk of the american voters and taxpayers reside, not , Ida, Utah, Ms, Tn , Ala, SC, Etc. The time has come to do what is right for all of us.

    July 22, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Alfred Arinze.Jr

    I don't buy the idea insurance be made mandatory to every American, bt we need to encourage every body be covered either by private of gov public options health insurance.
    It wont cost 1 trillion, if we are going to replace only that what we don't have & broken items, beside lives is more precious than 5 trillion dollars, or should we offer Sen Hatch a trillion dollars to loose his life will he agree to the deal? if not, each of every American Life is as precious as his

    July 22, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. To Mr. Hatch.........

    Mr. Hatch,
    If you're so concerned about strapped states....why have you criticized to economic stimulus to cash strapped states??? You can't have it both ways Mr. Hypocitical Senator. If so, perhaps you need to leave the Senate and work within you're Utah about the State Senate for that ccash strapped state. Were you ever worried about the states when you voted for Phil gramms banking deregulation bill that has now economically impacted the states after Wall streets crash on our economy ??? of course not.....you're just another hypocritical lying Refiblican talking out the side of your neck...........

    July 22, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Debra Austin, Texas

    Good. Time to ditch the Rethugs and Blue Dogs and get REAL health care reform. We only need 51.

    July 22, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. moosehead

    Fat cat Orrin Hatch, a paid lobbyist by the medical special interest groups. As a Canadian, who enjoys the benefits and piece of mind of universal healthcare, i cannot believe the opposition to something that's good for everybody,... except the greedy medical industry. Do not let a few bribed officials and the propaganda from the health lobby confuse you, about the real benefits of health reform, and universal healthcare. It works here in Canada,.. and we love it.

    July 22, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. To Mr. Hatch.........

    Mr. Hatch,
    If you're so concerned about cash strapped states....why have you criticized the economic stimulus to those cash strapped states??? You can't have it both ways Mr. Hypocitical Senator. If so, perhaps you need to leave the Senate and work within you're state of Utah for the State Senate for that cash strapped state. Were you ever worried about the states when you voted for Phil gramms banking deregulation bill that has now economically impacted the states after Wall streets crash on our economy ??? of course not.....you're just another hypocritical lying Refiblican talking out the side of your neck...........

    July 22, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Melissa

    How incredibly childish. Just more proof that the Republicans are more concerned with money than they are with people. And more proof that they should never ever be in charge of a country again.

    July 22, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. dreamer

    let him find out what iti is to be poor and without health insureance even for one month.he a rich SOB and don't have a clue like most of washington politicians just dont have a clue

    July 22, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. Ben in Texas

    The headline could have been, "Another NO from the Party of NO". When and if we ever get health care reform, it will be so watered down that Orin Hatch could bathe in it for the rest of his life. (Now, there's a creepy image!)

    I would like to see how much money Orin Hatch has received from health insurance companies, doctors, hospital corporations, and all the others who benefit extravagantly from lack of health care reform. Even more than that, I would like to see him, or any Repugnant, present a serious alternative health care bill.

    Ah, but it's so much easier to take the dough and "Just Say No".

    July 22, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Duck Fallas

    What a quitter! He should be governor of Alaska.

    What kind of name is "Orrin" anyway?

    Palin-Bachmann 2012

    July 22, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. Kelby In Houston, TX

    We knew bipartisanship was out the window from the repsonse we got for the stimulus package. Since then, Republicans have become increasingly irrelevent.
    We expected repuglican discourse. We knew republicans would provide opposition. What we did not expect were the problems coming from within the Democratic party.
    We, The People, don't need you. We can do this without you. We planned on doing this without you. I would like to reitterate that the republican party is increasingly irrelevant...INCREASINGLY!

    July 22, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. MatthewDetroit

    HE is correct.
    WE can not afford this.
    I do not want it paid for with my tax dollars.
    People can get their own insurance or pay their own bills. PERIOD.

    And I say no to amnesty for illegals especially the part about FREE schooling, health care, and benefits. JUST SAY NO.

    July 22, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. Moderate Democrat

    Right now, with some of the provisions that I know they are going to have to put in there, I just can't agree with them."

    So let me get this straight. He KNOWS they HAVE to put them in. In essence, peoples lives are at stake, but he prefers to let them die, despite KNOWING it's the wrong thing to do. Yes, sounds like the typical republican policy. Kill some people and give rich people their money.

    July 22, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. Bill in California

    GOOD FOR HIM! When you see a TRAIN WRECK about to happen, it's sound judgement to just get out of the way. Let the Dimrats give away the farm then watch them scurry for cover in 2010 and 2012.

    July 22, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. Willy Brown

    About time the republicans grew some onions. Time to take out the democrat trash!

    July 22, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Dave

    Thank you Senator Hatch for not putting our country in such a HUGE financial disaster that we would never be able to recover from it.

    Now hopefully our Government can start from scratch and try and solve our Health Insurance coverage & Cost problem. And hopefully President Obama will get more involved from the start and not leave the details up to the Dem's in Congress.

    July 22, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. Whatever...

    My family in the United States dates back to 1700's. I love my family and my history and I'm proud of the contributions my family has made to this country, it ties me to this country in ways that are deeply meaningful to me but sometimes I really despise the ignorance, pettiness, and racism in the U.S. In these tough times too many of us are showing ourselves to be prone to negativity, avarice and just plain tackiness.

    July 22, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. smokey

    I say Good Riddens ! All he did was complain anyway like the rest of the GOP, while offerring no new ideas..More of the same old crap we have been hearing for the past 8 years.Maybe now we can really get down to business and get this important bill passed..Funny , all of a sudden these GOP people are so concerned about spending..Where was all this so-called concerned for the American people and the budget the pasy 8years when they just gave Bush a blank check to go to war, where he spent approx 1 billion a month..They asked not one question and monitored nothing..Now all of sudden when Pres Obama wants to do something to help the American people, we have to become cheap..Seems to me all these complainers should retire, and lets get some new blood in there..thats the only way we are going to see real change..

    July 22, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. WIll 18E

    GOP shut doors on bipartisan talks, and then will later complain that they were excluded.

    July 22, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. RealityKing

    Congress should be manadated to the "government option" of any healthcare reform bill they pass..

    July 22, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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