“Is there any chance – despite the passing of your friend – is there any chance that a bill with a public option is going to pass the United States Senate?,” CNN Chief National Correspondent John King asked Hatch Sunday on State of the Union.
“I really don’t think so,” Hatch bluntly replied.
The Utah Republican noted that health care accounts for one-sixth of the U.S. economy and that the country faces projections of mounting budget deficits in the next decade.
“Our senior citizens are scared to death,” Hatch said.
One of Kennedy's Democratic colleagues, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington state, suggested on the same program that a public health insurance option was one way to introduce competition into the insurance market.
A public option “is a very key component” to controlling costs, said Cantwell.
Cantwell also said the status quo was unsustainable because of the rate at which health care costs have been increasing.
“Doing nothing and thinking that we’re going to get out of this expense is not really an option,” the Democrat said.