August 30th, 2009
11:30 AM ET
5 years ago

Public option not likely to pass in the Senate, Hatch says


WASHINGTON (CNN) – Just two days after sharing his fond memories of longtime friend and Senate colleague Ted Kennedy, Republican Orrin Hatch said Sunday that one of the main provisions of a Democratic plan for health care reform – a public policy initiative that Kennedy had referred to as the “cause of my life” – stood little chance of passing in the Senate.

“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.


Filed under: Health care • Orrin Hatch • State of the Union
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. nea

    WHATEVER! Again let me remind some of you that are against Health Care Reform its not what you want or what Any Republicans or Democrats Want. If GOD wants this to pass and i believe it will no devil on earth on in Hell can stop it. So you need to put aside your political hat for a minute and pray for the good of someone other than yourself. And i believe the American people have spoken and they spoke clearly on Nov. 4, 2008 We only have one President at a time And thats President Obama whether some of you like it or not. If it was meant for John Mccain to be President He would have won it. But We the people the majority elected President Barack Obama CASE CLOSED........

    August 30, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. Joe Terrogano

    Health care insurance and medications will continue to rise, as they have been doing. The smoke screen by the greedy that "the public option" is bad stems from the competition that it would create and the profits the health care insurance and pharmaceutical companies would lose. How many Republicans and Blue Dogs are getting funding from these corporations, either directly or indirectly? Why hasn't CNN done some research into this? We, the public, have a right to know. As for bipartisan, please!!! The Republicans have opposed EVERYTHING President Obama has tried to do since day one.

    August 30, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. Barbara

    Easy for you to say with your comfortable little Heath Insurance. Get off your high horse and come down to those who have NO insurance. Start working for ALL the People-not just those insurance companies and others as well off as You. Health Insurance should be a Right. I am a Senior Citizen. I support President Obama. No one is scaring me. Just the opposite-the likes of Hatch are infuriating me-playing politics with peoples' health. And we are supposedly a Beacon for the World!?

    August 30, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. annie for Palin

    What part of NO to the whole health care mess floating around at there does the corrupt (both parties) politicians not understand? WE THE PEOPLE who pay their salaries do not want this in any of its present forms!

    August 30, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. J.C. - Independent & Insured

    Senator Hatch is very wrong here. Few politicians in D.C. thought Obama could have been elected, either.

    Without a public option, health care reform is indeed meaningless for this fiscal conservative.

    August 30, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. ben

    Screw this. I'm moving back to Canada and taking my PhD with me. I'm too tired of this ignorance, hypocrisy and greed.

    August 30, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. John in WV

    I can assure Sen. Hatch of one thing. My 82 year old mother is much more scared of me going bankrupt trying to pay for health care than she is of loosing her medicare.

    August 30, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. Ken, Arizona

    Those of you opposing a public option, consider this:
    If you want your premiums to increase whenever the insurance industry decides it needs to increase it's profits, you might want a public option.
    If you are ever denied treatment because it affects the bottom line, you might want a public option.
    If your insurance is dropped because you're using too much of it, you might want a public option.
    If you should loose your job and your insurance, and you can, and you can't find affordable insurance, you might want a public option.
    If you can't be insured becaus of a pre-existing condition, you might want a public option..

    These are not "lame excuses" for a public option, as "4 and the door" stated. The current health care industry has had more than 60 years to address our health care issues. How much more time do they need? I'll take my chances with President Obama.

    August 30, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. Earl

    May God have mercy on the souls of those who believe that people should be made to choose between death and financical ruin.

    August 30, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Tedd

    Senator Hatch indicated "...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,”

    I wonder how scared our senior citizens would be if the Republicans proposed the privitization of the Medicare and Social Security system?
    If the believe the government is so inept and privatization is the way to go, whey don't they propose this?

    Of course the government CAN be completely trusted with gigantic war funds. How hypocritical!

    August 30, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. KWAME-BASH

    Can we just stop for a minute and see what can of Health Insurance the LAW MAKERS of US have. Senator MCcain for example enjoyed military medical facilities for long time and probably still. How come similar system is bogus for the AMERICAN PEOPLE

    August 30, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. Longhorn who speaks the truth.

    We're scared alright Hatch. But it is of Senators like you and the ignorant President we have.

    August 30, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. Tom

    Shut up, Hatch. If you think the public option is so bad, why are you on it? Typical Republican attitude: "I've got mine, so screw you!"

    August 30, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    The Party of NO.

    He had to leave negotiations smack dab in the middle to run off to get his BCS bill passed thru congress. Tells us what the Republicans are interested in – Corporate America, Sports, and yelling NO to what the lttle people need.

    Time for him to go.

    August 30, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. independent

    Teddy Kennedy's dream deserves a vote. Put the public option in there and let those who will vote against it go on record for doing so. Let them be marked as holding on to the status quo and insurance interests.

    Let those who have picked up the torch to begin the work anew, know who is for them and who is against them.

    August 30, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. JR

    “Our senior citizens are scared to death,” Hatch said.

    Yeah, thanks to the GOP lies they're spreading.

    August 30, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Judy Los Angeles

    If the Senate doesn't pass a public health care plan, I say that they should lose their plans and be forced to deal with insurance companies. It's only fair.

    August 30, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Palin 2012 - 2014 1/2

    ....and you are the ones scaring them with your lies, HATCH!!!

    August 30, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  19. FL for Change

    "Our senior citizens are scared to death." DUH! You and your insurance lobbyist cronies have lied and scared them to death. You only have yourself and your lust for greed to thank...MORON!

    August 30, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. the GOP must have just had a meeting

    they are launching a full court press with their 'talking points'

    nicely organized, but half heartedly delivered

    the demise for GOP cannot come too quickly

    August 30, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  21. Seattle Sue

    Orin Hatch is such a small, little man.

    August 30, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. Brit

    Neither will another term in the Senate for you, Orin Hatch.

    August 30, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  23. Blue

    Why not Sen. Hatch? The last time that I looked the democrats have the votes to pass whatever that the country needs, and they need a public option. I don't remember the republicans asking the democrats waht they wanted when your party was in control.

    August 30, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  24. MJH

    I have seen a couple of people lump the drug companies in with the insurances companies as trying to squash the public option. In fact, the drug companies are giving $150M in advertisements in support of the public option. They are only doing this because they sat down with the white house and made sure they wouldn't be the loser in the healthcare reform fight. Sounds like they bought themselves out of this mess with the white house!!!

    By the way, that $150M could have provided free preventative care to over 250K Americans next year in the form of free clinics but never mind a common sense approach.

    August 30, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. My 2 cents

    Senior Citizens would not be "scared to death" if they weren't outright LIED TO.

    The worst "death panels" are all of those working to defeat the "public option" – it's true.

    I'm an uninsured cancer patient (who had worked & had health insurance until last year when I was diagnosed with a rare cancer). Should all of us with serious illnesses, who have fallen through the proverbial "cracks", just "die" so that the rest of you can continue down the fear-based path of "No" ?

    But we're not YOUR problem, right? ....."Brother's Keeper" only applies while you're in a church on Sunday???

    PLEASE, think about it..... SO MANY LIVES ARE AT STAKE HERE.

    August 30, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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