August 15th, 2009
10:05 AM ET
13 years ago

Hatch: Ensuring access to health care 'an American issue'

Related: 'TV loves a ruckus,' Obama says of health care reform debate

(Read the text of the RNC's weekly radio and Web address delivered by Sen. Orrin Hatch after the jump)

Text of the Republican National Committee's weekly radio and Web address delivered by Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch:

“Hello. I am Orrin Hatch, from the great state of Utah. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with all of you today to talk about the very important challenge of health care reform.

“Ensuring access to affordable and quality health care for every American is not a Republican or Democrat issue – it is an American issue. Our nation expects us to solve this challenge in an open, honest and responsible manner. More spending, more taxes and more government is not the answer.

“After the rushed stimulus bill, Americans are rightly concerned about what is being pushed through the Democratic Congress. The rush to pass something that will affect every American life and one-sixth of our economy has raised concerns all around our nation.

“So, why are Americans so skeptical of and concerned with the approach of the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress? A big reason for this concern is that nearly 85 percent of Americans have coverage and they are really worried about what reform means for them. Especially our seniors. And these concerns are moving from kitchen table conversations to town hall discussions.

“I am disappointed about the attempts to characterize the behavior of Americans expressing their concerns as ‘un-American'.’ Although I strongly encourage the use of respectful debate in these town halls, we should not be stifling these discussions. There is nothing ‘un-American’ about disagreements. In fact, our great nation was founded on speaking our minds.

“Families are voicing their concerns because they feel like they are not being heard in Washington and I am here to tell you that your voices are coming through and it is essential for all of you to be involved in this issue.

“Republicans in Congress agree with the majority of Americans who believe that just throwing more taxpayer dollars at a problem will not deliver meaningful reform. Telling the American public that the solution for solving a $2.5 trillion health care system is to simply spend another trillion dollars in our current economy, just does not make sense. Especially at a time when spending and debt are multiplying with such alarming speed, like an almost $2 trillion national deficit this year alone, $200 billion in state deficits, a Medicare program on the edge of bankruptcy and a national debt that will triple within the next decade.

“There are several areas of consensus that can form the basis for a sustainable, fiscally responsible and bipartisan reform. These include:

1. Reforming the health insurance market for every American by making sure that no American is denied coverage simply based on a pre-existing condition

2. Protecting the coverage for almost 85 percent of Americans who already have coverage – coverage they like – by making it more affordable. This means reducing costs by rewarding quality and coordinated care, giving families more information on the cost and choices of their coverage and treatment options, discouraging junk lawsuits against doctors and hospitals and promoting prevention and wellness measures like quitting smoking and living a healthier lifestyle.

3. Giving states flexibility to design their own unique approaches to reduce uninsured

4. Empowering small businesses and self-employed entrepreneurs – the job-creating engines and lifeblood of our economy – to buy affordable coverage for their employees

“Unfortunately, the path we are taking in Washington right now is to simply spend another trillion dollars of taxpayer money to further expand the role of the federal government. The reform proposals being pushed by the Democrats include massive expansions of the Medicaid program and the creation of a new Washington-run plan that will drive millions of Americans from private coverage of their choice into government-run plans. As the federal government’s control of our health care system continues to increase, private coverage will continue to decrease, till we are left with a Washington-run and dictated health care system.

“Medicare offers an important lesson. With $38 trillion in future costs, it is facing bankruptcy within the next decade, threatening access to care for millions of Americans. So what is the Democratic approach to fix Medicare for our seniors? Hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts which will be used to expand a financially-strapped Medicaid program and create another government-run plan.

“To enact true health care reform, we should work together to write a responsible, bipartisan bill for the American families who are faced with rising unemployment and out of control health care costs.

“We have a real need for reform and an opportunity on behalf of the American people to get it done. If we are responsible in our policy approaches and strive for true bipartisanship, we can achieve meaningful reform.”

Related: Health care in America

Filed under: Health care • Orrin Hatch
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. cspurgeon

    One of the cost cuts should be doingn away with the Senate heath insurance. This hypocrite never does anything except for his own end.We need term limits for all.

    August 15, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  2. Astroturf this

    The most profound thing I heard this week. Google Ronald Reagan's 1961 speech on Socialized Medicine. It's as if he were alive today warning us about this bill.

    This is socialism. It has NOTHING to do with healthcare. It has to do EVERYTHING with taking over free enterprise and putting socialist systems in place.

    We CANNOT allow this bill to proceed.

    August 15, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. Margaret Anderson/Boise, Idaho

    How much money has the health Industry given to Orin Hatch for his running for office?

    August 15, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. Bridgette

    The Republics were in control of the house and senate for over 12 years and not one time did any of them have a conversation about health care as more and more American citizens were forced to file bankruptcy because of insurance bills. They really don't have answers now they just don't want to stop getting those donation checks from the insurnance company. I think we need reform and maybe if we can stop all this foolishness with ridiculous signs and actually sit down like intelligent adults and converse with one another then and only then can something be done about it.

    August 15, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. Brandon

    It would be nice if the Republicans actually came out with a plan to do something about healthcare. Instead they just highlight certain goals they would like to achieve. Its easy to criticize someone about something that you haven't even attempted to do yourself.

    August 15, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  6. Gre in Ohio

    Great idea but good luck getting Dems on board more importa the unions. Get the union and you will get the dems. When we get a bill how about we add this pork to it "Age and Terms limits for all reps in DC.

    August 15, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. Lets move forward

    To suggest that people currently with insurance will lose benefits is wrong. If there were a govt system people that could afford to would be able purchase additional coverage from private insurers, its not as if they will just go away.

    It has been stated that it will not cover illegal immigrants, which in essence we already pay for anyway.

    It is interesting how the people that are fighting this the hardest are right to lifers, how can you be pro life and not pro healthcare for everyone?

    And Medicare is nearly bankrupt for many reasons so it would make sense to address the problem immediately along with healthcare for everyone else that should it.

    August 15, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. Nancy

    The Republicans have become a joke! Every day brings another lie. 85% of Americans are just a job loss or insurance changed or dropped by their employer. Somehow that seems like no choice. Stirring up FEAR by untruths seems to be the Republicans stock in trade these days. "Pulling the Plug on Grandma" -"Aid to Ilegals" -"Government Take-Over"-all lies-Look it up instead of believingt these men who have been eating at the health providers troughs for years. Those of you that belong to the Christian right "Is this how Jesus would behave?" Would he be at these rallies spouting hate, Nazi symbols, and the "hell to everyone else attitude? You sound like the more revengeful God of the Old Testament, than the forgiving, love thy neighbor New Testament Christ.

    August 15, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
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