August 30th, 2009
11:30 AM ET
13 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. Eleanor, Port Orchard, WA

    More rubbish from Hatch! It can and it will pass the Senate!! He knows it, and is terrified of it.

    August 30, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. Eleanor, Port Orchard, WA

    All American citizens should have exactly the same health care as Congress has!

    August 30, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Cali Mike

    Senior Citizens are scared to death because republicans spend 7 days a week telling them lies that Obama is taking away medicare and starting death panels and requiring abortions for all the white people in the south.

    The Party of NO has been ridiculous for the past few years. Now, discovering how they destroyed the economy, tortured random people without charging them with a crime and won't help out Americans with good healthcare while they eat out of the government tax pot, they are becoming a criminal element. I can't see voting for ANY republican ever again who the ridiculous positions of the RNC

    August 30, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. tonyt

    “Our senior citizens are scared to death,” Hatch said.
    I wonder why?
    Could it be because of dumb comments like, "pull the plug on Grandma", Death Panels, Obama nazi regime.

    Grow Up America!

    August 30, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. tonyt

    Lets Pull The Plug On Hatch!

    August 30, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Alan

    Then let Hatch opt out of his government sponsored plan. Aren't we tired of the same old scare tactics by the republicans? They are not even working to find compromise just spread untrue rumors and fan the flames. The republicans are yesterday's party.

    August 30, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  7. Steve Lyons

    Focus on Tort Reform before you try and add any more demand on the system.

    Force Insurance companies to compete across state lines and remove their ability to deny coverage.

    August 30, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. Farrell in Houston

    Has anyone asked the insurance companies if they are not going to raise their rates to their insurers. The answer is no because they don't have to as long as they have the American puppets fighting for them insuring they continue to do business as usual, raising your rates.

    August 30, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. Tom in VA

    SOCIALIZED insurance will NOT solve this nation's healthcare will only raise taxes and BANKRUPT our nation.

    Healthcare providers, hospitals, clinics, and drug companies are private sector workers, who will always charge what the market will bear. We have to reign in what is charged for their services....just like rent controls! Virtually every MD wants to get paid like a millionaire upon receiving their license to practice, and every hospital and drug company values their margins more than patient and public service.

    Until the above changes, we and insurers, both public and private, will continue to be over-charged and defrauded. If the government can't stop rampant fraud in Medicare, Medicade, and other government entitlement programs, how in the hell is going to stop it enough now to pay for this so called "Healthcare Reform"...?

    August 30, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  10. tonyt

    gee I wonder why?

    A questionnaire accompanying the appeal says the government could check voting registration records, "prompting fears that GOP voters might be discriminated against for medical treatment in a Democrat-imposed health care rationing system."

    It asks, "Does this possibility concern you?"

    August 30, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. gflan

    Our Senior citizens may be "scared to death" as Sen. Hatch states but mostly because of the misinformation and blatant untruths that have been spread. But the ones who are really "scared to death" of the public option are the insurance companies, who will lose their control of health care rationing!

    August 30, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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