Orrin Hatch: Republicans Weren't Involved in the Process on Health Care Reform
Don't we wish Orrin. Orrin Hatch pretends that the Republicans weren't involved in the process of putting together the health care bill. Sorry Senator but the ones who were completely shut out of the process were single-payer advocates. They weren't even allowed a seat at the table when Max Baucus was having his hearings. You and your party on the other hand were given ample opportunity to muck up the bill you refused to vote for later. I also can't believe he had the nerve to say the Senate passed the Health Committee bill when that's a blatant lie as well. The end result of that Senate bill was not what came out of the Health Committee and he knows it.
From Slate--This Is What "Bipartisanship" Looks Like:
What do the GOP amendments to this Senate health care bill actually say?
When the Senate health, education, labor, and pensions committee passed its health care bill Wednesday, the Obama administration hailed it as a "bipartisan" effort. No matter that it passed the panel on a strictly party-line vote, with all 13 Democrats voting for and all 10 Republicans voting against. It was bipartisan, administration officials explained, because it contained 160 Republican amendments. Republican senators said that characterization was absurd. After all, they said, most of the 160 amendments were technical, rather than substantive, changes. Lisa Murkowsi of Alaska told the New York Times that, while it was "pretty impressive" that 20 of her amendments were accepted, "they were all technical."
Who's right? There's no real way to resolve this debate without examining the content of these amendments, and the committee has yet to officially release them. But a Senate Republican source sent Slate a summary of many of the amendments, with a short description of each. (Download the Excel file here.) Disclaimer: This is an incomplete list. Of the 788 amendments filed, only 437 appear here. And of the 161 GOP amendments passed or accepted, we have confirmed only 80 as such. We hope to update the document as more information becomes available. Read on...
Transcript via CNN below the fold.
KING: Let's move on to health care. Senator Menendez, this was the president's signature initiative. He wanted in the speech to Congress last year to sign it in 2009. He wanted this to be a big Democratic victory. That didn't happen. The election in Massachusetts obviously takes away one of your votes. You don't have 60 votes in the Democratic caucus anymore. The question is will Democrats try to work out a compromise between the existing Senate in the House bill, or will they say Massachusetts sent us a message, forget that, let's go back to the drawing board and start over. What is your position and the position you believe all those Democratic candidates out there you are trying to help in this election should take? Figure it out or start from scratch?
MENENDEZ: Well first of all, we tried working with our Republican colleagues. As a matter of fact, three of the months that went by was working with a bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans to try to come to health care reform that could be agreed upon in a bipartisan fashion. And so three of those months were lost in that effort. At the end of the day, they did not want to achieve such a goal. So I believe that we need to move forward. Clearly if you are a family without health insurance and you get ill, you are on the face of bankruptcy. If you are a family with insurance, you see skyrocketing premiums.
KING: Based on the existing bills or start over and say Senator Hatch, you were Ted Kennedy's friend, let's come in with a blank piece of paper and do something that we can all agree on?
MENENDEZ: Well, you know, when we hear about slow down and start over, it really means don't do anything. Republicans have come to the conclusion that the president's failure not only in health care but across the board is their way to political victory.
KING: Your leader this morning said start from scratch. Could you give Senator Menendez and the president of the United States, given your experience on this issue, including with your friend, the late Senator Kennedy, that if you will come in with a blank piece of paper, I will promise to try to get a bill by the end of this year?
HATCH: I've offered that from the beginning.
KING: This year?
HATCH: I have offered that from the beginning. The fact of the matter is, they did a health committee bill.
KING: That's what happened before.
HATCH: Everything they did was lacking...
KING: In this political environment, would your party stand with you if you said, let's go back and let's do preexisting conditions. Let's do some other things. Maybe we can get them to give us tort reform and let's take out of stuff that we don't agree on and try to get something done. Would you do it this year?
HATCH: I don't know one Republican who does not want health care reform. I don't know one Republican who would not try to work together with the Democrats. We weren't involved in this process. We weren't even asked. It was an arrogance of power. They had 60 votes. They felt they could put anything through they wanted to. And they found out that they couldn't.
Now look, you bet your life, we would have to start over. There are a lot of things we can agree on right off the bat. I have to say big spending issues is where it breaks down. Their answer to everything is let's spend more money and let's get more of the health care in the federal government into a single payer system, socialized medicine, if you will. That's what they want. That's what they have been pushing for. Let's push people into Medicaid. Let's push people into Medicare, when both of those programs are in deep financial insolvency.
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