Worth Reading #7: Igor Volsky: Orrin Hatch: I Supported The Unconstitutional Individual Mandate In 1993 To Derail HillaryCare (March 27, 2010)
Think Progress: Hatch: I Supported The Unconstitutional Individual Mandate In 1993 To Derail HillaryCare: Yesterday, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) admitted that he supported the individual mandate before he realized it was unconstitutional and now, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has conceded that he too endorsed a policy that would have allowed the government “to tell you what you have to buy, even if you don’t want to buy it.” In 1993, Hatch, along with 20 other GOP senators — including Grassley, Bennett, and Bond — introduced a health care plan that would have required everyone to buy coverage, capped awards for medical malpractice lawsuits, established minimum benefit packages and invested in comparative effectiveness research. It was, in other words, a plan to “erode liberty.”
Last night, and then again this afternoon, Hatch was pressed on his past support for the 1993 proposal. What’s changed, CNN’s Campbell Brown and MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell both wanted to know. Like Grassley, Hatch couldn’t come up with a very good answer. In 1993, Republicans hastily proposed the unconstitutional measure to fend off HillaryCare; nobody even understood the implications of the alternative policy, Hatch explained:
HATCH: Well, it really wasn’t. We were fighting Hillarycare at that time. And I don’t think anyone centered on it, I certainly didn’t. That was 17 years ago. But since then, and with the advent of this particular bill, really seeing how much they’re depending on an unconstitutional approach to it, yea, naturally I got into it, got into it on this issue.