Romney, Hatch, Bennett All Supported Health Insurance "Mandate"
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Uploaded on Mar 25, 2010
2006 - Romney: "We insist that everybody who drives a car has insurance. And cars are a lot less expensive than people." In other words, a mandate.
1993 - Utah Senators Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett co-sponsored a GOP health reform bill requiring people to have medical coverage. In other words, a mandate.
WTF? - There was an exemption for people opposed to holding coverage for religious reasons???
Republican attorneys general in more than a dozen states, including Utah, are suing over health care reform passed by Congress and signed by President Obama, for "forcing" people to get medical insurance.
But just four years ago, when he was governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney signed a bill into law requiring people to have medical coverage. And back in 1993, Utah Senators Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett co-sponsored a GOP health reform bill, which seemed to do the very same thing.
The measure, more than 300 pages long, had brief but potent language, under a section entitled "Universal Coverage." It read, "Effective January 1, 2005, each individual who is a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States shall be covered under--(1) a qualified health plan, or (2) an equivalent health care program." There was an exemption for people opposed to holding coverage for religious reasons.
In a Wednesday satellite interview with 2News from Washington, Senator Hatch said he joined with Republicans 17 years ago, who were trying to defeat "Hillarycare," a reference to then First Lady Hillary Clinton's push for comprehensive health care reform. Since, Hatch said he has studied and researched constitutional law, and changed his mind about mandated coverage.
"If they mandate you have to buy insurance, it'll be the first time in this country that the government can tell you what to buy," said Hatch, warning the measure could portend even more government control in the future.
A spokesperson for Senator Bennett said he is intent on repealing "Obamacare," but that Bennett has looked at mandated coverage as a way to reduce medical costs.
The 1993 GOP legislation fizzled in Congress, as did the Clinton administration's mammotth health care overhaul, but Massachusetts' health reform measure came to life under Governor Mitt Romney.
Several years ago, Romney signed a major health care bill into law that required people in Massachusetts have medical coverage, or reportedly face fines.
In a Washington Post story in 2006, Romney was quoted as saying, "We insist that everybody who drives a car has insurance. And cars are a lot less expensive than people."
Romney, now, may not view mandated coverage in the Massachusetts' law, and federal health care reform as the same.
But, contacted by 2News, Utah Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Holland seemed to link Romney, Hatch and Bennett to GOP "hypocrisy" in the debate. His most direct criticism may have been leveled against Bennett, who is facing what seems to be a serious reelection challenge within his own party.
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