Sen. Hatch warns of government takeover

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) pushed back against Democratic healthcare claims Saturday, warning that legislation circulating in Congress amounts to an unaffordable government takeover.

In the weekly Republican address, Hatch also rebuked Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) for writing that town hall protesters who disrupted debate were “un-American.”

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“I am disappointed about the attempts to characterize the behavior of Americans expressing their concerns as ‘un-American,’” Hatch said, repeating criticism other Republicans have made this week on an op-ed Hoyer and Pelosi wrote in USA Today.

“Although I strongly encourage the use of respectful debate in these town halls, we should not be stifling these discussions.”

Hatch said Americans were right to be worried about Democrats’ proposals, which he said would lead to a government takeover of the healthcare industry.

“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,” said Hatch.

The Utah Republican offered a few “areas of consensus” which lawmakers should use to build a bipartisan solution: eliminating discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, making current healthcare plans more affordable, giving states more flexibility to pick their own approach, and helping small businesses and entrepreneurs buy coverage.