Earlier this week, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) spoke about his efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act before the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC. Hatch was introduced by Michael Franc the group’s vice president of government studies, who, in recalling the major provisions of the law, took a veiled swipe at the ongoing Occupy Wall Street movement.
Franc said that the health law’s provision permitting young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance policies until age 26 was driving up health care premiums and suggested that its beneficiaries were slackers, akin to the Wall Street demonstrators:
FRANC: And that increase comes even as two coverage mandates are taking effect. One is to cover grown men and women up to age 26, many of whom are protesting at the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, I might add. I was there this past weekend looking at it.
Hatch didn’t repudiate Franc’s characterization in his remarks, despite the fact that 1 million Americans have become insured as a result of the provision. Instead, the senator accused the demonstrators of possessing a “welfare mentality” that is “starting to pervade our country.”
Interestingly, while Hatch and Heritage now condemn health care reform, both Hatch and the Heritage Foundation had supported the individual mandate — a key provision of the law — before it was embraced by President Obama.