Hatch Peddles Luntz Talking Points, Misrepresents Kennedy’s Health Bill

During an interview with Fox News this morning, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) criticized the draft version of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) health care bill as a “one-size fits all government mandated health care plan.”

Hatch repeated the Frank Luntz-inspired charge that a government plan would place a bureaucrat between “you and your doctor” at least four times during the segment. And he wildly misrepresented the HELP bill while pressing Democrats in Congress to track a bipartisan path towards passing health reform. Watch it:

Hatch joins a long line of conservative lawmakers who rely on poll-tested Republican talking points that are intended to stall reform rather than fix the system.

For instance, contrary to Hatch’s insistence that the bill would put a bureaucrat “between you and your doctor,” Section 2 of the draft legislation explicitly states that “a strong doctor-patient relationship is essential to the practice of medicine, and patients have a right to an effective doctor patient relationship”:


This suggests that Hatch is overstating his willingness to work with Democrats in a “bipartisan” fashion. After all, the first step towards compromise is truthfully characterizing legislation.

Cross-posted from The Wonk Room.