In a new interview with CNS News, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) repeated his concern that requiring Americans to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional. Hatch offered typical run-of-the-mill conservative arguments about “socialized medicine.” But at one point, he let it slip that the real reason he is trying to stop health care reform is that the American public might really like it and therefore vote for Democrats:
HATCH: That’s their goal. Move people into government that way. Do it in increments. They’ve actually said it. They’ve said it out loud.
Q: This is a step-by-step approach —
HATCH: A step-by-step approach to socialized medicine. And if they get there, of course, you’re going to have a very rough time having a two-party system in this country, because almost everybody’s going to say, “All we ever were, all we ever are, all we ever hope to be depends on the Democratic Party.”
Q: They’ll have reduced the American people to dependency on the federal government.
HATCH: Yeah, you got that right. That’s their goal. That’s what keeps Democrats in power.
Watch it (at approx. 19:50):
A scenario whereby the two-party system is abolished because of government-run health care is unlikely at best. Republicans were also fear-mongering about the “socialized” system that became Medicare. In 1961, Ronald Reagan stated:
[I]f you don’t [stop Medicare] and I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.
Republicans, of course, have had no problem getting elected with Medicare in place, and they now wholeheartedly support the program (recognizing that it’s popular with American seniors). For months, it’s been clear that electoral considerations are behind the GOP’s efforts to block reform. In July, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said that if they could “stall” or “block” any legislation, it would be a “huge gain” for the 2010 elections.
In June, President Obama pointed out Republican’s illogical opposition to a public plan, saying that if government-run health care will really be as bad as they say it will be, how could it “drive” private insurers out of business anyway?
Atrios sums up what Hatch is saying: “Orrin Hatch says we can’t have health care reform because it will be awesome and everyone will love it and they’ll be so grateful that they will vote for Democrats for all eternity.”
,Steve Benen also notes that Hatch isn’t just against “socialized medicine,” since he has “suggested he’d oppose health care reform whether the provision [public option] is in the bill or not.”