Hatch calls health care reform ‘huge government takeover'

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch is one of the Utah politicians voicing opposition about the health care reform bill. He spoke with KSL News Wednesday and shared his take on the issue.

The reality is that whether Republicans like Hatch like it or not, chances of making significant changes now are slim.

"There are some things we agree on," Hatch said. "I mean, we totally agree that preexisting conditions should not foreclose, and there are other minor matters that we agree on, but basically where we object is that it's a huge government takeover of the health care system in this country."

When asked what Republicans can do now, if it's possible to fix something they find doesn't work, Hatch said, "What we have to do is bring up amendments that will bring up defects in this bill. And hopefully, enough people will get with their Democrat friends out there and say, ‘Hey we don't want this bill.'"

Hatch said, "The only bipartisan nature of this bill is opposition to it. If you looked in the House, there were a certain number of democrats voting against it with Republicans. In the Senate, it's all Republicans versus all Democrats."

In the House, a number of Democrats voted against the bill because they didn't feel the reforms go far enough.

Regardless, the debate is in the Senate: to clean up details in the bill.

But Democrats characterize the process as a political strategy session where both sides cement public impressions of the bill. Republican have lined up a number of proposals, attempting procedural havoc on the bill itself.

Meanwhile, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is one of least a dozen other states in a lawsuit against the health care reform package.

E-mail: rpiatt@ksl.com

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