Health Care Insurance or Else

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 24, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Republican Senator Orrin Hatch says the health care bill is unconstitutional, but that is just the beginning. We went to Capitol Hill and Senator Hatch went "On the Record."


VAN SUSTEREN: Senator Hatch, it's nice to see you, sir.

SEN. ORRIN HATCH, R - UTAH: It's good to see you, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, I'm sure you have heard the news that Congressman Bart Stupak and others have been threatened or intimidated as a result of this health care reform bill. Your response or thought about that?

HATCH: People are upset and really angry, and they're tired of people making promises and not living up to them. Bart is a good guy. I don't have any criticism of him except I wish he hadn't done what he did, because that executive order isn't worth the paper it is written on and we all know it. I don't know why he did that.

VAN SUSTEREN: I take it you are not thrilled by the fact that he's getting threatened?

HATCH: No. I think people have to quit doing things like. This is a tough job being a member of Congress, and you are going to irritate people from time to time. There's no excuse for anybody threatening a member of Congress. In fact it is a real serious crime to do so.

VAN SUSTEREN: Let me ask you a hypothetical. Suppose I'm 25 -- in my dreams of course, yes I know. I'm 25, I have no health insurance. I know if I get picked up, it can could cost me about $750, $2,000 for a penalty, and if I buy health insurance for a year it's probably going to cost more than.

I known if I get really sick I'll get insurance at that point because I will be added on even with the preexisting problem. So what is the incentive for me to buy insurance?

HATCH: There's not much incentive right now. On the other hand, for people who want to live in society and be respected you need to be a part of society by doing whatever is necessary to take care of yourself and your family.

But some people can't do it. And look, Republicans wanted to help those people as well. What we didn't want to do is make it an almighty federal government program that never helps peep the way it should.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is the incentive for the way it is priced? I understand the need for people to protect themselves, but what is -- the way it's structured now, what is the financial incentive, because if you get sick, you can get insurance at that point?

HATCH: Well, the fact is, young people aren't going to want to do it. The fact is the financial incentive is if they don't buy insurance they get penalized occupy to 2.4 percent of their gross income.

VAN SUSTEREN: But that's less than the insurance is going to cost them.

HATCH: Yes, and that's what they're going to do is pay for that and wait until they get sick, and then we'll have to count on society to pay the bill.

VAN SUSTEREN: I know you are opposed to the bill signed by the president.

HATCH: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: Your state attorney general has signed on to this lawsuit to challenge it on constitutional grounds. You're a lawyer. Your thoughts on it, any legs to that, or is this --

HATCH: Back on Hillary-care they had a mandate in there. I didn't realize it, I didn't pay attention to it. We were trying to defeat Hillary-care. The more I studied since then, the more I've looked at it, the more I've come to the conclusion it would be unconstitutional to force people to buy something they don't want to buy.

It would be the first time in history that the government could tell you have to buy something you don't want to they say you have to buy.

Now, they say you have to buy auto insurance. No you don't. You don't have to drive if you don't want to. That's just part of the privilege of driving. But in this case they are going to make you buy insurance even though you don't have any desire to, any reason to.

And frankly, it would be the first time that your liberties would be taken away from you where you would be forced to do something you don't want to do. I just don't that I is constitutionally sound.

In the event the judge agrees with you and the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court agrees with that position, is this the type of issue that would defeat the entire health care bill or simply defeat that particular issue, the required mandate?

One of the things about this bill is the mandate is a big part of it. They want to force people to do whatever they want them to do. That's what you call totalitarianism. It is not really good government.

And in this country we believe in liberty. We believe in freedom. We believe people ought to have choices. We believe they can make their own choices. If they choose not to buy something, that is their privilege. They can suffer the consequence force that if they don't. But if they choose to buy it, that's their privilege.

But to have the government come in and say you have to buy this or we are going to penalize you, that's not America. That's not what we believe in.

I understand the arguments behind mandating and everybody's to buy insurance. But then it comes down to what kind of insurance? A policy that the federal government designs for you? They are going to make a big determination as to what kind of policies you are going to have.

You basically lose your individual freedom if the government can tell you that you have to buy something you don't want.

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, I take it there's a lot of hostility, here in the last 10 days or so, probably longer. Is it chilling out a little or is it still hot and heavy?

HATCH: There's a lot of animosity and up here and bad feelings. There's euphoria on the part of the Democrats because they were able to get this bill through.

And if you look in the history of this country we've never had major sweeping piece of social legislation that is any good that's been passed by just a partisan vote.

And Republicans want health care just as badly as they do. We think we should have started over and again step-by-step to bring in the things that we mutually agree on first and then compromise on the things that we can't initially agree on.

That's how it should be done around here. That's how it should be done around here. That's what brings people together. That's what gets of the animosity. That helps us to become functioning American working together.

But no, they were going to ram this up our noses no matter what happened. And they've succeeded. But let me tell you this, everything that is wrong with health care is going to be the Democrats. They are the ones who did this. They are the ones pushing this all over America. And I think they are going to pay a heavy price for it over the years.

But right now there's a lot of euphoria on their part, but that is going to go when people start realizing what they've done to them.

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, you have Press Secretary Gibbs jabbed you a little bit on this mandate.

HATCH: He did. I guess he forgot last year during the campaign the president was criticizing Hillary Clinton because of the individual mandate in her bill.

We actually had an individual mandate in ours apparently, but I didn't realize it at the time because we were realizing in stopping Hillary-care.

It's just like a lot of the president's promises. He promised people earning less than $200,000 a year will not have to pay any taxes under this bill. About a quarter of American people are going to have to pay taxes on this bill who don't earn $200,000. And there are other aspects of the bill that he's kind of had to back off on.

And I might add, the president was for -- was again the individual mandate and criticized Hillary Clinton for it. And I think he was against it at that time in a right way. He was right at that time.

But funny how things change when you are out to try and pass something that is totally partisan, that basically the American people don't want, and that you think you can put over on the American people.


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