Sen. Hatch: Harmony with Hanukkah and Harsh Words for Health Care Bill

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," December 9, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Senator Orrin Hatch has harsh words for his political opponents. But before he even tells you about that, we quizzed him about his we quizzed him about his hobby.


VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, nice to see you, sir.

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

VAN SUSTEREN: Before we discuss health care, I would like to talk a little bit about your other career, songwriting. You have written a new song?

HATCH: I would not quite call it a career, but I have written a lot of songs. I do have one gold and one platinum record. And I had a wonderful Jewish man contact me in 1999 and say why don't you write a Hanukkah song for the Jewish holiday. I said, well, OK, I will.

I was running for president at that time and I did not get around to read. And this year I saw him, and he said I asked Senator Hatch to write a Hanukkah song and I hope he will. And so I did.

And I did it with a wonderful group and Madeline Stowe. We have written a lot of songs together. And it came out really well.

VAN SUSTEREN: I would love to catch some of your colleagues singing.

HATCH: But it is a cute song. And people all over town have been singing it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Switch gears. The Democrats say that they have now reached some sort of compromise or some deal and they have sent it over to the CBO to score it. What do you know about this?

HATCH: Their whole goal is to push as many people into a single payer system, in other words into Medicare and Medicaid as the can. And that is what they are doing right now. They are going to allow people to opt in at 55 on up.

And of course, the people that are going to take Medicare at that point is going to be the sickest of the sick. And so that is going to drive prices for everyone in Medicare.

Plus they will be subsidized. Who is going to pay for that? All of the small business people, everybody out there. Those are hidden taxes that they never talk about. And of course that will cost an arm and leg, as you can imagine.

And there are two big insurance companies who seen to be in with Democrats who are going to take over those plan. And if it do not take them over and it doesn't work right and premiums actually go up, which the CBO says they will, then they will go straight to the public plan.

Anthony Weiner in the House put it very well. He said, quote, "Extending this successful program to those between 55 and 64, a plan I proposed in July, would be the largest expansion of Medicare in 44 years and would perhaps get us on the path to a single payer."

That is what is behind this. The problem is, and it's the second problem, Medicare pays doctors 20 percent less and hospitals 30 percent less, and that's going up, by the way. So many doctors will not take Medicare patients.

Can you imagine if 20 million people go into Medicare who are the sickest of the sick to begin with, and those costs go up tremendously and they are not paying doctors what they charge, can you imagine how many doctors will not take Medicare patients? There is a high percentage now that don't take them.

VAN SUSTEREN: When I heard about this, we spoke to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on the other side of the Hill yesterday. And we were talking about whether Republicans are included in this or now. And last night we hear it is all Democrats in the room.

Tell me what you think about that. Why were there no Republicans in the room?

HATCH: There never have been. When they did the health committee bill it was strictly Democratic staff and White House staff and Democrat Senators, very few of them, that did the health committee.

VAN SUSTEREN: He said you are the party of no.

HATCH: We have not even been invited. On the House bill, tell me about it. Pelosi and the people in the House wrote that bill. Completely Democrats, not one Republican was involved.

Then they come over to the Reid bill, which is a combination of the two of those, and that was written in the back offices of the capital with White House personnel solely by Democrats and very few Democrats at that.

So to try and say Republicans are the party of no when we have not even been invited to participate -- we have lots of ideas that I think would go along with a good health care program that we could support if they were open-minded to it. They have not even talked to us.

The reason that we are having so much difficulty is because the Democrats have 60 votes and they can do anything that they want to do. And there is an arrogance of power there in that they have not had to work with us.

But even then they should work with us because some of us have really worked hard to make sure that these programs actually work instead of just being big federal government boondoggles. So it is the arrogance of power, and there is no question in my mind about it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you ever seen it before? When the Republicans were in power did you ever think that the Republicans had an arrogance of power?

HATCH: I do not think that the Republicans did a good job in some ways. And I think President Bush should have used the veto in the six years when we were there.

But I never saw anything this type of arrogance, because we couldn't get through what we wanted because they always had at least 50 votes to stop anything we wanted to do. So we were never really able to have the arrogance of power.

Now they are finding it is difficult too even with 60 votes because a lot of the people on their side are not happy with what is going on. But they might just get in line and do it under the guise that the president has to do something or he'll be damaged.

Well, it would be better for the president not to have this and get together with us and get a program that really will work that will function within the realm of decent economics and be bipartisan and get 75-80 votes in the Senate and then a corresponding number in the House.

If they do that, I think that they would have tremendous success. But they are not willing to do that. Again, I say it is an arrogance of power.

VAN SUSTEREN: When then Senator Obama was here, did you think he was interested in bipartisanship? Do you think it he has the arrogance of power?

HATCH: I like President Obama. I liked him when he came here as a senator. He talks centrist, but everything he does is left, no question about that.

VAN SUSTEREN: As Senator too?

HATCH: As Senator Too. He really talked left as a Senator for the part. But the people around him are all -- think about it -- can you name anybody who actually has had private sector experience? They are almost all academics or bureaucrats. And that is one reason why they are having a difficult time trying to get people jobs.

VAN SUSTEREN: Larry Summers does not think the women are good at science.


I'm teasing. He made some crack that he's paying the penalty for.

HATCH: I think that he has learned that women have a lot to do with science now because of when he was up there in Harvard.

I have a lot of admiration for the intellectual capacity for some of them, but not for their practical capacity. These people do not live in the real world. They are politicians, bureaucrats, and academics. There is need for those, but not total need for those.

I think you have got to have people with practicality to help with these things. And name one, name one in the whole doggone administration. There must be one somewhere.

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, thank you, sir.

HATCH: You bet.


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