JONATHAN CHAIT MARCH 14, 2011
Orrin Hatch explains why he supports the Affordable Care Act:
In a speech to the conservative Hudson Institute, Hatch said the GOP ideal for health overhaul would look more like the welfare overhaul of the mid-1990s. That law "took ideas from the states – not just Washington – and gave them considerable flexibility to operate their own programs," he said.
Lucky for Hatch, that ideal exists. The Affordable Care Act was based upon a successful state-level program passed by a Republican governor in Massachusetts. And a proposed amendment, support by the Obama administration, would give states flexibility to design any reform they want as long as it provides the same level of insurance coverage to the same number of people without increasing the deficit.
Unfortunately, Hatch does not seem to realize that the Affordable Care Act fulfills his criteria:
For now, however, Hatch said he recognized that the votes are not there in the Congress to repeal the entire law. "Short of repealing Obamacare wholesale, we will do so retail — through death by a thousand cuts," he said. "We will fight this until we win."
It's almost as if he automatically opposes any plan the Democrats are willing to support.