Hatch and Health Care
I’m a delegate to Utah State Republican convention and I am looking for candidates who have a vision for health system reform beyond opposition to the Affordable Care Act.
U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch recently restated his opposition to Obamacare in a March 27 op-ed in the Deseret News: "Regardless of your view of the president’s health law, the facts do not lie. The law will cost taxpayers more than promised, will add billions of dollars to the deficit and will increase health-care premiums on hard-working Utah families. Additionally, the law infringes on our constitutional freedoms. Obamacare is not what Utahns want, not what Utahns deserve and must not stand.
I agree. So what health system reform do Utahns deserve?
I have a suggestion for Hatch and other Republicans vying for federal office: Follow the lead of Mitt Romney, who promises to "pursue policies that give each state the power to craft a health care reform plan that is best for its own citizens." Under a Romney administration, "states will have both the incentive and the flexibility to experiment, learn from one another, and craft the approaches best suited to their own citizens."
To that end, I ask each Republican candidate for federal office to promise if elected to co-sponsor "The States’ Right to Innovate in Health Care Act." A draft of this legislation is available at www.utahhealthcareinitiative.com (click on ‘Solutions’), the website of the Utah Healthcare Initiative, a political issue committee dedicated to bringing comprehensive, sustainable health system reform to the ballot box.
Were this legislation to pass, states could opt out of federal rules and regulations which currently prohibit comprehensive health system reform at the local level, if able to demonstrate a good-faith effort to replace federal health programs with better quality care at a lower price delivered to a greater proportion of the population.
Under this legislation, the federal funds currently spent in a state seeking a better health care solution would be preserved for use in that state as it improves health care delivery. Passage will require bipartisanship. It was originally drafted and introduced by Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., and has the support of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
Hatch knows that the best health care legislation is bipartisan. He and Sen. Ted Kennedy worked together to craft the legislation which created the Children’s Health Insurance Plan now active in all 50 states.
At the state convention on April 21, I will vote for Republican candidates who are most likely to reach across the aisle and work together with Democrats to solve our nation’s problems, beginning with health care.
Utahns deserve an opportunity to capitalize on our lowest-in-the-nation health care costs and organize best practice health care delivery for our own patients. Therefore, we deserve representation in Congress which will move beyond stating an opposition to Obamacare and onto bipartisan legislation enabling state-based health reforms.