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Text of debate between Sen. Orrin Hatch, Dan Liljenquist on KSL's Doug Wright Show

Published: Saturday, June 16 2012 10:49 a.m. MDT

Doug Wright: Gentlemen, thank you and this one is one that we made into a little extra time. ... Obamacare, by many one, by many, and, uh, right now we need to acknowledge that we're waiting for a Supreme Court decision on this that could radically change the ground on which we stand. But moving forward, this person said rather than telling us that you simply intend to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, because my grandchildren won't be able to afford it, explain your alternative. And then another, uh, person — we've had so many people, uh, text in, write in on this — they said, you know, many of us are already relying on parts of the act. The children's pre-existing conditions, the children who are on their parent's insurance until the age of 26 and things will kick in here fairly quick depending on what the Supreme Court has, uh, done. Every president since FDR has promised affordable health care. Almost all of the presidents have advocated some form of national health care, from Truman, LBJ, President Richard Nixon, President Clinton. What are your thoughts on the Affordable Health Care Act? And this time, Dan, I think we go to you first.

Dan Liljenquist: Doug, look, the Affordable Care Act, it — the Obamacare — is so fundamentally flawed it has to be repealed in its entirety. What bothers me about that whole, how we got to this situation, again it's been Republicans that laid out the foundational arguments for Obamacare. It was Senator Hatch and others who laid out the constitutional argument for the individual insurance mandate nationally in the '90's. It was Senator Hatch and Ted Kennedy who expanded into children's health care national, children's health care program which is the underpinning of Obamacare. It was Senator Hatch and the Republicans in Congress with George Bush who expanded Federal control over health care by adding Medicare Part D to the rolls. It's the single largest expansion of an entitlement into health care, federally, since the '60's. We have — Republicans have pushed government into health care over the last 30 years and, and very few have done more than Senator Hatch to do that. Now, look, here's what has to happen. You have to repeal Obamacare and go to market solutions that allow people to shop for insurance across state lines, and have visibility and transparency into price and get government out of the way on health care.

Doug Wright: Senator Hatch.

Orrin Hatch: Well, I was interested — I agree with some of Dan's remarks there, no question about it, but, uh, let's face it, uh, let's get back to Part D. Part D has helped millions and millions of seniors all over this country. It has come in 40% less than projected so that they have the pharmaceuticals that they need. Not only that but it became — it was a conservative bill that passed overwhelmingly with Republican support, and I might add that, uh, it's interesting to note that Paul Ryan's Medicare reform, uh, and the Premium Support Program was based upon Part D. So it was a Republican program, a conservative program, it has worked amazingly well, and it's come in 40% less than projected. In the case of Obamacare, well let me just tell you about SCHIP. SCHIP — there's an S in front of it. When I wrote it it was the State Child Health Insurance program. And it was overwhelmingly passed, I might add it worked very well, and then the Democrats started adding all kinds of things to it like (unintelligible) and so forth. When Obama became president, when Obama became president, he then, uh, he then, uh, expanded it. It was paid for, the way I wrote it. It was not an entitlement. He expanded it into an entitlement and, uh, of course I voted against it. By the way, two months later, Dan voted for the expansion of, of CHIP. No question about it. And Obamacare, we have to do better things. I noticed some of the insurance companies are taking some of the things that they did that even Republicans agree with but there's a lot more we can do and I'd be glad to explain it to you.

Doug Wright: And your 30-second rule.

Dan Liljenquist: Doug, that is simply not true.

Orrin Hatch: Of course it's true, what are you talking about?

Dan Liljenquist: Look, we removed, the vote I took in the State Legislature removed a five-year waiting period for legal immigrants to qualify for this program. That's all I did.

Orrin Hatch: And you voted for the expansion?

Dan Liljenquist: That, no that was not an expansion. That was the only vote I cast, was on legal immigration. Now, he say that Medicare, he laid out exactly why I have problems with his view on how the federal government should be involved in health care. When you say that it was a federal program to grant money back to the states and block grant their money, you are black-mailing them with their own money.

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