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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: OK, we, we are out of time on that issue. If, if I might, since, uh, whichever one of you emerges here, and maybe even before the, the, uh, primary we will have a Supreme Court decision on the, especially the mandated portion of this, one of you will be carrying this on into the, uh, debate next fall. Have either of you, uh, considered what the aftermath of this is going to be based on the Supreme Court? This requires perhaps a little tea-reading here and a little crystal ball work, but I'll just throw this out, and maybe just a quick 30-second response from both of you and maybe we can go to Senator Hatch first.

Orrin Hatch: Well, I was the first to come up with the, uh, unconstitutionality of the individual mandate. Uh, I have to say that, uh, I've made the case against Obamacare. I believe the Supreme Court will find the individual mandate unconstitutional. And I made that case before it got there. And I have to say that I believe that they will, I think they can find some other parts of that bill unconstitutional. The question is, since there's no separability clause, will they outlaw the whole bill? Normally they do. And I believe there's a good chance they will.

Doug Wright: And your 30-seconds.

Dan Liljenquist: Yeah, I'm glad you made the case for the unconstitutionality, Senator, but you made the case before for its constitutionality when you were running the bill in the '90's. Look, they should invalidate the entire bill and I think they will do that. What we will have to do is make sure that we then inject market principles. And by the way, individual responsibility for health care back into the equation, which this Congress, and Republicans and Democrats over the years have divorced themselves from over the last 30 years.

Doug Wright: Thank you much.

Orrin Hatch: Can I add just one other thing? It's interesting that that in the 1990's that was a Heritage Foundation bill that was used to defeat Hillarycare. None of us had given much consideration to the individual mandate but when they finally put it in the Obamacare bill, my gosh, I was the first in Congress to raise the unconstitutionality of it, and if we win on that case, it's gonna be because we raised that issue.

Doug Wright: And in fairness, use your time.

Dan Liljenquist: Well look, you play fast and loose because the Heritage Foundation said yes, you should put this in, and as a tactic, I look at that and say, wait a second, they just brushed off that idea that you had your name on. To pass Obamacare.

Doug Wright: Let's talk, uh, balanced budget for a moment. Many of our texters and many of our e-mailers have various thoughts. We have kind of distilled it down to this question. Comparisons are always made by those who are balancing the budget, balanced budget amendment, more fiscal responsibility, it's always made to the, um, the, uh, typical American family. The image is always painted of sitting down at that kitchen table and when a family does sit down at the kitchen table to pore over the bills and develop a balanced budget plan for their family, everything is on the table. Reducing spending, increasing revenue, all of the above. From the Republicans, we quite often hear cut, cap, balance, is there to be no discussion of tax increases? Or, as Ronald Reagan put it, revenue enhancement in this discussion? Doesn't not having that on the table guarantee failure and stalemate? And this time I think, I'm trying to keep track of where we go, I think we start with, uh, Dan Liljenquist on this one.

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