Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, strongly objected to Sen. Ted Kennedy's 1989 mandatory health coverage bill during a recent Senate Labor Committee hearing.

Hatch said the problem of the uninsured is real, but he called the Kennedy solution unworkable."It will cost billions of dollars, force many Americans out of work, reduce employees' freedom in selecting specific health care benefits and will do little to correct the real problem in health care - rising costs."

The Kennedy bill would require employers to provide specified levels of health coverage to 21 million employees and their families who are not now covered, and federally funded coverage for the unemployed.

Kennedy said "every American (who) works for a living should have access to health insurance."