The healthcare bill’s requirement that individuals buy health insurance is unconstitutional, says Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
“They want to force people to do whatever they want them to do. That’s what you call totalitarianism. It is not really good government,” he said on Fox News’ “On the Record” program.
“In this country, we believe in liberty. We believe in freedom. We believe people ought to have choices. We believe they can make their own choices," Hatch said. "If they choose not to buy something, that is their privilege.”
In the early 1990s, Hatch actually supported the idea of a mandate for individuals to buy health insurance.
“The more I studied since then, the more I've looked at it, the more I've come to the conclusion it would be unconstitutional to force people to buy something they don't want to buy,” he said.
“And frankly, it would be the first time that your liberties would be taken away from you where you would be forced to do something you don't want to do.”
Younger people who are healthy will probably pay the penalty for refusing to buy insurance, waiting until they get sick and taxpayers have to foot the bill, Hatch says.
He emphasizes that the GOP doesn’t want to neglect people who can’t afford health insurance.
“Republicans wanted to help those people as well,” Hatch said.
“What we didn't want to do is make it an almighty federal government program that never helps people the way it should.”
Hatch isn’t the only one who views the reform plan as unconstitutional. Attorneys general in 14 states seek to have the law overturned for infringing on state and individual rights.
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