Hatch: Healthcare bill could be end of two-party system

The Utah Republican worries about consequences for the GOP if healthcare reform passes

Published November 2, 2009 5:20PM (EST)

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, sounds quite worried about healthcare reform. It's not for the reason you might think, though.

If Democrats pass a bill, the senator said in a recent interview, "you're going to have a very rough time having a two-party system in this country, because almost everybody's going to say, 'All we ever were, all we ever are, all we ever hope to be depends on the Democratic Party.'" He added, "That's their goal. That's what keeps Democrats in power."

The senator later asked, "Do I believe they're that diabolical?" He answered his own question, saying, "I don't believe most of them are, but I think some of them are,. Maybe diabolical's too harsh of a word, but the fact is, they really, really believe in socialized medicine."

Hatch had the kernel of a point here; once anything like Social Security or Medicare -- or, perhaps, a public option -- passes, it's very difficult for either party to oppose it, and that gives Democrats an advantage. But of course he took the point far beyond where it could be supported.

(Hat-tip to The Hill's Blog Briefing Room.)

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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