Orrin Hatch flip-flops on individual mandate

Utah Republican, currently talking about evils of individual mandate, admits he supported one for political reasons

By Alex Koppelman

Published March 26, 2010 2:54PM (EDT)

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee ranking Republican Senator Jeff Sessions (R) (R-AL) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) listen to the testimony of Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor at committee confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill in Washington July 14, 2009.
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee ranking Republican Senator Jeff Sessions (R) (R-AL) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) listen to the testimony of Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor at committee confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill in Washington July 14, 2009.

When even Time's Mark Halperin is labeling a politician's comments "breathtaking cynicism," you know it's pretty bad. That's the case today, with comments that Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, made on CNN Thursday night.

Hatch has been opposing the individual mandate contained in the healthcare reform bill President Obama signed into law this week; he says it's unconstitutional. But, CNN's Campbell Brown pointed out, back in the 1990's, during the Clinton administration's reform efforts, Hatch supported a bill that contained a similar mandate.

To that, Hatch responded, "Well, in 1993, we were trying to kill Hillarycare, and I didn't pay any attention to that because that was part of a bill that I just hadn't centered on."

Video below.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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Healthcare Reform Orrin Hatch R-utah