SEN. ORRIN HATCH, R-UTAH
RANKING MEMBER, SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE'S HEALTH SUBCOMMITTEE
Date of Birth: March 22, 1934.
Education: B.S., Brigham and Young University; J.D., University of Pittsburgh.
Career Path: Hatch, a native of Pittsburgh, moved to Utah on a mission for the Mormon church. He worked as a metal lather and janitor while attending college and was a member of the AFL-CIO. Hatch practiced as an attorney for 14 years before his first campaign for public office to become U.S. senator for Utah in 1976. The long-time senator is also known for being a lyricist and composer.
Role In Health Reform, 1993-1994: Hatch, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, originally supported a compromise offered by John Chafee, R-R.I., but did not back President Clinton’s proposal.
Why He's a Player Now: Hatch sits on both Senate committees overseeing health overhaul legislation. He is a close friend of HELP Chairman Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and ranking member of the Finance Committee's Health Subcommittee. Hatch, who co-sponsored legislation creating the State Children's Health Insurance Program with Kennedy during the Clinton administration, had been viewed as a potential vote for a bipartisan health reform bill. However, Hatch walked out of talks with Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and a small group of negotiators to produce a bipartisan overhaul bill on July 22.
Quote: "I really commend them for the effort. What I don't want to do is mislead people by continuing to be in the meetings when I disagree with much of the direction I feel they have to go." (Roll Call, July 23, 2009)
Read about the other 'Players'.