Hatch said Republicans have offered a number of bills that would reform the system, but Democrats have ignored them.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) ripped the Democratic plans as raising costs and taxes while still failing to cover millions of Americans. He said it was another example of the Democrats rush-and-spend politics.Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), the ranking member of the Budget Committee, touted his plan on Fox News Sunday, which he said would cover everyone without nationalizing health care. Greggs proposal includes taxing health benefits and mandating that individuals who can afford to buy insurance do so, but it would not set up a government-run plan to compete with private insurers.Gregg said that he shares Obamas goals of providing universal coverage and cutting costs but that politics are getting in the way.Weve all sort of locked into our positions. Its unfortunate, said Gregg, Obamas one-time pick for Commerce secretary.Gregg also noted that Obama has yet to put his own blueprint on the table.The irony ... is the president doesnt have a plan, Gregg said, and he is instead deferring to Congressional Democrats to write the bill.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.