Hatch Vows To Dismantle ACA “Piece By Piece.”
he Washington Times (1/21, Howell, 644K) reports that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, “vowed Tuesday to chip away at Obamacare ‘piece by piece,’ and said the GOP may still use the complex ‘reconciliation’ budget process to knock out a sizable chunk.” Hatch told the US Chamber of Commerce that lawmakers are considering using reconciliation either for healthcare reform or tax reform. The senator also said the Finance Committee will take up bills to repeal the ACA’s more unpopular provisions, such as the medical device tax and the employer mandate. “No one in this room should be surprised to learn that I oppose the Affordable Care Act and think that it should be repealed,” Hatch said, adding, “But I’m also realistic. With President Obama in the White House, we’ll never get a full-repeal enacted into law.”
The Hill (1/21, Ferris, 224K) reports that Hatch promised the ACA would be a top priority in 2015 because it is “hanging over every discussion we have” about the economy. Pointing to King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court challenge to the ACA’s subsidies, Hatch said it was “important that Republicans begin to unite” on a replacement for the health law and said he would move forward on his own alternative, called the Patient CARE Act.
Bloomberg (1/21, Rubin, 2.94M) reports that the Finance Committee’s “first bill will be a House-passed measure that exempts some veterans from Obamacare’s employer mandate.” Hatch told Bloomberg TV that he also wants to work on major changes to entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
Kaiser Health News (1/21, 2K) reports that Hatch said he expects Republican and Democratic lawmakers to work together on several pieces of health legislation, including an extension of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Hatch called CHIP “a marvelous program” and said, “I’m optimistic that we can work on a bipartisan, bicameral basis to extend CHIP in a responsible way.”
Modern Healthcare (1/21, Demko, Subscription Publication, 246K) also covers Hatch’s remarks.
from ASCO Newsletter