Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch said Monday that Senate lawmakers are far too divided to continue to push for repealing and replacing Obamacare.
“There’s just too much animosity and we’re too divided on healthcare,” Hatch told Reuters in an exclusive interview.
President Donald Trump called out Senate Republicans Saturday afternoon, saying that unless they are “quitters,” the party will call for another procedural vote before moving on to a new Obamacare repeal and replace proposal.
“Unless the Republican Senators are total quitters, Repeal & Replace is not dead! Demand another vote before voting on any other bill!” the president tweeted. (RELATED: Trump: ‘Repeal And Replace Not Dead!)
Hatch said that Republican leadership would be better served moving to tax reform and scoring a legislative win before moving back to trying to overhaul Obamacare.
“I think we ought to acknowledge that we can come back to healthcare afterwards but we need to move ahead on tax reform,” Hatch said.
Hatch announced that he, along with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, would personally deliver the message to the White House.
President Donald Trump threatened to end the federal payments for Obamacare’s cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) on Monday and over the weekend, a threat that Hatch is amenable to but feels leadership should not move forward with at this time. (RELATED: Trump Has Another Idea For Ending Obamacare)
Insurers are required under the current system to provide subsidy payments, commonly known as CSRs, to low and moderate income individuals that participate in the state exchanges.
Hatch thinks the administration should continue funding Obamacare subsidies, which it is currently doing on a month-to-month basis. If the administration suddenly stopped, it would put the poorest Americans in a difficult position.
“I’m for helping the poor, always have been. And I don’t think they should be bereft of healthcare,” Hatch said.
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