GOP chairman hits back at hospitals on ObamaCare bill

GOP chairman hits back at hospitals on ObamaCare bill
© Greg Nash

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) on Wednesday hit back against hospital groups that are opposing the GOP's ObamaCare repeal legislation. 

"We understand you change this thing up, there's a pretty big medical industrial complex in America, and when you touch it, I've discovered it touches back," Walden told reporters. 

He added that it's "sort of shocking" that hospitals are opposing the bill because the measure repeals cuts to a program that helps safety net hospitals called Disproportionate Share payments.  

"That was one of their big asks, so it's sort of disappointing," Walden said. 

ADVERTISEMENT
All of the major hospital associations as well as the nation’s biggest doctors group, the American Medical Association, are against the bill. The hospital groups warned of a "substantial reduction" in insurance coverage under the GOP bill. 

The AARP is also against the measure, objecting to a provision that would allow insurers to charge older people higher premiums.

Walden defended the change, saying that it would allow younger people to in turn be charged lower premiums, bringing them into the market to balance it out. 

"We need those young people in the insurance pool to make it survive," Walden said. 

He added that states could use $100 billion over 10 years in funding under the bill in part to help older people with their premiums. 

"At the end of the day, seniors are going to be fine," he said.