Senior GOP senator would split HHS

The leader of the Senate Finance Committee said Wednesday that he will work to split apart the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by creating a new agency to oversee Medicare and Medicaid programs

Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (R-Utah) said he is planning legislation to separate the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from HHS, which would be the first bill of its kind. 

“The accountability and transparency problems we currently see in CMS programs cannot wait,” Hatch said at a hearing on the HHS budget Wednesday.

Because the CMS makes up about 85 percent of the department’s health budget, Hatch said creating a new agency would give Congress more power to stem the exploding costs of the country’s entitlement programs.

Hatch added that he has been long concerned about the “amount of influence” that HHS and the Obama administration have over the CMS’s costly entitlement programs.

“The total budget of HHS is more than double that of Wal-Mart and five times more than Apple,” Hatch wrote in a prepared statement.