Senate GOP chairman: No 'one sentence' fix for ObamaCare

Senate GOP chairman: No 'one sentence' fix for ObamaCare
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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchMellman: What happened after Ginsburg? Bottom line Bottom line MORE (R-Utah) wants to make it clear that his party will not pass the one-sentence fix that President Obama has said could save his healthcare law from a potential Supreme Court ruling this month.

“The never-ending negative side effects of ObamaCare are so convoluted and intertwined that one sentence can’t fix this latest problem without continuing the others,” Hatch wrote Friday in an op-ed for FoxNews.com.

The case, King v. Burwell, is centered around one disputed clause in the Affordable Care Act, which President Obama said Monday could be resolved by a one-sentence piece of legislation.


That idea was shot down within minutes by Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight Senate advances energy regulator nominees despite uncertainty of floor vote Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee MORE (R-Wyo.), who asserted that Congress would not pass a “so called ‘one-sentence’ fake fix.”

Hatch, who is working with Barasso on a contingency plan for the ruling, reiterated that stance Friday, deepening the divisions between Republicans and the Obama administration on the biggest legal threat to the healthcare law in years.

If the administration loses in King v. Burwell, about 6.4 million people could lose their healthcare subsidies because they live in states that don't run their own healthcare exchanges.

That could spell doom for Republicans, who have heralded the case as their best shot of undoing ObamaCare but have so far been unable to coalesce around a plan to replace the law.

With the ruling expected any day, Republicans are still struggling to unite around a plan to avert chaos in the healthcare market if the subsidies are ruled illegal in 34 states. Key GOP leaders said last week that they would no longer disclose their plans until after the ruling.

Hatch stressed that Republicans “have a transition plan to protect these patients,” adding that many in his party support a short-term continuation of the ObamaCare subsidies to avert disruption.

“Like many Republicans in Congress, I support providing temporary financial assistance to help those who could be hurt by the King v. Burwell ruling keep their insurance if they want it,” he said.

That plan – which comes in the form of a bill from Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonLoeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection Rick Scott tests positive for coronavirus GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Wis.) – has earned 31 co-sponsors in the Senate.

Still, the party’s far-right members, including Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol MORE (R-Texas) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), have opposed the idea of extending subsidies, which they believe is keeping ObamaCare alive.

Cruz underscored that he would oppose the widely accepted GOP approach in two interviews on Thursday. Instead, he said states should be given the choice to “opt out” of ObamaCare altogether.

Hatch left room for that idea in his op-ed, writing that he would “give states and individuals flexibility and freedom from ObamaCare’s burdensome mandates.”