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 BarrassoSenate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus Hillicon Valley: Senate panel votes to subpoena Big Tech executives | Amazon says over 19,000 workers tested positive for COVID-19 | Democrats demand DHS release report warning of election interference GOP senators call on Trump to oppose nationalizing 5G 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 JohnsonOvernight Defense: Trump campaign's use of military helicopter raises ethics concerns | Air Force jets intercept aircraft over Trump rally | Senators introduce bill to expand visa screenings Senators introduce bipartisan bill to expand screening of foreign visitors Democrat announces 2022 bid for Ron Johnson's seat MORE (R-Wis.) – has earned 31 co-sponsors in the Senate.

Still, the party’s far-right members, including Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHillicon Valley: Big Tech hearing the most partisan yet | Rubio warns about foreign election interference | Trump campaign site briefly hacked Tech CEOs clash with lawmakers in contentious hearing Trump announces intention to nominate two individuals to serve as FEC members 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.”