Hatch: All ObamaCare taxes 'need to go'

Hatch: All ObamaCare taxes 'need to go'
© Greg Nash

Senate Finance Committee Chairman 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ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (R-Utah) is calling for all of ObamaCare’s taxes to be repealed, a potentially key moment in an internal Republican debate on the issue. 

“We need to definitively answer the question about what to do with the ObamaCare taxes,” Hatch said in a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. “Some have argued that we should keep all or some of them in place and use them to pay for our eventual replacement package.”

But Hatch rejected that idea.  

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“My view is this: After spending seven years talking about the harm being caused by these taxes, it’s difficult to switch gears now and decide that they’re fine so long as they’re being used to pay for our healthcare bill,” Hatch said.

“All of the ObamaCare taxes need to go as part of the repeal process.”

As chairman of the Finance Committee, Hatch’s comments are sure to carry heavy weight in the debate. Some Republicans had argued for keeping the taxes to provide revenue to fund a Republican replacement plan. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) has been a major proponent of that idea. 

But many Republicans, like Hatch, view repealing the taxes as a key part repealing the law. Industry groups are also pushing hard to lift the taxes that are on them under ObamaCare.

Still, experts have warned it will make paying for a Republican replacement hard if all the taxes are gone. 

An analysis from the Brookings Institution in December noted that if all of ObamaCare’s taxes are repealed, Republicans would only have about 40 percent of the $1.2 trillion cost of ObamaCare left to spend toward a replacement. ObamaCare taxes industries, like the medical device tax and health insurance tax, as well as people, through a higher Medicare tax on high-earners.